Well between my normal day job and other things, I’ve done a little digging and it looks like it’s true. Masato Nakamura came up with the concept of a brand new, self-flushing toilet for cats!
Called the “Nekolet”, (from the Japanese word for cat) the cat toilet has been manufactured by one of Japan’s biggest housebuilders, Daiwa House Group. Officially launched on 22 Feb 2021 (“Cat’s day” in Japan), the Nekolet has been designed to solve the problem of cat owners having to put up with the smell and task of clearing out litter trays.
Instead, it features an area where the cat can do its ‘business’ and it will automatically wash/flush and clean the area after the cat leaves. There’s also a shampoo sink area to wash any particularly filthy pets (though I can’t imagine trying to shampoo a cat – mine would never have allowed it). There’s also built-in storage and the ability to add an air purification system, to help get rid of any air contaminants and smells. Sounds fancier than my human toilet!
As mentioned, the concept came from an idea by Masato Nakamura who is clearly a very talented man. Not only did he compose the music for Sonic 1 and Sonic 2, he’s also part of the J-pop band, Dreams Come True, which has sold over 50 million CDs since 1988, and now he’s also an inventor. Impressive stuff.
Interestingly, Nakamura’s idea seems to have come out of the current global pandemic – where more and more people are working from home and therefore spending more time with their pets, leading to the realisation that pets’ ‘business’ can be smelly. Here’s a (translated) overview from Daiwa House Group:
“The effects of the novel coronavirus infection have changed the way we live and work, and within a year, approximately 950,000 cats and dogs have been newly kept (up about 15% from the previous year).
“While the number of people who keep pets has increased, there has been a series of cases where discipline and care do not go as thought, and pet breeding is abandoned. In addition, when we conducted a survey with employees who have pets, there were opinions such as “I am worried about the smell of the pet’s toilet”, “It is difficult to clean the toilet frequently”, and “It is difficult to shower the pet” about the owner’s pet concern.
“The number of people who keep pets is increasing, many people have problems with care, so we have developed the “Nekolet” that includes a flush toilet and a shampoo sink so that residents can live more richly with their pets.”
The Nekolet is priced at nearly $3,500 and Daiwa is targetting annual sales of 100 units of the system, available for 363,000 yen (about $3,460) in new home construction or renovation.
I can’t quite imagine this being released anywhere except in Japan; it’s either genius or plain crazy – what do you all think? The only thing that could make it even better would be if it played the music to Green Hill Zone as the cat used it.
[Source: Daiwa House press release, via NikkeiAsia]