Meet the Maker: Poopy Cat
26 Apr 2015
'Poopy Cat' is a Dutch company that specialises in elaborate cardboard playhouses for cats using some very fancy modular structures and innovative flat pack litter boxes. After winning the hearts of Amsterdam’s feline population, the Poopy Cat team has set their sights on London. The founder, Thomas Vles, is cycling from Amsterdam to London with two special ambassadors, Mushi and Cheesy (the founding cats) in a tailor-made 'Kittymobile.' We caught up with Thomas to find out what inspired the idea and the grand plan behind Poopy Cat’s UK launch.
What’s the story behind Poopy Cat?
Our original Poopy Cat product was born out of a moment of panic and epiphany. After losing my kitten Mushi I had been frantically turning my flat over when I found her inside a bag of cat litter. At that point I realised that the cat saw the litter as its garden, not the tray so why not make the tray disposable?
Tell us a bit more about the litter boxes, what makes them so special?
Our litter boxes allow the cosmopolitan cat owner to save themselves, their cat and the environment some dignity. The owner wins by having a disposable litter box with a cat friendly design. There are 10 million cats in the UK, each using an average 30k of litter a year, so it’s the perfect low footprint product.
How have you grown your brand - does living in an office full of cats help with creativity?
It certainly does! And creativity has itself been key to the way our brand has grown; whether that be through our videos such as our viral hit for the Poopy cat Dolls or through the development of our new product BLOCKS. Through methods like this we have managed to grow our brand organically and we think engagingly for the cat owners of the world. We believe in reinventing the pet industry by continuing to develop innovative, convenient and fun products that focus on sustainability.
What have been your biggest challenges so far and how have you overcome them?
Our biggest challenge so far has been our UK launch, both organizationally and physically! Converting our bakfiets into a full blown ‘Kittymobile’ proved very interesting, as well as the logistics of the support team for the cats.
You’re cycling from Amsterdam to London with your cat ambassadors, what sparked this idea?
Mushi and Cheesy are Poopy Cat’s ambassadors. Not only are they the face of Poopy Cat, they also inspire our product development team, relieve us from stress in the office and test our products extensively. Mushi and Cheesy had to be there for the launch in London, however first class travel for cats is not yet available. The Kittymobile was the perfect solution, offering a spacious and personalized travel vessel.
Why did you choose Old Street Station as your first pop-up location in London?
Old street station is a great location with high footfall and a growing community of interesting independent businesses. Our innovative marketing strategy sits perfectly with offerings of other pop ups on the parade.
Talk us through the concept of the Poopy Cat store?
Our ‘poop up’ literally brings a flavour of the Poopy cat Brand to Londoners so they can sample the products for themselves.
What do you aim to get from it?
To Cat-apult our brand into the UK and gain experience before we launch a permanent site and stock in UK Retailers.
What’s next for Poopy Cat?
We’ll be hitting a retailer near you soon, so keep an eye out! And after that? Spreading out to further shores across western Europe and the U.S.
Poopy Cat is appearing in London until April 28. Don't miss the chance to meet Mushy and Cheesy in person at Old Street Station, Unit 2.
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