About Our Company
HOW IT ALL BEGAN . . .
In the late 1990s Betsy Lipscomb–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 understandably 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’s not! For Betsy, this was a call to action.
Betsy and her husband, John, began gathering wood fence posts and cut-up trees from their farm in Wisconsin. She wrapped them in sisal rope and mounted them on sturdy wood bases. Her sole purpose for making these posts (as many as 50 a month) was to support pet parents who needed help with their cats’ scratching behaviors. People were amazed to learn that the scratching post solved these problems. For years Betsy fielded thousands of calls from desperate cat owners looking for answers. (Visit www.catsinternational.org, the website Betsy started, to learn about humane solutions for cat behavioral problems.)
By 1999 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, to manufacture a commercial version of her homemade scratching post. The result was our Ultimate Scratching Post. Thus SmartCat® began and the rest is history.
In 2009 our company branched out to become Pioneer Pet Products® to expand 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 Products® brand by helping cat owners tame behaviors in the home without taking away cats’ natural instincts.
In 2014 we launched our flagship litter, SmartCat All-Natural Litter; Our goal was to create a truly all-natural litter that worked. Our SmartCat All Natural Litter is made from 100% grass–it is renewable, biodegradable, 99.9% dust free, fragrance free, and non-GMO. We then expanded our line by offering a healthy alternative clay litter, SmartCat Lightweight Litter. Most recently we launched another option in the all-natural litter category, SmartCat Corn + Wheat Litter.
Our hardgoods product line continues to grow as well. Since 2020 we have introduced the Swan Fountain, Magnolia Fountain, Vortex Fountain, Elevated Vortex Fountain and Drawstring Pick-Up Bags.
We may no longer be a farmhouse operation, yet we represent a mission and dream come true. Our trio of brands is one that pet parents have come to love and trust and we are so excited to see what the future has in store. Our mission has never changed: our focus remains to provide superior products that will improve the quality of life for pets and their guardians. All our products are designed by behavior experts, and each one is thoroughly tested and approved before reaching the market.
Knowing that behavioral problems are the number one reason why people surrender their pets, Betsy started a free animal behavior counseling service known as Cats International. The site is a reliable resource for intelligent and practical solutions that address and prevent difficult behavior and training problems. Visit www.catsinternational.org, to learn about humane solutions for cat behavioral problems.