The History of the Cat Litter

The History of the Cat Litter

You may have assumed that it was a cat enthusiast who is constantly researching how to find the ideal litter material for his beloved kitty, but actually, it wasn’t. It was the neighbor of Edward Lowe, the founder of cat litter, who was the true cat enthusiast.

Initially, cats used clumps of soil by the doorstep as their cat litter. During the winter of 1947, Kay Draper, Edward Lowe’s neighbor, was preparing to change the litter for her cats. However, due to the frozen ground caused by the cold weather, she couldn’t scoop it. So, she turned to her neighbor Edward, who had taken over his father’s industrial absorbents company, for some advice on what to use for her cats’ restroom needs.

Edward enthusiastically recommended a new product from his factory called Fuller’s Earth, which is a type of clay known for its exceptional adsorbent properties. Kay bought a bag of Fuller’s Earth with a try-it-out attitude. She was then surprised by this clay, which not only effectively absorbed the cat’s urine and reduced odor, but also kept the cat’s paws clean.

Recognizing the business opportunity, Edward repackaged the clay and in 1947, developed the very first commercial cat litter product. He then expanded to pet stores and cat expos. He even gave it a trendy name: “Kitty Litter.” Cat litter has made its way to various parts of the world.

Today, Edward Lowe is considered the founder of cat litter. The natural clay served as the initial component of the litter and was used for a long time.

A promotional pamphlet for Lowe’s Cat Products features not only Kitty Litter, but also a scratching post. Courtesy the Edward Lowe Foundation Archives, Hagley Museum & Archives


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