Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)
Let’s get real. At this point, we’ll try anything. We’ve been through three years of a pandemic, a full-on modern war, killer bees, and we’ve seen Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian’s tongues touching more than we should ever have to. In times like these, we humans should be charging our crystals before we charge our phones.
If we’ve had a tough go of it, just think of our cats. They spend all day curled up on our laps, feeling our stress as we practice a daily routine of live, laugh, disassociate. Cats deserve to work through their trauma, too. Merci Collective’s crystal-infused catnip collection, Happy Together, is on a mission to help your cat heal from this stressful world. In 2023, maybe happy together is a stretch, but significantly chilled-out seems like a good step.
“Anxiety, at its core, is a response to stressful stimuli, whether it be the departure/absence of the primary caregiver, loud noises or a general phobia of newly introduced situations or individuals,” says Dr. Lindsey Wendt, an integrative veterinarian, owner of Crystal Lotus Veterinary Care, The Wildest Collective member, and Merci Collective consultant. “Crystals create a vibrational healing that aids in the elimination of negative energies and establishes grounding that discourages inappropriately excessive stimulation from environmental triggers.”
We caught up with Merci Collective’s founder, Chani Ronez, to chat about how she safely incorporates crystals into her pet products and the “specialization” of different stones.
Your crystal-infused dog products are so popular. What inspired you to launch a collection for cats?
I grew up surrounded by cats — actually very many of them. Sometimes we would have eight cats running around at the same time at home. In Paris, people tend to adopt cats more than dogs because of the smaller living and outdoor spaces. I always loved their presence. Cats are magnificent animals that don’t open up easily, so relations with them are always unique and precious.
As I started Merci Collective, I knew I wanted to launch a cat collection. I have always been intrigued by catnip and what it does to cats, and how an herb is able to, in a few seconds, turn their world upside down for the better. I spent a long time studying catnip, discussing it with veterinarians and pet professionals to understand its full potential and effectiveness (and ended up discovering its amazing properties for dogs, too). I thought, If catnip brings such euphoric effects to cats, why not pair it with a crystal to increase this joyful feeling with those added good energies?
We decided to use dried catnip in our toy, so as the cat plays with it, the oils and fragrances of the catnip will keep getting stimulated and released. That’s how Happy Together was born. As for our standalone rose quartz Crystal Catnip, we decided to utilize ground catnip. It feels more comfortable for them as compared to chewing on the flowers.
What essential healing properties do crystals hold, and how can they benefit our pets?
Our crystal collection was carefully selected to cover most of the common ailments for cats, including aggressive behavior, past abuse and trauma, lack of confidence, excessive meowing and yowling, and separation anxiety.
Every crystal has a different “specialization.” For example, rose quartz is of great help to pets with a rough past, as the stones emanate a feeling of safety, love, and trust, which will help deepen the bond between pets and their owners. On my dog, I use black obsidian the most since it is great for pets with separation anxiety and that is what he suffers from. It helps him cope with his fears and rids the negative energies that usually put him in a deep state of anxiety.
More generally, crystals give an overall feeling of peacefulness and well-being. Pets are instinctively drawn to their energies, just like they are able to spot the negative ones — that could be a person, a feeling you are experiencing, or any inanimate object that carries energies, such as plants. If you have a crystal at home, make sure to charge it and try it for yourself. You will be surprised how your cat reacts and interacts with it. Keep in mind that pets do not “vibe” with all of them; if your crystal’s energy isn’t right, they will walk away.
How do you address the safety concerns that crystals might pose in your designs?
Safety was the biggest concern when we decided to integrate crystals into our products and even more so when it came to the toy. I had discussions and meetings with different veterinarians to get their opinions on whether it was appropriate to put a crystal inside of a toy. Once the matter was evaluated seriously and I was able to get the green light from all the experts I spoke to, we were able to produce these beautiful toys.
We diligently placed the crystals at the center of the stuffing with a pretty soft fabric that absorbs the impact in case your cat starts throwing the toy in the air. Also, cats do not chew on their toys the way dogs do, so it is acceptable for them (giving dogs something else to be jealous of).
How are customers (well, their cats) enjoying the toys?
The praises have actually been pretty overwhelming. We sold this toy across the world and the feedback has been unanimous. I’ve had customers say their cat was never interested in toys and others say that their cat never reacted to catnip until this toy. We often get positive feedback that the toy brings happiness to their cat’s life, so in a way, it lowers their anxiety because they are so busy enjoying playing.
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Avery is a writer and producer. She has written for numerous publications, including Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and V Magazine. When she’s not at her computer, you can find her reading, practicing her Greek on Duolingo, and delving into the Sex and the City discourse. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their cat, Chicken, who rules with an iron fist.