Friday, March 20, 2009

Knotty Kat-spiration

To date (and in the foreseeable future), all of the cat toys I make for the shop are my original design. I've made several sales now and gotten great feedback from all of my customers. The Squiggles in particular have been a big hit with the four-legged clients, although I've gotten the most comments from the two-leggers on the Katpons. Currently I've got two ideas simmering on the back burner (I'm seeing ... feathers ... and cotton swabs ...) and one under development (working on adding my own special twist to the classic toy mouse).

Several people have asked where I come up with my ideas for the cat toys. Really, I only have four main sources: Laz, Deej, serindipity, and my biology background.

Laz and Deej inspired both Ringy Thingys and Katpons with their lust for feminine health and beauty products. Since I started actively looking for ideas for new toys, I've noticed myself analyzing their habits even more closely. It stands to reason they would be the possible source of ideas on what a cat finds entertaining.

Serindipity stepped in and handed me the Squiggle, which so far is my best seller - I've even had a customer come back for a second because her cats were fighting over the one she'd bought! I came up with the Squiggle when developing Ringy Thingys. I was trying out various sizes when I noticed how a largish one was starting to curl and viola! The idea was born!

When actively trying to come up with ideas, I tend to fall back on my training as a biologist. What do cats do in the wild? What types of things do they like to hunt? Play with? I'm using this approach with my mouse design I'm working on. I want the finished product to mimic all of the characteristics that say real live mouse to a cat. Unfortunately, all of my prototypes thus far have been soundly snubbed by the Test Team, so I keep going back to the drawing board. Fortunately, adversity only makes us stronger (or in this case, builds a better mouse)!

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