Travel Cat aims to change the perceptions of having a cat and how cat parents can safely explore the great outdoors with products like backpacks and harnesses, says Emily Miethner, co-founder of the brand.

Emily and her husband brought complementary business skills to the founding of Travel Cat – she with organic marketing while he handled paid marketing.

“We became cat people ourselves on a whim unexpectedly when we rescued a kitten from a family member’s backyard,” she says. “We realized that there are two big things. … People think, you know, cats are easy, they sleep all day. But, to have a healthy cat, they need stimulation, enrichment, and movement…and the other thing we noticed is a lack of cat-focused brands. You know, there are so many brands out there that provide products where they’re meant for dogs first.”

For Travel Cat, it’s not just about the products – education is a big piece of the brand’s formula, Emily says.

“We’re providing the education around doing more with your cat and the community around the joys of being a cat person through our influencer program, through participating in events in person before COVID, and hopefully now that things are settling down post-COVID,” she says. “But we’ve also been hosting virtual events for the past year and a half. So the community, the focus on cats, that’s always been our huge focus.”

When she co-founded Travel Cat, part of Emily’s realization was that cat ownership is growing faster than dog ownership. Yet, pet supply retailers – still likely acting on stereotypes of finicky cats – have been slow to offer quality products for felines.

“We find that with our product, people are becoming more and more serious about their pets and treating them like family,” Emily says. “We have people who might regularly shop at Walmart, but they’re willing to drop the money on quality products for their cat, maybe not themselves, so we have a pretty broad range of customers that our products appeal to.”

Travel Cat’s two most popular products are the “Fat Cat Backpack,” which holds cats up to 25 pounds, and its “True Adventurer” harness and leash set.

In Part 1, Emily talks about:
* Gratitude toward a colleague she met in a networking group who helped Emily before her first pet trade show.
* How she and her husband – the other co-founder – married their strengths to make the brand work.
* The unlikely impetus that led them into the cat care market.
* Why the company focuses on community as well as products.
* The surge in cat ownership and the struggle to get retailers to offer more cat-related products.

Join Ramon Vela and Emily Miethner as they break down the inside story on The Story of a Brand.

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This episode is brought to you by Mercury.

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