Wu, 39, is teaming up with Cat Person to create his very own line of products, a decision that made perfect sense for someone whose friends have been calling him “the resident cat lady” of the group for years.
“I’m always lamenting about how there’s not really beautiful, but effective solutions for cat care products,” he tells PEOPLE. “It’s always in the back of every pet store. And so I always thought one day I’m going to make my own. I’ve been saying that for years.”
When Cat Person approached Wu about creating a line for their brand, he said it sounded like “the perfect opportunity” to design his “dream collection.” A cat owner himself — he’s dad to Jinxy and Peaches — Wu says his pets inspired his collection, which features a sleek litter box, a stylish cat food bowl, a metal scoop, a catnip toy and a black hoodie.
“They’re two girls and they’re very picky. They’ve actually never really found a litter box they loved,” Wu explains of his pets. “Sometimes I have to get two, sometimes one is enough, but then they don’t love it. … Being a cat lover for so long, I’ve had a lot of experience with them.”
Wu says his cats “always like the finer things in life,” adding that he kept their “discerning tastes” for “sophisticated and refined” products in mind while designing his collection.
While Wu says most cat products can look like an “eyesore” or appear “childish,” he wanted to bring both “form and function” to his Cat Person collection. The designer explains, “I think that’s something that we haven’t seen very much of in the cat care industry at all.”
Thanks to Jinxy and Peaches, all of the items in Wu’s Cat Person line are kitty-approved. The fashion star tells PEOPLE he used his notoriously choosy pets as testers for everything, including his favorite item in the collection, the Skylight Litter Box.
“Any prototype, I would try it on them first to see if they used it. … And for them to be able to share one litter box is kind of a big deal,” he says. “So that was really kind of the testing ground. Really the cats spoke, in the end, of what really worked.”
He’s also proud of the Hideaway Scoop, a metal and wood scooper Wu says is “durable, long-lasting” and “attractive.” And of course, he has a special connection to the Jason Catnip Pounce Toy, which he named after himself and shaped like a dog as “a tongue-in-cheek wink at the relationship between cats and dogs.”
“I thought it was funny to make the little cat toy in the shape of the dog, and also my Chinese Zodiac sign is a dog,” he says. “So, there’s many personal elements and an anecdote that went into designing that toy.”
Wu concedes there are differences between designing for cats and people — namely, the divide in demographic — but in the end, he says everyone is looking for the same thing.
“What’s in common is really about aesthetics,” he says. “I think our cats deserve beautifully designed things, just like we want for ourselves.”