My girlfriend and I started selling cat furniture on Etsy in late 2013. We started off very small, building everything from our third story apartment. Our business, Catastrophic Creations, focuses on creating unconventional cat furniture. We noticed that a lot of cat furniture looks very similar, so our business model has been to launch products we haven't seen before in the industry. We’ve had a lot of success with coming out with products that went over better than expected and other ideas that were major flops. These are those flops.

Some of these ideas were built very early on. Most of them were made before we moved into a commercial space. I point that because some of these look like a small child built them, but it was us.

Although we still really like some of these ideas, they each have problems, with producing, shipping, or functionality.

More info: catastrophicreations.com

#1 Tetris Cat Steps

Tetris Cat Steps

This was another very early project. We made these cabinets and then realized during the process that we didn’t know how to make very good cabinets. If you opened some of the doors they would only open partially, hitting the doors next to them. They had magnets to hold the doors shut, but when the cats would run up the steps, the doors would sometimes swing open, which looked pretty... Read More

This was another very early project. We made these cabinets and then realized during the process that we didn’t know how to make very good cabinets. If you opened some of the doors they would only open partially, hitting the doors next to them. They had magnets to hold the doors shut, but when the cats would run up the steps, the doors would sometimes swing open, which looked pretty dangerous. We also built these out of solid pine, which nobody makes cabinets out of because it warps. I wish we had used finished plywood for these. They were also very expensive to ship. They really made no sense to sell online.

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#2 The Cat Trap

The Cat Trap

We loved the way this piece looked, but only when we were standing right in front of it. From the side, it looked pretty bad. We covered it with a thick canvas, and then layers of burlap over that. Since we were using hot glue, covering it with burlap was a bit of a messy process, which really came out in the piece's final appearance.

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#3 Untitled Cat Tree

Untitled Cat Tree

This was our attempt to come up with a cat tree that would come in three different sizes. It was made of solid wood, steel, and sisal. We designed it so that customers could start with a tree that was one or two levels and build onto over time to create a larger cat tree. We really wanted it to have an open side, but we ran into stability issues.... Read More

This was our attempt to come up with a cat tree that would come in three different sizes. It was made of solid wood, steel, and sisal. We designed it so that customers could start with a tree that was one or two levels and build onto over time to create a larger cat tree. We really wanted it to have an open side, but we ran into stability issues. We added additional posts, and then cross supports, but never ended up with a rock solid design. We didn’t want to launch a wobbly cat tree, so this piece never made it on the site.

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#4 Broken Cat Shelf

Broken Cat Shelf

This was a set of shelves with cartoon-looking break marks on each to create the look that it snapped in half. The item worked out well because with one half mounted at an angle our cats could run up it like a ramp to get to the other. We discontinued it because it was really hard to cut and sand down the break marks, and even worse trying to cover... Read More

This was a set of shelves with cartoon-looking break marks on each to create the look that it snapped in half. The item worked out well because with one half mounted at an angle our cats could run up it like a ramp to get to the other. We discontinued it because it was really hard to cut and sand down the break marks, and even worse trying to cover them in fabric.

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#5 Mario Cat Complex

Mario Cat Complex

This was the second piece of furniture we ever built and ended up being one of our most popular pieces. Who wouldn’t want functioning Mario portals in their living room? These were very time-consuming to make. The worst part was the portals, not only covering them in fabric, but then wrapping the inside with sisal.

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#6 Mario 2.0

Mario 2.0

We did a limited run last year and added cannonball and cannon vinyls to create additional perches.

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#7 Chain Chomp Cat Bed

Chain Chomp Cat Bed

This was one of the most viral pieces of furniture in the shop. It’s one of our favorite pieces we’ve made, but had some troubles with building it inside a wood shop. It took a very long time to make because we had to come in on the weekends to do the work. For that reason, we only ever made and sold one of these.

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Friedlander Rosenzweig 1 year ago

That’s a shame, it’s very cool!

#8 Sisal Tornado Cat Tree

Sisal Tornado Cat Tree

This is another candidate for our worst idea ever. We made this piece right after moving into our first commercial space. We started making our escape hatches and having lots of extra wooden circle cut-outs, so this was an idea for how to use them. We envisioned our cats running up the tornado and then napping at the top. Once the piece was all finished, we weight tested it with... Read More

This is another candidate for our worst idea ever. We made this piece right after moving into our first commercial space. We started making our escape hatches and having lots of extra wooden circle cut-outs, so this was an idea for how to use them. We envisioned our cats running up the tornado and then napping at the top. Once the piece was all finished, we weight tested it with almost no weight at all and it snapped right in half.

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#9 The "Whoever You Hate" Cat Toy

The "Whoever You Hate" Cat Toy

This was our first cat toy in the shop. I really liked the idea, which was to glue a picture of someone you hated to the doll and let your cat run wild terrorizing it. We decided to buy plain dolls off of eBay and then sew clothes and a plastic mask on the front of the head. The issue was that making these dolls one at a time from... Read More

This was our first cat toy in the shop. I really liked the idea, which was to glue a picture of someone you hated to the doll and let your cat run wild terrorizing it. We decided to buy plain dolls off of eBay and then sew clothes and a plastic mask on the front of the head. The issue was that making these dolls one at a time from home ended up being like $3 an hour for us.

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#10 Rubik's Cube Cat Bed

Rubik's Cube Cat Bed

This was a really fun piece to build. It’s a coffee table that has a hole cut out for a cat bed inside. The top level spins and has a drawer that pulls out. We made the shape of this piece out of plywood and then covered the squares copper and exotic wood veneer. This was another really expensive item to ship, and it would have been difficult to mass... Read More

This was a really fun piece to build. It’s a coffee table that has a hole cut out for a cat bed inside. The top level spins and has a drawer that pulls out. We made the shape of this piece out of plywood and then covered the squares copper and exotic wood veneer. This was another really expensive item to ship, and it would have been difficult to mass produce.

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