We're designers. We've worked extensively with vets. And we love cats.
Hi, I'm Dimitra, one of the passionate people behind EthiPet. It's great to have you here.
When we started our design company BigCity Design in 1999, we didn't imagine we'd end up working on environments for cats. We were, and still are, specialists in designing (and project managing to completion) beautiful and functional interiors for people to work in. We tend to be involved in niche projects, with most of our work coming from referrals and repeat business.
For a decade we've been working on veterinary projects. It's been incredibly rewarding to bring our expertise in creating fantastic work spaces to people helping pets and pet owners, because we're pet owners ourselves – and the vet sector is in desperate need of some good design!
With the knowledge gained from our work in the vet field, we were asked to design a new luxury cat hotel including cat accommodation. We didn't just tweak existing 'cages', we approached the brief from proper design principles. We started by understanding the users' needs and motivations and then coming up with solutions. Once we'd done this, we realised we were on to something – there was a real demand for what we were doing – and so EthiPet was born!
Bringing design thinking to cat accommodation meant we had to get to know cats on a whole new level – we knew we had to work out how to minimise stress due to its role in health and behaviour. But we had to go deep on the causes of stress to come up with solutions. On a side note, I think our own cats are rather pleased with what we've learned about environmental enrichment!
Along with user design and ergonomics, we wanted to find the best performing materials that would withstand cat claws, bodily functions and cleaning products, and last long into the future. We were also determined to find materials with great environmental credentials too. Despite being told it wasn't possible – job done! Our marine grade plastic forms beautiful curves, is lovely to touch and uses recycled materials.
With the success of EthiPet Habitat systems for boarding cats, we were inundated with requests by vets to create something similar for hospitalised cats. This has led to EthiPet Hospital, which is the culmination of everything we learned about creating an environment that supports cats and all the work we've done with people who care for cats when they're ill.
Both of these (patented) systems have received ISFM Gold Standard accreditation for being cat friendly.
We were also asked to come up with an 'economy' version of Habitat. Parring things back while not compromising on important features put our problem-solving skills to the test. We're pretty pleased with the result – EthiPet MiaoHaus.
We're not stopping there. We've got loads of ideas that we'd like to explore. If you have ideas too, let's talk. We're really good at making things happen.