Transforming homes into feline friendly heavens by providing intricately designed cat furniture.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize and, based on its description, I am eligible to apply:
Yes, I’m eligible
Yes, I’m 18 years old or older
Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend:
Additional Skype interview(s) during the week of March 16-20th 2020
The Purina BetterwithPets Forum in Paris, on 3-4th of June 2020
Initiative's representative name
Razan El Zaatari
Initiative's representative date of birth
Initiative's representative gender
Headquarters location: country
Headquarters location: city
Where are you making a difference?
Website or social media url(s)
Enhance physical activity and wellness
Re-imagining the role of pets in society
What is your current yearly budget for the initiative? If you are an idea stage, what early budget you would need to kick-off and run operations in your first year?
hybrid: a combination of different types of organisations, such as a social enterprise (an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being)
1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.
It all started when I went away for a diving trip for 10 days after I had shortly adopted my second kitten, Ott, which soon became our kitten testing officer for our products. I had also just bought my dream couch and spent a lot of money on it, only to come back after 10 days away to find the couch absolutely destroyed by the cats. I got very angry, but then I did my research and noticed that my cats don't have a safe space to be themselves, felines. I decided I needed to get them scratchers for them to use. I went to buy some only to find that the products in the market are cheaply made and poorly designed. As an architect and designer, I made my own. Soon, I noticed the gap in the market and I decided to quit my job and fill the gap.
2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
A lot of people who are cat-parents face a lot of problems, some of which are:
- aggressive cats
- anxious cats
- cats who scratch couches, carpets, etc..
and they often decide to give them up, without understanding the problem and trying to tackle it.
The problem is often that the cats don't have a safe space for them to be themselves, cats, scratching, exercising, climbing to high places, hunting, having enclosed spaces.
3. Your solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
With Ohmycat scratchers and climbing products, we provide a safe space for cats to be themselves, whether to naturally scratch, climb up to high places, go to their very own enclosed spaces, hunt for their food, all while not ruining human furniture, freeing up floor space, and complimenting the designs of their homes by choosing colors that match the design of their homes. We basically catify your homes, making the homes shared by the cats and their humans.
4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?
Combining my architectural skills, and my experience with cats and cat psychology, to catify people's homes using
OhmyCat's products. Raising the products from the floor and making the entire living space live-able, not only for humans, but also for cats. It started when I was making these products for my cats at home, and then it was a steep learning curve from then on, because every time I come up with a product, I stand corrected and I change the product according to how my cats interact with it, and I keep changing it until they're satisfied. They are my chief testing officers.
5. How does your project harness the pet-human bond to help people develop important social competencies (For example: emotional intelligence, collaboration, empathy, resilience, inclusivity) and overcome serious societal issues (for example: violence, abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment)?
One of the very main goals of OhmyCat, is to promote inclusivity of cats in their homes. The project suggests that as we humans need a couch to rest on, and a bar fix to do some stretching on, so do our cats. As explained previously, OhmyCat also promotes cat psychological and physical wellness. Once a family makes sure the basic needs of a feline are met at their home, and according to experience, the societal issues of most cats ie anxiety, aggression, etc are minimized. A happy cat will no longer scratch humans in the family, they will no longer ruin furniture that they're not supposed to be scratching.
6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?
Our project has already made a difference seeing as we invested as little as $700 at the beginning, and ever since, the business has been self-sustainable. Over 200 local happy customers, and a few international orders. On a social level, we already get a lot of reviews from cat parents with notably improved behaviors of anxious and aggressive cats. Taking our advice, they no longer feel like they need to give their cats up, they just learned how to deal with them better, through our products that promote cat wellness. We measure our progress through numbers of sales, and returning customers.
7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?
Our main strategy is to scale up our project, we have almost catered to a big chunk of the Lebanese community. Lebanon has been a good testing market for our product, and a good learning experience. We do however aim to branch out to neighboring countries, namely Saudi Arabia, Emirates, and Turkey, seeing as the market for cat parents is very high according to our research. We already got a good number of inquiries from potential customers in that region, however we need to raise enough capital to take our products to these countries.
8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?
Our main stakeholders at this point are our human customers, and their beautiful felines. For our humans, we provide intricately designed high-end cat furniture that compliment their homes instead of looking like odd objects at home, they blend pretty well. For the felines our products trim claws, help the cats establish safe territory, encourage challenge, encourage exercise that they lack seeing that they're indoors.
9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?
Ever since day 1, all the money that had been raised through sales go back to OhmyCat research and development fund. All the money raised go back into OhmyCat where we are always trying to invent new products, designing them, producing them, testing them at home with the cats, and constantly improving them until they are good enough to go on the market. We are now trying to raise capital to take the project where it is bound to boom.
10. Team: what is the current composition of your team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?
The current team consists of myself, Founder and designer, and Ahmed, our main carpenter/maker. We have Sultan and Ott, our two main chief testing cat officers. We out-source wood painters. When we have enough capital to expand, we want to outsource a digital marketing specialist.
11. How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the Purina BetterwithPets Prize?
We plan to continue doing what we are doing, but on a bigger scale. We want to keep bridging the gaps between how we live, and how are cats live with us. We plan to catify more homes with OhmyCat, making it our fenlines' home, just as much as it is ours.
12. How did you hear about this challenge?