In the late 1990s Betsy Lipscomb, a cat behaviorist, cat lover, and founder of SmartCat®, understood that people surrendered their cats to shelters because they didn’t know how to change undesirable behaviors. Cat owners were unhappy with their cats using furniture and carpets to do what came naturally to them–scratching. Most thought declawing was the only answer, but it is not! For Betsy, this was a call to action. She started Cats International, a free hotline to help people solve their cats’ behavior issues. For years Betsy fielded thousands of calls from desperate cat owners looking for solutions. Visit www.catsinternational.org to learn about humane solutions for cat behavioral problems.
Early on Betsy began gathering wooden fence posts from her farm in Wisconsin. She wrapped them in sisal rope and mounted them on sturdy wood bases. Her sole purpose for making these posts was to send them to pet parents who needed help with their cats’ scratching behaviors. People were amazed to learn that the scratching post solved their problems. These posts became vastly popular and soon Betsy was making as many as 50 a month by hand.
Betsy decided that she wanted to start a company whose singular mission was to enhance our pets’ quality of life by providing for their behavioral needs. She especially wanted to deter pet parents from declawing their cats, as this is a cruel procedure. After considerable persuasion, she finally convinced her husband, John, to manufacture a larger version of her homemade scratching post. The result was our flagship product, The Ultimate Scratching Post. Thus SmartCat® began.
The rest is history. In 2009 our company branched out to become Pioneer Pet Products®. We did so to extend our quality designs and construction into a wider range of products. In 2012 we acquired the brand Sticky Paws®, a tactile tape that deters cats from scratching inappropriate surfaces. Sticky Paws® aligns perfectly with the Pioneer Pet® brand by helping cat owners to tame behaviors in the home without taking away cats’ natural instincts.
We are no longer a farmhouse operation, but a mission and dream come true. Our trio of brands is one that pet parents have come to love and trust. Our mission, however, has never changed–to provide superior products that will improve the quality of life for pets and their guardians. All of our products are designed by behavior experts, as well as thoroughly tested and approved before reaching the market.