Posted on by Land of Meow

Land of Meow-Litter Box In 1947 cats were kept mainly as outdoor pets who would catch mice and rats. During the day the cat would embark on adventures around the yard and at night most of them would sleep in barns, or purpose made boxes, with only a few cats allowed the luxury of sleeping inside. The main reason for cats having to sleep outside of the house was the issue of litter boxes. Humans who wanted to have their cats indoors had to use either ash, soil or sand as kitty litter which caused several problems around the house. Sand releases a fine silica dust which gets into every crevice and ash or soil left dark grubby paw prints all over the house. There was also the issue of the litter smells wafting through the house which proved too much for most people to accept in their clean homes. Then along came Kaye Draper.

Kaye was an avid cat lover who lived in Cassopolis, Michigan. During the winter months with the temperature routinely dropping below freezing, Kaye would ensure that her cat had a snug place inside to keep warm and happy. To deal with the litter box issue, Kaye had been using sand until the fortunate day when her sand pile froze over, and out of love for her cat she reached out to a neighbour for some help. That neighbour was Ed Lowe. Ed and his father had a business selling bulk shipments of sand, sawdust and clay to heavy industries in the area, so definitely someone to see if you need a few buckets of sand for your kitty. As luck would have it the business had recently received a new clay product sample which Ed’s father had rejected as he was already loyal to a different brand. With the sample sitting in the shed and gathering dust, Ed suggested to Kaye that it might be a suitable replacement for sand. The sample product was made of fuller’s earth, which is able to absorb large quantities of water while controlling odours, an ideal combination for cat litter.

Land of Meow-Kitty Litter

The sample clay was a hit. It absorbed the waste and odours of the litter box better than any other product available, and Ed seeing this as a chance to start his own business started a trial run. Taking 10 sacks and carefully writing Kitty Litter on the side, he suggested to a local store that they sell the bags for 65 cents each. When the store owner laughed at the idea, Ed suggested that the bags could be given away and when customers returned asking for “Kitty Litter” by name then they would be charged for new bags.

The business did not take off as quickly as Ed had hoped. It was a long 17 years before he was able to found Tidy Cat litter box filler, and a lot of time was spent cleaning boxes at cat shows so he could demonstrate his product, but by 1990 Ed’s vision was complete and he was able to sell his company for the equivalent of $384 million in today’s value.

So out of love and luck was born one of the most common items every modern cat uses . Thank you Ed and Kaye!

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