The Catsifier came about when Bennington, VT resident and graphic designer, Cheryl Edwards would sit down at the end of a long day, kick off her shoes and grab a throw from the couch to cover up with. “My cat Mayci would jump up onto my lap for her nightly “kneading and suckling fest”. The blanket would end up smelling of cat food and have crusty patches. This needed to stop”, Cheryl stated.
She set out to learn why her cat behaved this way, and if someone might have a solution for her. After some extensive research she discovered that cats everywhere were sucking on blankets, earlobes, clothing, etc., the only solution offered was to try to discourage the behavior - clapping, yelling “No” etc., which just wasn’t working for most cat owners.
There had to be a better solution. As Cheryl watched Mayci one evening, she noted that the cat seemed to be searching for a nipple on her blanket as she had seen kittens do in the past on their mothers. She realized that felines may need to suckle on things just as a human baby will suck on a pacifier or his own thumb. It gives them a feeling of security and comfort.
Rather than discourage the behavior (which was the only available option offered), Cheryl decided to redirect the behavior to an object that the cat could call his own.
The Catsifier is basically a pillow with a faux fur cat sewn to one side. The “cat” has nipples securely attached to it. Kittens may suckle on the nipples or knead and suck on the fur. They are made of high quality fabrics in different patterns and may be flipped over to reveal a “normal” looking pillow.
Depending on the age of the cat, some cats may need to be “trained” to use the Catsifier, just as puppies need to be trained what not to chew on. It is a simple process of placing the cat on the pillow when he/she starts to suckle something else. The cats learn quickly that it is their “special place” and will soon go to it for comfort and to satisfy the suckling urge.
Cheryl partnered with Arnold Kamhi of Jericho, NY to form Woodford Productions, Inc. In their first week on the web, they have seen sales reach five times more than what they were expecting. They have been approached by veterinarians and cat rescue groups also as there is such a problem with the suckling. Some kittens will even suckle on other kittens and cause injury.
Woodford Productions, Inc. hopes to relieve some of the issues that affect the owners of suckling cats. They are hoping to benefit cat rescue groups and humane associations. Keep an eye out for more Woodford Productions products to come out in 2007. They have more great ideas for cats, as well as dogs. All as unique and overdue as the Catsifier.