We are Urban Feline, or UFé (yoo-fee) for short.
An ethical, responsible and charitable organization.
As an eco-focused and environmentally responsible feline company, we will seek to continuously improve our organization while growing our cause. We will strive to offer the most responsibly sourced products without compromising quality or durability. We will maintain our focus on creating feline-centric products, using feline anatomy, physiology and psychology to achieve the epitome of functional feline products.
For over 6 years we've been collaborating with various local shelters to improve the lives of cats while developing our products to withstand the high-stress demands of Shelter Cats. In 2017, we're very happy to share that our designs have been improving the lives of these shelter cats while helping them to find happy homes for over five years.
Made to the highest quality standards, ensuring you and your feline(s) will enjoy your UFernelia for years to come. We stand behind our name with a 1-year Warranty, guaranteeing your products are free of defects or flaws. If you ever have an issue, contact us and we'll either fix it or replace it. Message us for more details regarding our Warranty policy.
In May of 2005, an adorable pair of kittens were just pulling up to their new home. It was their first time leaving the shelter since they arrived just after birth. Their names are Cheeto and Leyla, only 2 lbs each... Cheeto is a short-hair Mackerel tabby (male). Leyla is a short-hair Bicolor black and white female. They were not from the same mother, but they could not have been closer siblings.
A week earlier...
Like most new pet owners, I couldn't believe how quickly and deeply I fell in love with my new companions... it took longer for me to walk into the shelter than it did for me to ID Cheeto and Leyla. It was love at first sight. Cheeto climbed up my shirt and onto my shoulder, while Leyla hugged on tightly to my shirt and meowed at me with the most adorable eyes and pink nose.
I melted... and loved every moment of it. But I couldn't take them home yet, I had to wait a little while longer so they could grow up enough to be spayed and neutered. So a week later I came back to pick them up.
It only took a day or two for me to notice that Cheeto was fearless of loud things. Then I noticed that his ears never moved, while Leyla's were constantly pinpointing noises. Leyla also spent a lot of time licking the inside of Cheeto's ears. That's when it hit me... Cheeto was deaf.
This left me with a tough decision. I'd never considered keeping a cat indoors, but I'd never considered having a deaf cat either. What to do? A car, a dog or even a bicycle could end badly for him, and it would only have to happen once. So I decided to keep him indoors, and if he couldn't go out then neither could Leyla.
I wanted to make up for this, so I visited some pet stores and checked out all the different furniture options. I realized that my options at the store weren't necessarily all that great, so I decided to make my own cool cat stuff... using those same designs but with a twist. It was awesome to watch them climb on their post before it was even completed.
They really enjoyed their cat post, and played on it every single day. It was great, but six months later the cool cat post was shredded. In a way, it was a good thing... they really used it! Yet, in another way, it wasn't so good. They were tearing it to pieces... literally!
It was time for a new one, but I wasn't about to build a new cat post every 6 to 12 months. That would be a waste of materials, not to mention time, money, energy. There had to be a better way. So I went back to the drawing board and designed a new concept. I also started growing my own heirloom catnip around the same time. It took about a month to make the first CatTree and another two months before harvesting the first batch of catnip buds.
Both were a huge hit! My cats LOVED the tree, and went nuts for the catnip! They rarely their tree, unless it was time to go to bed... or time to eat, of course. And the catnip was spectacular. Perhaps most surprising was how much friends and family loved the CatTree! I couldn't believe the amount of positive feedback and compliments.
GOING INTO BUSINESS...
In 2007 I looked into starting a small business based on the design concepts of the first CatTree, the Oak. I did a lot of research, on both the pet care market and its consumer segment, concluding there was a very real demand for better products... and that people, like me, were very willing to pay a premium for something better. There was a silent demand for products that would last, that were environmentally friendly, and which cats would actually use... regularly.
By this time I had already developed a few other small products, some beds and a few toys. I'd also started a new Palm Tree design concept which was turning out great. Then I realized I was already filling a part of that need, or at least for my cats, with these cool furnishings. So, why not share it with everyone?
That's when I decided to launch a brand of fine feline furnishings, designed specifically for cats and the people who love them! I created a concept of what I envisioned, and in September of 2010 I quite my day-job to work full-time on my business concept.
Four days later... let me repeat that - 4 days after quitting my job - I had a pretty bad injury, a self-amputation of the tip of my thumb. Granted, it was just 1/3 of the end-bone in my left thumb, about down to where the base of the nail is, but it was quite the traumatic experience. In short, there was thumb sprayed across my shirt, and over 60 stitches later I had a one noticeably shorter left thumb. It was a very difficult week for me... but Instead of considering defeat, I decided to use the inevitable down-time and teach myself graphic and web design.
By November I had come up with Urban Feline as the business name and designed a nice logo. I incorporated on 01/01/2011 as a California based Small Business, and presented for the first time at the local Cat Show later that month. The feedback was great, everyone was very excited and we had lots of people comment on how amazing our products were.
In March, 2011, I started a sales-run, visiting the very same shelter where I had adopted Cheeto and Leyla first. It was fate. They were nearing completion of their cattery remodel. It was perfect timing, as they were actively looking for furniture for the new cattery. It was my very first sales-run, for nostalgic sake more than anything, but it turned out to an amazing first sale. In April, 2011, we delivered 12 Caribbean Palms, 2 Jr. Palms, 12 Penthouses, 2 Townhouses, and 14 BigPlunges. It was a spectacular start.
Shortly after we connected with another local shelter, furnishing a few of their rooms with a Bonita Willow and a Caribbean Palm. After that, another shelter purchased what would be our very first Heavy Duty top upgrade. This was the first 2nd Generation Caribbean Palm, and also the very first 90° Top Variant, fitting purrfectly into the back corner of their front cattery. Shortly after that, they called me back and asked about our Wall Condo prototypes.
By the end of our 2nd year we had furnishings in 3 local shelters, totaling over 45 furniture units and nearly 250 Plunges and PurrPillows. Things were off to a spectacular start, and the business was starting to grow.
By 2013 we had registered our brand and slogan, and by the end of 2014 our patent for the Caribbean Palm CatTree had been approved and filed by the USPTO. In early 2016 we launched a Kickstarter campaign, which despite not meeting the goal was an excellent growth process, and by the end of 2016 we had produced our very first catalog, which came out amazing.
Now, in 2017, we're very proud to announce that we're officially open for Retail.
Come April, our very first order of Caribbean Palms and Penthouses are still going strong... after 6 long years of daily use. Since December 2016 we've sold over 50 Wall Condos and 6 Caribbean Palms, improving the lives of cats from California all the way down to Florida and up to New York! We're excited to be releasing our most recent production batch, and look forward to all of the wonderful pictures from happy felines everywhere!