Thank you so much for participating in our flavour contest the last few weeks. This has really inspired us to start researching some unique flavours in the market.
This week we have teamed up with Flavorchem to help us find & sample some great flavours for our cats. We want to first ensure that our own cats are attracted to the flavours.
We expect to receive samples of these flavours in the next couple weeks. This will allow us to possibly have a few rounds of flavour samples before moving on to mass production.
We are so excited about our flavours that we plan to make a trip down to California to visit Flavorchem's warehouse in May.
For the toothpaste, this will definitely take some time and major funds to produce. We are working hard every week to finalize our formula and ensure that it is TOP QUALITY for your cats (and ours!)
We had a comment on Tiktok this week asking:
"Can you share the process you're going through to test these? I hear you on the "safe for your cat" as my vet said only to use brushes meant for cats"
We wanted to address this question in this weeks blog, so it's easier for everyone to understand the process.
Step 1: The first step of this journey was to do a chemical analysis on top pet toothpaste brands. This meant we had to hire chemists to analyze the ingredients & formula. We had them break it down into percentages, explain what each ingredient is for, and if it's good/safe for cats.
Step 2: Well, what exactly is "safe" for cats? Part of this was allowing our research team time to look at peer reviewed articles for each ingredients in regards to cats.
For example: In many pet toothpastes we found Dextrose. Dextrose is essentially sugar! It's used to sweeten pet toothpastes for dogs actually. In cats, they do not have the receptors to taste SWEET... and in fact, it can cause gastrointestinal upset.
By going through each ingredient & finding evidence on cat safety, this allows us to move forward in finalizing a base set of ingredients for the cat toothpaste to ensure it is CAT SPECIFIC.
Step 3: Amounts. Too much of anything could be bad, right? The next step was for us to bring all the percentages together for the ingredients - kind of like a recipe. We want to ensure theres lots of "good stuff" in there for your cats.
Step 4: Flavour. This is where we are at now! We are seeking the best options for flavours. Now, we do have 2 options at this point. Natural flavouring, and synthetic flavouring.
To be honest - Natural flavouring is great for marketing. But... thats the fluff of it in our opinion. From what we can tell, when you have natural flavours, you also need a higher level of preservatives.
Now preservatives aren't a bad thing, and we totally do need some in the toothpaste to keep it fresh. However, if we can reduce the amount of preservatives, to us, that makes for a better product.
The other option is synthetic flavours. Essentially, these are lab-created molecules that mimic the real thing. Think about how diamonds can now be made in a lab instead of mined in the earth. It's still a diamond... but much more pure.
With synthetic flavours it might allow us to reduce the amount of preservatives. We are still in the thick of this phase, but I will keep you all posted as we find out more research on the two options.
Step 5: Sourcing pure materials. This one is obvious in the sense that we want to make sure all the ingredients come from the best source possible.
Step 6: Combining the ingredients in a hygienic factory.
We've heard horror stories of pet foods, treats, and other pet products being made in the worst possible ways with fillers & poor hygienic standards. For us, this is one of the most important steps.
To ensure this - we will be doing pre-factory audits, mid-production audits & testing, as well as post-production inspections before the goods are shipped out.
Step 7: Proof of effectiveness.
At this point, we have gathered all the science and right ingredients to make a wonderful product. However, with any new product, you do need to undergo testing to ensure its effective to its claims "Helps reduce plaque & Tarter".
In order to ensure this proof, we plan to undergo clinical trials with our product via VOHC protocols. VOHC stands for Veterinary Oral Health Council, and they are the golden standard in the USA for Pet dental products.
Once we pass clinical trials with VOCH, we will then be able to display their trusted badge on our products to validate our claims & have public trust & proof.
Now this step, will take us some time. Likely into late 2023 to complete. This is because of the time & data collection it will take. But, we feel it's an important step into ensuring a good product for your cats.
The biggest thing we hope you can take away (if you've read this far) - is that we care.
We care big time, because its our cat's health on the line too. Henry, Jasper & Rylie are the biggest reasons we keep doing this everyday.
We aren't some massive corporation. We are just two gals that see a problem and want to make a big difference in every cat's life.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about our process, you can email us anytime. We welcome suggestions from all corners of the world & from all perspectives. In fact, we think it will make us better as the months go on as we undertake this massive project!!