Ecommerce startup eyes cat owners
A startup has built an ecommerce site dedicated to giving cats the royal treatment.
Cat Box Kingdom in Kentwood specializes in selling environmentally friendly cardboard habitats for cats.
The self-funded startup sells two types of cardboard habitats, which are meant to be placed near a floor heating vent to create a dry sauna for the cat.
The company sells several other complementary products: cat beds, scratchers, perches and treats.
Cat Box Kingdom also maintains a cat blog with tips, pictures and comics.
Launched in late November, Cat Box Kingdom was founded by Brenda and Terry Stevens after Terry, an engineer, fashioned a prototype out of a tomato carton to create a warm environment for one of the couple’s cats.
“It started with the idea of wanting a safe and warm environment to help my geriatric and sick cat, Thelma,” Brenda Stevens said. “This evolved into an idea to help more cats, and we soon learned cats of all ages and health love the heated boxes.”
Stevens partnered with Venture Creations in Grand Rapids, a social media, web design and video production firm, to develop both the ecommerce site and the Cat Box Kingdom Facebook page.
“It has been a lot of fun getting this business off the ground,” Stevens said.
The two cardboard habitats are made by Green Bay Packaging in Kalamazoo, which is a certified Sustainable Forestry Initiative company.
Using 100 percent recycled custom-corrugated cardboard, both the Kat Kastle and Kat Kozy models are constructed with double-reinforced walls to hold a 15-to-20-pound cat. The white boxes feature perforated windows and "emit no fumes."
The Kat Kastle model features a moveable rear heat vent. It’s about 12 inches high x 12 inches wide and 36 inches long and costs roughly $25.
The Kat Kozy model features a hinged-top lid. It’s about 12 inches high x 12 inches wide and 18 inches long and costs roughly $15.
The cardboard habitats are shipped through UPS and can arrive assembled or unassembled.
Cat Box Kingdom’s blog features information and tips for cat owners, such as how to keep indoor cats warm in the winter.
The blog also features cat memes, videos, comics and a cat box game.
“They love it,” said Stevens in reference to customer feedback. “Our Facebook page is growing, because we have posted interesting and funny pictures, many of which have been sent to us from our customers. People have shared this is a fabulous way to treat their cat royally, without spending a fortune.”
Cat Box Kingdom supports animal welfare organizations by encouraging charitable giving and promotional programs, such as its Cat Rescue Coupon 10/10 Program and a 20-percent discount for nonprofits.
The coupon program allows customers to a redeem 10-percent-off coupon for any Cat Box Kingdom product, and in return for including the coupon with an adoption packet, the rescue shelter will receive a donation equal to 10 percent of the proceeds.
The company has also partnered with Carol’s Ferals in Grand Rapids. A portion of each sale goes to the nonprofit when customers use the code Catsrule10CF.
“I want to support cat rescues by sharing a portion of the profits,” Stevens said.
Stevens added that the company will be exhibiting with Carol's Ferals at the Pet Expo at the DeltaPlex in March.