Raise your hand if you’ve encountered a cat that was surrendered because their owner was no longer able to physically care for it. Heartbreaking, right? Loving cat-parents regularly find themselves unable to perform basic functions like cleaning the litter box due to aging, compromised mobility, and pain, often leading to heartbreaking decisions. With Baby Boomers finding themselves in increasing need of care and assistance, we can expect to see more related surrenders; having tools like this scoop in our arsenal will help keep families together.
Pro tip: use this interactive map to see senior demographics for your area. Should you be preparing resources to help aging people keep their pets?
What/who inspired the concept for the scoop? Is there a story behind them)?
We try and do everything we do to solve problems (some or all) we cat owners have! The problems that can lead to someone seeing that caring for their cat is more of a burden then a joy! For me, it started with the fact that I have a lot of litter boxes to scoop! My mom (who is now 93) was 89 then. And when I travel she was in charge of scooping the litter boxes. It wasn’t easy for her. So I talked to our designer about creating a scoop that would be long enough so that you wouldn’t have to bend down, like in my mom’s case. A friend of mine who has cats had also just had back surgery so when I was telling her about our concept, she said she would ‘kill’ for it!! How fast could I get her one to use?? We then talked to a few more cat owners, my ‘guru vet’, Dr. Sara Ford, who I talk to about most every product idea we have, and last we talked to a few of our retail partners who requested that the scoop be able to telescope – and be able to ship in smaller, then adjust to the height the customer needs. We got great feedback – and we certainly knew we were going to make the extending scoop.
What inspired the design choices, like a metal head (while others use plastic) and adjustable locking (rather than fixed length) handle?
Well the truth is the first one we made had a plastic bucket. The extending rod was aluminum but the bucket was thick plastic. We thought it was pretty sturdy and were a bit concerned about not making it too heavy so that seniors, or people with injuries or disabilities would have a difficult time lifting it. But we found that the plastic didn’t hold up well enough – we had too many incidents of breakage. So we re-tooled and moved to a metal bucket. We’ve improved that over time too, adding reinforcement where the bucket joins with the rod. We like to hear from our customers when they have an issue with our products – it is the only way we know to improve and/or fix them.
What do you wish people knew about these that might not be obvious?
That they telescope. That you can adjust them to any height up to the maximum – it isn’t just short or long. And that we made them because we just want to help people who may not have such an easy time scooping their litter boxes. If we could figure out a robot to clean them we would make and sell that!!! Most of all,,, we’re a small company that cares a lot about cats and helping to eliminate the barriers and burdens to just simply enjoying and loving your cats! Oh Yeah, did I talk about the cats enough????
Do you have any customer stories that make you say “hell yeah”?
There’s the retired military guy that bought 4 of these scoops he was so hooked on using them. He/his perseverance helped us make a better scoop. His broke and so he bought it again. And again. Then he told us what had happened… ok everyone uses a different level of pressure and has a different kind of or number of boxes to scoop. But by getting in touch with and giving us feedback we were able to improve the scoop.. no more breakage!! I like it when products do what they say they will do and when companies care. So I try to make sure that Cats Rule lives by this mantra too.
*While I did receive my scoop in a swag bag, I was not explicitly provided with it in exchange for a review.