by Kennedy Robinson ’24
Ideas can be sparked anywhere, and for sophomore Tamarin Graham, it happened to be in an animal shelter. After seeing how kittens struggle without a nursing mother and how tough it can be to bottle-feed multiple kittens at a time, the Surro-Kitty® was born. This invention has led Tamarin Graham to win the College of Charleston Student Entrepreneur of the Year for 2023.
Graham has had a love for animals since she was young. When given the opportunity, she started working at an animal shelter to give back to the animals she loved so much. During her time, Graham learned that kittens needed to be fed every two hours, either from a nursing mother or from a bottle. Graham was heartbroken to see that many kittens would have to be euthanized if a mother or foster family was not available for them.
“This scenario set the course of events into motion that led me to create these nursing devices,” she recalled. One night, two kittens were brought into the shelter while she was working. No one was available to care for these kittens because it was so late at night, so Graham decided to care for them overnight. This is where the idea for Surro-Kitty® sparked.
“While bottle-feeding, it seemed like the kittens did not understand how to eat in this manner,” said Graham, “they were accustomed to nursing naturally.” The Surro-Kitty® is a product that replicates a nursing mother cat, allowing for kittens to have a lifelike feeding process.
The Surro-Kitty® comes in multiple models, holding anywhere from 4–8 bottles at a time. There are also customization elements, including a purring sound and different color fabrics for an even more realistic feel for the kittens.
The majority of Graham’s sales come from animal shelters, vet offices, and foster homes. Since the creation of the Surro-Kitty®, the company has exceeded $50,000 in sales with no plans of slowing down.