Cat lovers without a cat of their own to pet are really feeling Neko Feel.

About a year ago, a young employee of Japanese clothing and housewares company Nissen had a problem. The employee loves cats, but was living in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets.

Ordinarily, the workaround for that in Japan is to go to a cat cafe, and luckily there’s one in the employee’s neighborhood. Cats, however, can be fickle creatures, and don’t always warm up to strangers. The result was that while the employee could be near cats while at the cafe, the animals weren’t interested in snuggling up to her so she could pet them.

So Nissen decided to do something to help her and all other people in a similar situation of wanting to pet a cat, every day, but not being able to. After several months of testing and development, they’re now selling bedsheets and blankets specially designed to feel like you’re petting a cat when you touch them.

Nissen started the development process for its Neko Feel (“Cat Feel”) material by consulting with employees who own a cat, having them sample a variety of fabrics until they found just the right combination of softness, thickness, and length to the fibers. Even the coloring was taken into consideration, with the team opting for fibers that have deeper shades at their base and transition towards white at their tips, with Russian Blue and Scottish Fold breeds in particular being the benchmarks they aimed for.

The Neko Feel lineup currently consists of four offerings, each available in either the Russin Blue (gray) or Scottish Fold (beige) color. The mattress pad comes in single, semi-double, and double sizes, and can also be used not only with full-thickness mattresses but also Japanese-style futon sleeping mats (including the KitKat futon), thanks to the elastic straps at the corners.

Once you’ve hopped into bed, you can cover yourself up with a Neko Feel blanket, in either single or double size.

▼ We suppose you’ll have to use the double size if you’re using the semi-double mattress pad, but having extra cozy-as-a-kitty-cat blanket coverage is hardly something anyone will lose sleep over.

For when you need your Neko Feel fix for waking hours, or at least out of bed ones, Nissen has a throw blanket.

And last, there’s the “circle relaxation cushion,” which looks like something that will immediately get taken over by your pet should you happen to also own an actual cat of your own.

▼ Maybe your cat will be generous enough to share.

Prices range from 1,969 yen (US$13.30) for the throw blanket to 6,038 for the double bed-size blanket on Nissen’s online shop here. Before you throw out your old bedding in favor of a Neko Feel upgrade, though, be aware that the initial batch of Neko Feel items sold out within hours of Nissen announcing them through their official Twitter account, and even all of the restock has been snatched up for some of the items, though you can sign up for a notification when orders for them open up again.

Source: Nissen via IT Media
Top image: Nissen
Insert images: Nissen (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
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