This New Harry’s-Backed Startup Just Launched Its Own Line of Cat Gear

by Ellen Glover
March 24, 2020
NYC-based Cat Person is open for business, backed by Harry's Labs
Photo: Cat Person

Cat Person, a startup created by and for cat people and their feline friends, announced Tuesday it is officially open for business.

The pet industry is inundated with direct-to-consumer companies for dogs, with startups like BarkBox and Pet Plate providing convenient access to dog toys and food. However, there is no similar company that caters specifically to cats. Even brick-and-mortar pet stores prominently display their dog toys and accessories and shove their smaller collection of cat products to the back.

“Cat persons and cats largely have been overlooked,” CEO and co-founder Jimmy Wu told Built In. “We wanted to create a brand and really develop a line of products that puts both cats and cat persons at the forefront and really just help make their lives better.”

So, Cat Person has taken it upon itself to pounce on this corner of the market. The company offers its own line of healthy wet food, dry food and treats and is also launching its own accessory line, offering stylish bowls and beds that are designed with the needs of a cat in mind. All of Cat Person’s products can be shipped anywhere in the continental United States and the food can be ordered on a subscription basis.

Cat Person offers its own line of food, beds and bowls designed with cats' needs in mind
Image: Cat Person

Wu co-founded the company with Lambert Wang, who spent three years at NY-based subscription razor startup Harry’s. Wang said he came up with the idea for Cat Person while he was working there.

“It was actually Christmas break of 2017, I had this idea about a direct consumer brand for cats and thought it was super awesome,” Wang told Built In. “It was just legitimately burning a hole in my mind and I just had to put it out on paper. I created this 50-page presentation over the Christmas break, while all my other friends are skiing and doing other cool things.”

When everyone got back from break, Lambert discussed his business idea with Harry’s CEO and co-founder Jeff Raider, who agreed to offer financial support through Harry’s Labs. He also continues to be a close advisor to Cat Person. Harry’s is lending out office space to the startup too.

Going forward, it appears Cat Person is in a position to change an industry that is ripe for innovation. According to a 1,000-person survey the company commissioned from market research firm AYTM,  80 percent of cat owners think our culture caters more toward dog people than cat people and the majority of respondents were unsatisfied with the quality of products on the market today.

“We’re focused on really delivering great products to customers and also learning from them in terms of what’s resonated with them and where else they want to see us go,” Wu said. “A big part of our focus is really connecting with cats and cat people and helping them connect with one another. One of the things that makes us different is we’re really focused on developing products that really fit the needs of cats, with cat people in mind.”

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