Out of This World or Over the Top?

Mon, Nov 2, 2009


Company of Pets

The Moderncat crowd is used to seeing some pretty pricey feline finery, and here we have a new player, The Company of Pets. Their new line of interior design-inspired pieces are both functional and decorative, because the company founders believe that “pets should have decor, not just stuff.” Included in the line are the following items for cats:

  • A classic 19th century silhouette cat scratcher made of cord bound graphite sisal. Can be used on the floor or mounted to the wall. $300
  • A post-war French modernist cat-scratcher, which is a mini modernist chair covered in sisal and manila rope. Available in five variations for $575 each.
  • And finally, the neo-pop canine cat scratcher, a sisal-covered sculpture of a bull-terrier that kitty can dig her claws into for a mere $1200.

They are all quite elegant and inspirational. I especially like the cat silhouette scratcher. Keep in mind that each piece is custom made to order. So what do you think?

Company of Pets

Thanks to both Cheryl and Ruth for the tips.

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40 Responses to “Out of This World or Over the Top?”

  1. 1
    Anna Feruglio Dal Dan

    I think it is an insult to poverty, as my mom would say. I’m unemployed thanks to the recession, and I spend more money on my cats than on me, but this is ridicolous. More, it’s offensive.

  2. 2

    Putting the pricing issue aside (I’d never ever put 300$ in a scratcher) and concentrating in the aesthetics, here’s my two cents.
    - the scratcher is good-looking, but kind of common. Cat scratcher shaped as a cat… you get my point. Still, the silhouette is nicer than most. Nice idea to paint it black, it looks like chalkpaint.
    - The chair I don’t like at all. It’s looking very heavy and would draw far too much attention in a room. The sisal is omnipresent, and I dont’ think it is necessary to put some more on the chair’s feet. Some fabric would help, and a much, much, much lighter design of the chair itself.
    - The canine scratcher I really like. It’s funny, it’s easy to incorporate in almost any type of decor, plus I kinda like the idea of a cat scratching on a dog. I gather from the photos that the sisal scratching is well-done. I especially like the eyes.

    But the prices… even if they are made to order…

  3. 3

    I love the bull terrier! :D The middle photo is hilarious!

  4. 4

    If I had the money, why not? They’re unique!

  5. 5

    I think for that kind of money I can buy a perfectly fine cat scratching item for my decor and still have plenty left over to donate to a cat rescue shelter. Very OTT!

  6. 6

    I just spend $600 on a cat tree, but I don’t think any of these items are worth their price tags. Perhaps I’m biased as none of it is my style. I think the cat furniture market has begun to assume everyone who cares about their pets AND style are exceedingly affluent…or insane.

  7. 7

    I don’t think cats want decor, I think they want shit to tear up. (At least mine do!) And I wouldn’t pay hundreds of dollars for that.

    But I do think one of the purposes and beauty of design is experimentation and creativity, and I love their pieces and ideas. I can see me with exacto knife and a carpet sample this weekend making the kitty silhouette! Too cute!

  8. 8

    LOL! I think it’s nuts, honestly. If people have that much $$ to spend on something that the cat is NOT going to appreciate the value of and IS going to shred, they should consider donating that $$ to feline rescue groups or a spay/neuter clinic instead. Sheesh!

  9. 9

    These are nice concepts but the price tag is insane. But more importantly, after a little “cat love,” aren’t these going to look like huge messes? I know that our scratchers at home start to look very shredded after a while. What’s the point in spending $$$ on nice design when it’s going to end up a big ol’ mess in the end?

  10. 10

    Wow!! Finally something that will go with my cat’s diamond collar and $120.00 pedicure! (NOT!!!!!) Seriously, donate the money you would spend on this nonsense and save a cat today!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. 11
    Marg Elmendorf

    I think they are all great decorations but don’t know if I would let my cats actually scratch on them. And I agree with someone else that said, use the money for all the shelters so we wouldn’t have to put so many cats to sleep. I especially like the kitties that got to test the expensive toys.

  12. 12

    I will probably never have that kind of money to spend, and if I did, I’m sure my cats would much prefer I spend it on a Porsche. Seriously, my babies want me to ride in style. They systematically ignore ALL store bought cat toys, and prefer to play with dryer lint, aluminum foil, and carpet samples nailed to a wooden post. Why would they want to sleep on a fancy, TINY cat bed when they have my queen sized bed?

  13. 13
    Babs (formerly Kush's human)

    Both OTW & OTT! Whenever I see these things I wonder if they’ve made any sales. If I owned a upscale pet-related business I could see getting the wall-mounted scratcher. But the other items?

    Even if I had loads of disposable cash I’m not sure I would do it. And don’t give me that Etsy-hand-made-by-a-craftsperson-shpiel. THe maker’s estimation of how much his/her time is worth far exceeds my estimation.

  14. 14
    Cosmo & Les

    Honestly, these items are a bit dull, considering they are sold first and foremost to suit the human client. Cats do like to scratch on sisal, but they can’t distinguish between $15 sisal and $1500 sisal. If I were to purchase a “luxury” cat item, I’d expect it to be a little more luxurious, especially for the price.

  15. 15

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the cats having nice things, but the cost of these just seems way too excessive. Especially with the economy the way it is and people having to surrender animals to shelters because they can’t afford to care for them anymore. Imagine what this kind of money would do for them!

  16. 16

    I believe the title of this article, Out of This World or Over the Top?, is the exactly right…either decision equals ridiculous. Yes, some of the items, really just one…the bull terrier, are cute; however, the prices of these items are outrageous! I am an extreme lover of cats (and a veterinarian), but I don’t think a toy should cost this much money, especially when you never known if your cat will play with it or not. I also agree with the few in that the money would be better serviced as a charitable donation.

  17. 17

    Five-years ago, I spent $550 on a floor-to-ceiling custom-designed cat tree, which matches our decor and has individually replaceable parts, so I can replace the worn out sisal posts and tired hammocks as the need arises. It seemed exorbitant, but turned out to be well worth the price.

    Incidentally, I have a $1400 sofa which has now been relegated to the basement for the exclusive use of the dogs after a few too many kitty claws found its upholstery. Even the year or two of use we got out of it doesn’t make me feel the money spent was worth it, just so my cats can sharpen their claws. I doubt the loss of $1200 would feel much better.

  18. 18

    I think the chair looks clunky and a bit too rustic for my tastes, though I am sure there’s a living room out there somewhere that this would complement. I got a kick out of the bull, for sure. I can just imagine my cats playing lion v. wildebeest with that thing. The cat-shaped scratcher is cute, but not the cat’s meow. Ha.

    Aesthetics aside, this company is charging a LOT. I mean… seriously. I wonder how their sales are… or will be.

  19. 19

    I agree with Cathrine above. Not everything you have for your cat has to be chic and cutting edge, especially if it is ultimately get destroyed by claws. I’d say if you want to spend that much money, buy a WAY more affordable scratcher and donate the difference to a good kitty charity. =^..^=

  20. 20

    Oh, and that Scottish Fold in the pics is ADORABLE!!

  21. 21

    @Mandy “…I think the cat furniture market has begun to assume everyone who cares about their pets AND style are exceedingly affluent…or insane.” LOL, I agree.

    When I first saw these I thought how fabulous and when I called for prices, I was in disbelief. Good luck to them but that’s just insane! I get that they’re handmade to order but, there are just way too many buts and it just made me google sisal remnants (http://www.naturalarearugs.com/sisal-remnants.php). Now I can design my own pieces :p.


  22. 22

    Crazy Expensive! I love the silhouette cat scratcher but would never pay that kind of money for it… hmmm.. perhaps these are good DIY projects!

  23. 23
    Daniela Caride

    They don’t strike me as beautiful, so I wouldn’t buy them, no matter the price. BTW, talking about price, that’s so part of capitalism. If someone has the money and buys them, there’s a market. No right or wrong, I guess.

  24. 24
    10 cat Mom

    I do like the sisal dog, but I cannot imagine paying that much for a cat scratcher. I am not sure I would consider it even if we won a huge Power Ball lottery. Sisal is good for cats to scratch though.

  25. 25

    I’m unemployed, too; and I spend more on my feline family members than on myself, too; but I’m not offended by these. Any designer who makes a dog-shaped scratcher that cats can get on and scratch the living bejeeberz out of has my heart. ;)

  26. 26

    I saw this in NYTimes, home section. Honestly, some companies try to make $$$ on animals just because people like them. The price is ridiculous. I have bought all new designs for my kitty, but this? It has no such a value. The kitty is going to destroy it anyway.
    Good idea, just get somewhere an iron kitty (if you are looking properly, you will find one – maybe on Ebay?) or a wooden kitty…whatever….and wrap the sisal rope around, fill with some carbon pieces in case of an iron kitty. You might finish with the same design if you are detail oriented. Wow!!! I have to thank myself for this idea. I might just do it for my bengal!

  27. 27
    lyd K.

    I does seem that if you have money to throw around, there are better uses for it, and I agree with “mollysusie” about cats wanting to destroy their things. They are pretty cool looking though and I love that scottish fold! it’s soooo cute with those fat little legs!

  28. 28

    As an interior designer who is also chief of staff to two cats, I think there are far better looking “decor” pieces for cats out there, and at much more realistic prices. The choice of materials is dull. They could have incorporated recycled carpet for texture and color variation.
    If you happen to be new to moderncat and want to see what I’m talking about re better looking pieces, check their archives.

    Time will tell if there are enough people with more money than sense to keep this venture afloat.

  29. 29

    I get the esthetic comments. Not every piece of art will appeal to everyone.
    But anyone insulted or outraged about the pricing should try smoking some catnip! I don’t believe the creators were trying to convince anyone to cut their contributions to cat shelters short in order to get one of these (in my view) objet’s d’art.
    The pricing reflects the amount of work that has to go into the creation and fabrication of an item like this and is not outrageous in that sense.

  30. 30

    these products are obviously for a very niche market. when you consider how many wealthy cat owners declaw their cats because they want to protect their furniture and don’t like what’s available to them to put in their living rooms – i think these art/funtional scratchers fill an important void. i love them!!!!

  31. 31

    I think its a GREAT solution! Why should we pet peeps have to alter the look of our homes bc we want to give our pets the things they need, ie: a scratcher. I think this is genius!

  32. 32

    i agree with marc. if you don’t want to pay that much for a cat scratcher, fine. feel free to pat yourself on the back for your superior values. the idea of putting down anyone who would buy them is, despite your professed love of charitable causes, pretty uncharitable.

  33. 33
    slave to cats

    I don’t know if I want to live in a world with the same old tacky and mundane cat scratchers and condos. I like seeing creativity if its not for the cat then for people. The prices are way over my budget but I’m not offended for Christ’s sake. I’m offended at how many cats and dogs are being abandoned at my shelter but not this. How does one unsult poverty anyway? Just either enjoy it or don’t, that simple.

  34. 34

    My experience is that if you buy something really expensive for your cat and you WANT them to scratch on it, they will laugh at you for spending that much money and go claw YOUR beautiful couch to teach you a lesson! And just to rub it in your face a little more, play with the box it came in!

    I really couldn’t tell you if it’s worth the price. It would depend on the price mark-up percentage. It looks really nice, but what does it actually cost to make? You might be able to find something similar at a world market bazzar for a fraction of the price or as other readers have suggested, make it a DYI project (if your crafty).

  35. 35
    C M

    I frequent this site to be inspired. Too often cat products are depressing at best. While the cost of some things featured are right up there, I love seeing new and creative designs – no matter the cost. There are often ideas regarding texture, shape and utility that I can incorporate. The bull terrier scrathcher is amazing, hilarious and creative all at once. OTT absolutely, but where would we be if nothing was!

  36. 36

    These products are fun and interesting. I can’t blame so many for being taken aback by the price, considering we are now a Wal-Mart nation.

    Nobody cares to pay an artisan for quality, hand-made products. I applaud a company for charging a fair price for an item that isn’t made by machines or overseas.

    People would rather buy lattes and fast food on a daily basis than save for a conversation piece for their home and pet. Sigh.


  37. 37

    my comment continues:
    i love new things too, creative and interesting, but the cat scratcher is nothing new, nothing interesting…and that stool? i do not even see properly how does it function, what is special about it?
    the bull-terrier is really cute and new idea though and I believe cats would scratch on it, at least mine. I am not offended by the price, but I wouldn’t buy it. It is not worth the money. And I am also the one looking for some artistic, modern pieces and still this one is not worth it.

  38. 38

    I love my 4 cats- they have 5 cat trees, a tunnel, 3 beds, 2 strollers, and over a hundred toys- prices ranging from $ 1- 59.00. I play with them every day. Brush them too, feed them BG and freeze dried Stella and Chewys.
    But I don’t have a chair for myself that costs $1200. I do love the dog design and think my cats would too, but I can’t afford it. If I had extra money, I’d donate to a cat shelter.

  39. 39
    E. A.

    i think it’s possible to make it yourself..buy alot of ropes … and the chair looks like a children chair .. fr ikea? lol..

  40. 40

    I agree with both OTW and OTT… the dog, as many have said, is cute, but I do not have the money for that sort of thing. Also, only one out of three of my kitties likes sisal anyway… but I’m all for creative takes on things. You know the people who have McMansions and four cars and ten TVs and whatever rich people buy would totally go for this stuff, despite the price, and it’s not any worse than them spending on their own toys! In fact, it’s probably better, because at least it means they’re spending on someone other than themselves and supporting artisans at the same time. Also, if it keeps said rich people from declawing their cats, I say go for it. Yes, donating to a shelter would be best if you’ve got that kind of money, but a purchase is neither likely to dissuade nor minimize any contributions people are going to make (or not). If they didn’t spend on this, they’d just spend on a new iPad, or what have you.

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