Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Catification - Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!) is a must read for all cat guardians. Jackson Galaxy of Animal Planet's My Cat from Hell fame and Kate Benjamin, founder of Hauspanther.com, a cat design website, help you to better understand how felines navigate their indoor world and how multiple kitties can live together more harmoniously. Thinking about your cat in terms of a bush dweller, beach dweller or tree dweller and your home as "the vertical world" affords you a new point of view. For example, will your cats be using a kitty condo as a destination or rest stop or as an on/off ramp to get to a super highway? Climbers and condos placed in dark corners or unused areas of the home often go unused by the cats as well because it's boring. Placing the climber in front of a sunny, south-facing window with an unobstructed view make it highly desirable and encourage "time-sharing." Heated beds such as the one pictured with Roy (above) act as a cocoon but still allow you to be within sight and sound of each other, unlike a "cave."

Using case histories from Mr. Galaxy's practice and actual homes where people and their cats live, this book presents a variety of enriching and fun features to inexpensively build. If you are renting there are options you can take with you and don't require structural changes to a room. If you are fortunate enough to have a window box style bump-out or high ceilings with areas built in that could be used as kitty shelves then modifying these to give your cat easy access and make them comfortable would be an afternoon project. Something as simple as hanging bird feeders outside where your cats can watch can help alleviate tension and boredom while you are at work all day. There are also several catios featured and one that makes perfect senses in an urban environment.

Remember that catification is an evolving process and as you make changes you can gauge what works and what doesn't in your home. Watching your fur-kids have fun on their own special cat stuff and act on their innate cat behaviors at the same time is so much more positive than trying to "correct" a behavior they love but you don't. Catification should be required reading for all feline guardians, as there is something to be learned even if you consider yourself an experienced cat lover!

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