It’s hard to believe but up until 1954, kitty litter didn’t exist. Then Ed Lowe, who worked at his father’s delivery business in southern Michigan, came up with a brilliant idea: take fuller’s earth (a type of clay) and sell it to local farmers for chickens to nest. He called it Chicken Litter.

It was 1947 and farmers weren’t interested. So when a woman wanted sand for her cat’s box, Ed sold her Chicken Litter instead. Surprisingly, the clay absorbed the ammonia order of cat urine better thanks and, so the woman came back for more and told her friends. Pretty soon, more cat lovers were buying Chicken Litter from Ed Lowe so he renamed it Kitty Litter, created Tidy Cat, and the rest is history.

The next time your cat goes inside a litter box, you can thank Ed Lowe for his invention. As Ed said, “We aim to stay No. 1 in a No. 2 business.”

To read more about the invention of kitty litter, click here.