People have asked me why we use plastic for the MeowSpace®, and why it is clear. These are good questions, with some very specific answers. In a nutshell: Function, Form and Fashion.
Simply, plastic MeowSpace® is very cool looking, light-weight, easy to clean, and presents no odors. Being clear ended up having benefits we never would have imagined.
Let me start by saying that the MeowSpace® began as a rather heavy wooden enclosure.
It worked fine for a cat eating box, but there were some major problems. The wood absorbed odors, and no matter how much we cleaned it, the smells piled on. It wasn’t nice looking either. Whether in the kitchen, tv room, or living room, the bathroom or laundry, as a plain old cat box, it still looked pretty rough.
As we used it, we discovered little things that led to its evolution of style and function. One was that Flopsie, our fat cat (or I should say, formerly fat cat), found that if she stood by the door and waited for Mitchell to exit, the flap would open, and she could stick her head under it and hold it up until Mitchell had completely exited. Then she would slip right in and eat up his food. We realized we needed some kind of tunnel or barrier system to keep her away from the flap.
Eventually, we began using a simple style of “Bully Barrier™” around the door, but it was still wooden. Eventually, one of our friends, whose diabetic cat needed to be kept away from the other cat’s food, began using the wooden prototype. They were so excited with the results (her diabetic cat’s diabetes went into remission after two months utilizing the MeowSpace®) that they wanted to find a way to help us market it. They were trying to find a way to photograph their non-diabetic cat entering and exiting, but the wood made it difficult to show the angles they wanted to show. They suggested using plastic. We had already thought of that, but we had also been trying to design the MeowSpace® to be collapsable, easy to send through the mail.
Long story short, we began using clear acrylic, polycarbonate & PETG plastic. Our beta testers went nuts over it. They could place it anywhere, and they found that it was easier to train their kitties to use it because they could entice them with goodies that the cats could actually see. Plus, we learned that other pets were not as curious or aggressive about trying to get inside, most likely because there was no mystery to solve.
As far as collapse-ability goes, by designing it to be easily pieced together without tools (6 panels take users an average of 5 minutes to put together), the plastic solved two problems: Easy, safe transit, and the ability of MeowSpace® owners to take it apart for easy in-depth cleaning.
Plastic MeowSpace® = Function, Form and Fashion.