Do you want to provide your cat with a safe and comfortable place to sleep, eat, play, and curl up? If you have a spare room in your house, you can turn it into a cat-approved sanctuary by following a few simple steps. Cats love to perch, hide, observe, and play, so make sure to keep these needs in mind when designing your cat room.
1. Choose Durable Floors
Pets, paw prints, and piddle: You need hard-surface flooring to keep pet-occupied rooms in tip-top shape.
Choices such as laminate flooring, stone or ceramic tiles, or painted concrete might be easier to keep clean and stain-free than carpet.
Such floors are also cooler in hot weather, an important consideration for pets with thick or long fur.
Are you thinking to create a cat friendly home? Here is 21 steps you can follow.
Tip: Polished planks or tiles can be slippery, especially for older dogs and cats. You may need to add area rugs or rubber mats for safety’s sake.
2. Provide a dining experience free of whisker stress.
Did you know the high sides of your cat’s dish bother his delicate whiskers? It’s true. Whiskers are extremely sensitive. A wide, low-sided dish suits cats best.
3. Offer a room with a view. Cats love to look out windows.
Create a lookout point for your cat with a window perch or an appropriately situated shelf or bookcase. Though be aware that the outdoor presence of neighbourhood cats can disquiet indoor cats.
4. The multi-bathroom home.
When determining how many litter boxes you need, count the number of cats you have and add one; if you have two cats, you’ll want three litter boxes, situated in locations with social significance to your cats.
Unfortunately, your cats would like their litter boxes placed where you spend most of your time. We get that you might not want a litter box in your living room but perhaps you can compromise; if your cats spend a lot of time by certain windows or doors, place the litter boxes in these spots or in the bathroom that you use.
5. No “gas station” bathrooms please.
Cats want a clean and non-stinky place to do their business and who can blame them? Consider improving your cat’s bathroom situation by upgrading to a litter box that fights odour issues.
By optimizing natural air circulation it allows litter to dry properly, discouraging the growth of bacteria and fungus, aka the cause of stinky ammonia and other malodorous gases.
6. Place scratching posts where your cat wants them, rather than where you want them.
There are a number of reasons your cat is choosing the sofa and the doorjamb of your bedroom for scratching. They are important locations to your cat, marking key territory.
Instead of tucking away scratching posts where you’d like them, place them in these spots (or wherever else your cat seems to want to scratch).
And make sure the scratching posts you choose are super sturdy and provide for a variety of scratching positions—horizontal (aka what the arm of your sofa used to provide), vertical, and inclined.
“Scratchability” is also important—it doesn’t help that the couch and door frames are usually made of ideal scratching material, so make sure the alternative on offer is satisfying for your cat to sink her claws into.
Remember, cats aren’t just making their mark when scratching but are also stretching their back muscles and removing the outer nail sheath.
7. Install Cat Friendly Carpet
Why choose (or live with) wall-to-wall carpeting when you have pets? Let’s be honest; dogs and cats spend a lot of time lying around doing, well, nothing.
When the carpeting is wall-to-wall, they get lots of options for naps. Plus, carpeting is safer for pets because it offers a nonslip surface for moving about.
And for your sake, carpet is a good choice because it absorbs sound and eliminates the clicking of claws on a hard surface.
8. One Tile at a Time
Repositionable carpet tiles (such as FLOR) create the look of wall-to-wall carpeting or area rugs, but with fewer maintenance issues. Keep in mind you can easily remove a FLOOR tile for cleaning or replace a section of tiles without having to replace the whole rug. Order or borrow lots of samples to check out which texture, pattern, and color suits Max or Fiona best.
9. Clean your carpet regularly
Extend the life of your carpet by keeping your pet’s claws clipped to avoid pulling up carpet fibers. Vacuum regularly to rid the carpet of hair and other debris. Brush your pets often to keep their hair from reaching the carpet. And keep a bottle of non-toxic pet-specific cleanser on hand to remove stains and odors before they have a chance to set.
10. Add Fashionable Furnishings
Your goal is to choose upholstery fabrics that create less work for you. Think carefully before you buy chairs and sofas covered in velvet or chenille (they’re magnets for pet hair) or delicate fabrics that can be easily ruined by pets.
If you want to use silk, reserve it for window treatments instead of furniture. Surprisingly, tweed can also be a nightmare to clean because pet hair gets caught in its uneven surface.
11. Choose Paw-Safe Fabrics
For easier-to-clean options, choose denim, canvas, or sturdy synthetic options such as Crypton super fabrics (shown). The latter resists the stains, moisture, odor, and germs that go hand-in-hand with owning pets. Microfiber or microsuede fabrics (such as Ultrasuede) look great, wear well, and can usually be cleaned with soap and water. Indoor-outdoor fabrics resist moisture, UV rays, and most stains.
12. Protect Walls with Paint
Cats, like kids, can do any number of things to damage walls. Cats like to rub up against walls as they pass by. Dogs with jowls can spray a wall with drool by shaking their heads. Cats may be tempted to scratch a wall papered in beautifully textured grass cloth. So add pattern, if desired, with all-over stencils; save your favorite wallpaper for rooms that the dog and cat seldom visit.
Instead, paint your walls in beautiful colors and keep paper towels ready to wipe away slime. Semi-gloss-finish paint is a great choice for rooms that see lots of activity and moisture (think kitchen or bath), while satin- or eggshell-finish paint make elegant choices for living areas. If you still covet a matte finish, make sure you choose a washable flat paint.
13. Create Special Spaces
Cats love to perch and climb. If you aren’t crazy about ready-made cat crates or climbing trees, incorporate these features into your room’s design. Find a space for your cat’s bed beneath cabinetry (shown) or under a window seat. Build or custom-order an MDP cat perch painted the same color as your room’s architectural trim.
14. Kitty corner
For small studio apartments, make the most of unused corners by filling them with vertical cat climbing trees (inset). This way, you won’t trip over them and they’ll stay out of the way.
15. Cat Exercise Wheel
Indoor cats don’t get move as much as outdoor cats. Even though we all love a fat, lazy kitty, it’s not healthy for them to lounge around all the time with no exercise. Get your cat on a fitness program—one of these cat wheels should do the trick. Now, if only there was a way to get this thing to power your TV . . .
16. Cat Enclosure
If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard space, and you know how to handle power tools, you can try your hand at building a cat enclosure. Your cats will love spending time outside in the sun, and it will allow them to burn off some of their energy!
17. Indoor Cat-friendly Garden
If you’re an apartment dweller with an inside cat, this is something you have to do. A cat friendly garden is an easy way to make your home more cat-friendly. Plants like catnip and cat grass are simple to grow in small pots, and your cat will enjoy having some greenery around.
18. Hidden Litter Box
You love your cat, but you don’t want your her litter box to be the focal point of your living room. Keep that unpleasant-but-necessary box out of sight by hiding it in a stylish cabinet, like this one.
19. Cat Hammocks
After a long day of sleeping, your cat is going to need to take a nap. A hammock like this can easily be placed under a side table, and it gives your cat a fun place to hang out.
20. Window Perches
Speaking of fun places to hang out, this window perch comes to mind. If you’ve got a cat-sized basket and some spare rope, there’s nothing stopping you from taking on this DIY. It’s a fun way to make you home more cat-friendly.
21. Window Bird Feeder
This cat-friendly home upgrade is for the birds! Your cat will enjoy bird-watching, without actually bird-catching. And, the birds will enjoy filling up on the seeds, and not being caught by your cat.