Taxidermist Turns Dead Cat into a Handbag, Sparks Controversy

A one-one-of-a-kind handbag fashioned out of the pelt of a dead cat and featuring the feline’s intact head as part of the decor has sparked quite the debate online after its listing on an online auction site wen viral.

Created by Clare Hobbs, a professional taxidermist from Christchurch, New Zealand, the bizarre accessory is currently for sale at a starting price of $1,400. Described as an expression of Hobbs’ “artistic passions and desire to engineer the surreal, particularly using feral and domestic felines,” the cat bag is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Although the product description mentions that no animals were hurt or killed for the creation of the unique piece, and Hobbs herself added that it was made from a feral cat that had been “hit by a car on backwash country road,” it still managed to attract some negative comments.

Photo: Clare Hobbs.TradeMe

“This isn’t really taxidermy,” one person wrote on TradeMe. “You have turned this creature into something it is not, and a crass object at that. An undignified end for this noble creature. A shame as you are obviously talented, but would you do this to a human that was killed in an accident?” As it turns out, yes. One user asked how much it would cost to turn them into a bag in around 50 years or so, to which Hobbs replied “Free ….u donate with proof of natural death and we will help.”

“That is sick!! I love animals and you are totally disrespecting them!!” one comment reads. “This is disgusting. Not the slightest bit creative or artistic,” another adds.

Photo: Clare Hobbs.TradeMe

Even Hans Kriek, director of New Zealand’s Save Animals From Exploitation organization, said that while using animals that been put down or died of natural causes for taxidermy was legal, the cat bag was in poor taste and disrespectful to animals. “If you were to do these with people it would be absolutely not acceptable … is turning a cat into a handbag any worse than turning an elephant’s foot into an umbrella stand?” he told

But the feedback was definitely not all negative. In fact, most of the comments were either supportive of Hobbs work or just humorous.

Photo: Clare Hobbs.TradeMe

“Great work, art is supposed to initiate discussion and invigorate emotion,” one user wrote. “Oh I love your work it’s beautiful I wish I had enough money to purchase,” another added.

One person even fired shots at hypocrites calling the cat handbag morally wrong while using animal products every day: “Nice job, one less cat eating our native birds. Everyone giving bad feedback should get off there leather couch, throw away there cow skin wallets and purses out of there possum and Marino thermals and out from under their goose down duvet and jackets and look at them selves before judging others!”

Photo: Clare Hobbs.TradeMe

The auction for the controversial cat hand bag ends on Wednesday, so if you’re into this kind of thing and have $1,400 to spare, you’d better act fast.