Cove is a simple and beautiful litterbox with an integrated scoop, dustpan. Built by furniture designers, engineers, and cat behaviorists. Kickstarter special is $99 (with a super early bird special of $89 on launch day January 14th).
We’re a small team of furniture designers, engineers, and animal behaviorists and we’re obsessed with cats. Jackson Cunningham is the founder with 10+ years in ecommerce and product development, Steve Suchy is our head of product - with over 10 years experience in high end furniture design. Grace Partridge is our head of brand (ex. Art Director at Article Furniture). Marci Koski is our cat behaviorist.
I knew from the beginning that we needed to launch a beautiful litterbox - but we went through so many iterations - debating between automatic vs simple and ultimately landing on a very simple solution.
If you ask any cat owner they’ll tell you the most annoying part about owning a cat is the litterbox. It’s something that you interact with every day, yet it’s a hassle to clean, and the available options are really bad.
You either get a simple but really ugly plastic bin that looks like it came from the dollar store. Or you get some space-aged robot that's huge, loud, and prone to breaking.
We just wanted a litterbox that was simple, beautiful, and easy to clean. But nothing existed - so we designed one ourselves.
Cove is a beautiful litterbox kit with an integrated scoop and dustpan, built by furniture designers, engineers, and animal behaviorists.
After in depth user research, we discovered the most important feature of a litterbox is that it should be easy to clean. Yet many litterboxes have shapes and materials that don't align with this. Cove's shape is incredibly simple and open - there are no unnecessary bends or hard-to-get-to corners. For the material itself, we considered a variety of options, but ultimately landed on plastic because it’s durable and especially easy to clean.
Most plastic litterboxes are flimsy and have a cheap finish, but Cove uses a double wall and slightly textured outer matte plastic that looks and feels sturdy, and is pleasant to the eye. The inside of the box is smooth, and easy to clean with a single wipe. Contrasting silicon rubber at the base keeps the box firmly planted to the floor and prevents sliding when your cat goes in and out.
One thing we found during our research was that the litterbox tools are as important to user satisfaction as the box itself. Yet, most litterboxes include, as an afterthought, a cheap flimsy scoop that ends up just being tossed on the floor beside the box. Another common user frustration is the litter scatter caused by a cat’s coming and going.
So we thought – why not engineer a litterbox with well-integrated tools that address the realities of maintaining a litterbox? The Cove includes a brush, dustpan, and hand brush that fit perfectly into an accessible top compartment.
The scoop is sturdy, and the molded silicon rubber grip feels great in your hand. The angle of the scoop edge is designed to slide easily through coarse litter without much effort, and the angled slots have been carefully engineered to allow litter to slide through quickly with minimal sifting. The shape of our scoop matches the exact contour of the litterbox, so you can easily slide it along the edges and corners without missing a spot.
The last thing we want to do is create more plastic waste - so every piece of our product is made from recycled ocean plastics and is completely toxin-free so it’s good for our planet and our pets.
We have some amazing people on our team and we all love cats. Our team consists of a cat behaviorist, a branding expert, an industrial designer, a product engineer, and a cat researcher.
We feel we’re the perfect team to launch this product. Over the past 18 months, we’ve developed countless iterations with constant improvements – we’ve explored a ton of options. Now we have the final product ready to go and we believe it’s the most beautiful litterbox in the world.
Give back program
Re-use program - if customers no longer need a litterbox, we facilitate transportation to local shelters who are always in need of litterboxes. We don’t want to create more landfill and we have a great connections to the animal shelter community.
- Integrated scoop, dustpan, and handbrush
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Handbrush helps easily clean up litter debris without need for vacuum.
- Scoop slots engineered for fast, effortless sifting
- Scoop contours match exact contours of tub for full scoop coverage
- Grippy bottom so it doesn’t slide around and feels nice to hold
- 6” walls is recommended by behaviorist as a safe height for all cats to get in (i.e. older cats can still step over the walls)
- Handle on bottom of tub to easily carry/move/clean/rinse litterbox
- Removable insert that holds tools can be easily cleaned without needing to clean entire litterbox
- Matte textured plastic is durable, sturdy, and easy to clean
- Made from recycled plastics which is much better than just making a technically “recyclable” product (ours is both)
- Re-use program - if customers no longer need litterbox, we facilitate transportation to local shelters who are always in need of litterboxes.
There's a really interesting story angle on recycling as well - we're using recycled post-consumer and post-industrial plastics which was a huge challenge and many consumers don't realize that just because a product is "recyclable" does not mean that it's eco-friendly. It's easy to get a product that's technically "recyclable" but sometimes impossible to find a manufacturer who will actually use recycled materials.
We found so many manufacturers who were willing to make this product for us, but using virgin materials. As soon as we’d ask for “recycled” raw materials, many manufacturers were not able to proceed. I don’t think most consumers are aware of this and assume it’s straight forward to produce products that are made from recycled materials.
Happy to elaborate on this as well because it’s really important to us.
David vs Goliath
Generally, we have a belief that some of the bigger box pet stores and pet product manufacturers have gotten a bit complacent over the last few decades. There hasn’t been much innovation and consumers have kind of accepted a lower level of quality for “pet” products. Do a quick search of “litterbox” on Amazon or Google and you’ll get an idea of this. We’re looking to change that by putting the same level of care into “pet” products as we would into “human” products.
Tuft and Paw Background
I (Jackson Cunningham) started tuft + paw in 2016 after rescuing my own cat “peppers” and realizing how difficult it was to find nice cat furniture. Living in a small apartment in an expensive city, I didn’t want to add tacky plush cat trees in my space.
We started reselling other boutique brands out of our warehouse in Michigan and the response and support from cat owners was inspiring. Soon after, we started developing and manufacturing our own designs.
Jackson is happy to answer any other questions via firstname.lastname@example.org