Here are two clever inventions concerning cats. One trains cats to use the human toilet and the other protects cats from destroying the Christmas tree.
The feline potty-trainer, CitiKitty (good name), made its inventor, Rebecca Rescate, a millionaire but not mega rich as the total sales to date amount to $8 million (more than 300,000 units). Not bad though.
Rebecca has a natural entrepreneurial bent and she likes to work with consumer goods.
In 2004 she was working in marketing and was recently married. She lived in an small apartment with her hubby and their cat, Samantha. She decided to toilet train Samantha but there was nothing on the market to help with that so she had an entrepreneurial epiphany. She started her potty-trainer business with a weeding gift of $10k-$20k.
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She came up with a litter tray that fitted under the toilet seat. The tray was a series of concentric circles which could gradually be removed allowing the cat when trained to deposit her poo in the toilet’s water. At that point the trainer is removed.
In the first year sale were $115k. In 2018 revenues are $700-800k. That’s an undeniable success.
Obviously the vast majority of cat guardians buy standard litter trays but the market is pet enormous so even with a relatively modest market share the profits are pretty good.
Rebecca was unable to come up with another brilliant cat product but continued to be inventive and entrepreneurial in other fields.
Incidentally there is a counter argument to the use of the feline potty-trainer. It concerns toxoplasmosis. If the cat’s faces contain toxoplasma gondii oocysts they can end up in the sea where they can damage sea life. This is not a big problems as far as I can tell but it is a negative to cats using human toilets.
Parasol Christmas tree
This is a cute and simple idea. It looks successful because cats don’t like to try and climb a tree trunk which is this slender. Job done really. It does not need an explanation so I won’t try.