Keith Hernandez on His Cat Hadji’s Favorite Things

Keith Hernandez on His Cat Hadji’s Favorite Things

Keith Hernandez is a former Major League Baseball player, MVP winner, two-time World Series champion, Seinfeld guest star, and current Mets announcer for SNY. He is also a guy who is obsessed with his cat.

In recent years, 67-year-old Hernandez and his 18-year-old Bengal companion Hadji have become social media sensations. For instance, I know nothing about “baseball,” but I do know that Hadji enjoys going out to grab the paper, sampling caviar, lounging on a circular sun bed, getting a head massage during Jack Ryan, and so forth. Footage even exists of Hadji descending, prince-like, from a custom-built elevated catwalk.

“He’s a Bengal, which is a breed that is four generations removed from the Asian Tree Leopard. They are climbers, they like to be up high,” Hernandez explains. “He takes full advantage of it. He goes up there and he likes to be elevated. All I’m trying to do is make his life better. He’s been with me 18 years, for crying out loud, he’s an old friend.” (“He still acts like a five-year-old. He slowed down just a bit, but is still very active,” Hernandez adds. “And very raucous, very male. He’s a tomcat from the get-go.”)

And Hadji does seem to live a better life than 99 percent of house cats, who already live better lives than 99 percent of humans. So we asked Hernandez to share some of his and Hadji’s favorite cat stuff, for owners and cats who want to level up.

The Outdoor Cat Enclosure

Custom-built catwalk aside, Hadji’s most impressive possession is definitely his palatial backyard fort. It’s the brainchild of a company called Kittywalk, which allows you to purchase different sizes of enclosures and connect them to make as grand a configuration as you want.

“I’m out in the back a lot, I like to be outdoors,” Hernandez says. “And he’s sitting there from a very young age screeching and demanding to come out. So I just went online and, boom, there was Kittywalk. I went, ‘Oh my God, that makes perfect sense.’ So I assembled and now he can go outside.”

The Cat Stroller

When Hadji isn’t relaxing in his outdoor cat palace, he gets wheeled around poolside in a stroller, also by Kittywalk.

“They sent me that stroller on the house,” Hernandez tells me. “He likes to be near people. He’s not a distant cat, he’s very gregarious and loves people.”

The Cat Bed

“It’s just a basic, simple cat bed,” Hernandez says. “Round and as big as a steering wheel and he fits in there. You buy it at any pet store. Nothing special about it.”

One basic, simple, non-special cat bed option, if you’re in the market?

Best Friends By Sheri Cuddle Cup

The Cat Toys

Hadji likes “anything with catnip.” Hernandez also tries to keep him active by hiding dangling toys around the house. “I have it hooked up in various spots in the house so he can bat them around,” he says. “I have a bookshelf and I just smush the fishing pole part of it in there pretty securely and it dangles.”

The Cat Tree

Courtesy of Keith Hernandez

“I have several cat trees in both Florida and New York,” Hernandez says. “I actually have a shed built off the side of the house in South Hampton on the pool deck that I’d say is maybe 20 feet by eight feet and it has a roof. I call it Hadji’s cat house. My contractor built a small doggy door so he can go in and out whenever he wants anytime of night, anytime of day. And I got a little cat tree in there for him.”

In the spirit of living large like Hadji, behold, the most extravagant cat tree we could dig up.


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