The ends are made of a very thin, round, strong catgut strap with hand sewn white kid tabs that attach to the trouser buttons. Â The cat gut starts out almost white and over time takes on a lovely cream patina. Â I have yet to hear a clear answer why they are no longer being made.
I would venture to say that it has something to do with cats being more of a domesticated animal in the Western/Eastern/whole world than, say, fox, chinchilla, raccoon, and the like. The cat's probably didn't like it, and neither did the cat lovers. Dan