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Tuesday, Jun 6, 2023

Scoring a Scoop on Kitty Litter

Lugging heavy bags of cat litter that create mini-dust storms when poured was a pain for Josh Wiesenfeld.

He wanted a cleaner cat box. So he founded Boxiecat in West Los Angeles. It’s an online subscription cat litter service that delivers its own brand of clumping clay cat litter.

His initial product was vacuumed to remove dust, but his system now uses a better system to remove even more particles.

“We knew we could make it better,” said Wiesenfeld.

Dr. Lisa Franck, veterinarian at Bel Marin Animal Hospital in Novato, tried Boxiecat at home more than a year ago. She prefers it over other clay litters, which she said are dustier and don’t clump as well.

“A lot of people will choose the really expensive nonclay litters because they don’t like the smell or the dust of the clay,” she said. “But cats prefer clumping clay. This particular product seems to last longer.”

The 16-pound bag ships for free and can last a pet owner one month. It costs $19.95 a bag with discounts for orders of three or more. By contrast, Walmart.com lists a 40-pound bag of scoopable clumping litter for $9.98.

Wiesenfeld’s litter is sourced from multiple vendors in the United States; Boxiecat packages and distributes the product.

Wiesenfeld had worked as a storyboard artist for commercials and animation before starting Boxiecat in 2009. He didn’t launch the service until two years later because it took time to formulate its clay litter. He tested it on his own pet.

“My cat was the quality control specialist,” he said.

Startup costs were about $50,000 and he said the company is profitable. He has one employee.

The litter is available through e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc., which began purchasing it wholesale two years ago.

Now, the focus is to expand Boxiecat’s wholesale business.

“If we want more people to use the product, it’s smart to get it out to other people,” he said.

– Subrina Hudson

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