You probably never thought about kitty litter as a world-changing invention, but it made #73 on a list of The 85 Most Disruptive Ideas in Our History. Before 1954, some people would use a sandbox for their cat to do their business in during cold weather. But then Ed Lowe introduced kitty litter, and it changed everything. Everything?
The introduction of Kitty Litter meant that after millennia of scratching at the door cats could come indoors and stay there. They had long been visitors in American homes; now they were residents. In some ways it has been a hostile takeover: There are millions more cats than dogs in the U.S. This also means that Lowe is the indirect father of countless Internet cat memes. Anyone who sells recreational laser pointers, fuzzy mice, scratching posts, cat furniture, or electric-fountain cat water dishes should thank him, too.