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Who Invented Kitty Litter

May 17th, 2010 · No Comments · cat litter box

kittylitterEd Lowe was born July 10, 1920 in St. Paul, Minnesota to Lulu and Henry E. Lowe. His family later moved near Cassopolis, Michigan, where Ed spent his youth before serving in the U.S. Navy from 1941 to 1945.After his Navy duty, Ed joined his father’s company in Cassopolis, which sold industrial absorbents, including sawdust and an absorbent clay called Fuller’s Earth. One day in 1947, Ed was approached by a neighbor who was tired of using ashes in her cat’s box and dealing with sooty paw prints.

She asked for some sand, and Ed suggested clay instead. Soon the neighbor would use nothing else, noting that the clay was much more absorbent than sand and didn’t track all over the house. Ed had a hunch that other cat owners would love his new cat box filler, too, so he filled 10 brown bags with clay, wrote the name “Kitty Litter” on them, and called on the local pet store. With sand available for next-to-nothing, the shop owner doubted anyone would pay 65 cents for a five-pound bag of Kitty Litter Brand. “So give it away,” Ed told him. Soon customers were asking for more–and were quite willing to pay for it. The rest, as they say, is history. 

In 1990, prior to the divestiture of its clay mining and consumer product businesses, Edward Lowe Industries, Inc. was the nation’s largest producer of cat box filler with retail sales of more than $210 million annually. His product, once sold in simple brown paper bags, had improved too–thanks to Ed’s innovative approach to business. Kitty Litter Brand, which was 99 percent dust free.

Once we had kitty litter available, people started putting the litter in cat litter boxes all around the house.  Then companies started to develop automatic litter boxes for self  cleaning and then came all the litter box covers for the cats privicy.  Who knew? I always thought it was invented by the Ancient Egyptians to be used in their palaces.

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