How it All Started
My name is Clare and as a Cat Behaviourist I'm always on the look out for ways to enrich the lives of our family felines.
I'd been recommending catnip and valerian toys to my clients for years, as well as buying them for my own cat Billy in the vain hope that he would get some benefit from them. However, he has indicated very clearly that he's not a fan. So, I started to think there must be an alternative to these plants that I could offer to cats for whom catnip and valerian just don't do it. This is when I happened across some interesting research which showed that cats can also respond very well to Tatarian honeysuckle.
Tatarian honeysuckle wood has been sold specifically as a cat toy in Canada and the USA for over 25 years, but it's availability in the UK has been limited to just one or two pet suppliers in the form of toys containing ground honeysuckle wood. However, during my research I found out that cats are particularly responsive to the inner wood from a Tatarian honeysuckle shrub, so I decided to test these claims and run my own trial using slices of the wood. The results were amazing. Not only did all the cats in my trial group respond very positively, but my sample slices have subsequently been drooled on and 'caressed' by every cat that I've introduced them to. Even Billy can't resist it!
So, I decided to try and spread the word about this wonderful and natural source of cat fun.
Honeysuckle Cat Toys is a small business dedicated to providing the tigers in our living rooms with natural enrichment to excite their senses!
Meet the Team at Honeysuckle Cat Toys
The Head Honcho
I'm Billy, and I'm top dog (so to speak) of this outfit, and I can tell you this honeysuckle stuff is a real game changer. It took some blue sky thinking to get it out there but we've really hit the ground running with it.
I run a tight ship and expect my staff to pick up my ideas and run with them so we're all singing from the same hymn sheet.
I can tell you, it's back-breaking work, with little rest and no holidays or retirement at the end of it, but I do it all to bring my fellow felines the best darn honeysuckle cat toys out there!
I'm Clare Hemington, product manager at Honeysuckle Cat Toys and Billy's right hand (hu)man. Luckily for me, Billy's bark is worse than his bite, and he allows me to get on with my job with only the occasional cracking of the whip!
For the last 13 years I have also been working full time in the field of Cat Behaviour and am an accredited Cat Behaviourist with the COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers and the International Companion animal Network.
I run a Behaviour referrals Practice which is entirely devoted to helping cats and their owners and offer veterinary referred cat behaviour consultations in Kent.
If you'd like to find out more about your cat's behaviour visit my blog. If you live in Kent and would like to contact me about a behaviour your cat is displaying please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with an outline of the issue you’re experiencing.
I also write articles about cat behaviour for Your Cat Magazine and am the author of 'The Hairy Tails of a Cat Sitter'.