It is fair to say that we are a nation of animal lovers; spoiling our pets is what we do best, and in return, they offer us love and companionship that we can’t get anywhere else. If you are the ultimate cat lover, you may well indulge your feline friend with pet costumes, expensive food and plenty of toys to play with. But have you ever thought about designing your home to be cat friendly and a place that they would love to play?
Indoor or Outdoor
Whether you let your cat outside or not is very much a personal decision. Some people believe that cats are so close to wild that keeping them trapped in a house is cruel, and they have to have the ability to roam free. However, other people think that the world is too dangerous with cars and roads and other predators that may hurt or kill them. No matter whether you choose to let your cat prowl outside or prefer to keep it inside, there are things that you can do to ensure they have a pampered life and enjoy their surroundings.
If your cat is a house cat, but you like to offer it some fresh air and outside play, then you could consider a catio. These are large pens that fit over an exterior part of your garden with a cat flap from the house. It means that although the cat can leave the building, it cannot leave the designated safe area. There are many ways to create this, from a purpose-built structure to repurposing something like an aviary. Owners usually fill the space with plenty of things to climb on, places to sunbathe, and a shelter so that they can keep dry on cold, wet days. Most owners who use this type of arrangement do not shut the cat out, so of course, it is always free to return to the house at any time. However, some owners prefer to give the cat some time outside; maybe when they go to work, in which case, there must be a covered area that’s warm and dry to protect them if it rains.
So, what can you do when it comes to interior design to make your house as cat friendly as possible? Cats generally like high places, so many people instal shelves on the wall that cats can climb up and use as a ladder. Commercial categories are available, and these have multi-level platforms and highly holes so the cat can enjoy using them. If you have a property with exposed beams, it could be good fun to ensure that your cat can access these high vaulted ceilings, again perhaps using shelves as a ladder as they will enjoy walking across them. Cats are very nimble and have incredible balance. They also like hidey holes, so some people create cupboards or drawers where they can sneak in and curl up. If you have ever had an item delivered in a cardboard box, you will know how much fun cats find these, so some owners incorporate cardboard boxes into their cat’s daily routine.
If your cat is a house cat, it is excellent for them to see the outside world, so positioning stairs or furniture so that they can jump up and look out of a window are also a good idea. However, if you don’t want them to get out, you need to ensure that you place grates or guards on the window when it is so warm that you will need to open them. Again, there are plenty of ways to do this, including purpose-made or self-made window guards. It is also a good idea to protect your windows if you live in a very high rise flat as although cats are nimble and agile, they could fall or get stuck from such an elevated height.
Cats also like to scratch their claws against surfaces, and if you want to ensure that this isn’t your sofa or wall, it’s a good idea to hide a scratching mat or post. These are typically made of rough materials like rope or similar and provide resistance when your cat scratches their claws against it. Many cat towers that are available to purchase will have built-in portions that have been designed for scratching. You can also get corner plates to stick to a wall if your cat has started scratching there to protect what is underneath.
Overall, cats love to climb and explore, so take advantage of any Heights available in your house. They do also like to hide in small spaces and are generally very active. For this reason, many people prefer to keep them in a living area at night away from the bedrooms as they may choose to use you as their play toy at night. But if you have set your house up to be cat friendly, they will have no problem enjoying the space you leave them in.