The Catification Lady: Think Like a Cat, The Sequel
One crazy cat lady explores the depths
of Cat Behavior, Catification, and Environment Enrichment
Let's face it, if you were just designing for your cat you wouldn't need special “cat shelves”. The truth is that great Kitty Superhighway design combines the functionality, comfort and height cat's crave ALONG WITH what's appealing to the human eye and what works with your décor.
From a cat's eye view, shelves offer more territory. A 8'x12' room filled with furniture, people, kids, dogs, and other cats, suddenly has an entirely different point of view for your feline when vertical space is added. But if you just put up a shelf without any planning, you can end up with an unused shelf, or one that's hard for the cat to get to.
Consider the room you want to catify. Windows are prime kitty TV, and you'll probably want to start your Superhighway there. A simple shelf, with an easy path to get there, and a window, can add dramatically to your cat's mental health.
However, windows aren't the only place to put up a shelf, although Christina's cat, Tito Gray might disagree. Assuming your cats are social, consider where people congregate. Where do you read a book or watch TV or work on your computer? If you're cats are like mine, they often lurk about keeping an eye on me when they're not napping. Consider a shelf near one of your common landing spots.
And if you do have an empty spot that would be perfect for a cat playground, think about adding a fish tank or bird cage or terrarium with butterflies. Talk about kitty TV. Of course, make sure the other animals are safe and out of reach, but yes, your little kitty will enjoy embracing his or her inner hunter. Make sure to add some play with a tasty treat afterward so the kitties don't get frustrated though if this is your plan.
The other location you might want to add shelving to is near an area where your cats fight. If you have a hallway or narrow space that the cats or cat and dog run into each other at, see if there's space for a shelf or a tree nearby. Giving your kitty a place to escape to can lead to a much more peaceful and happy life for everyone in the house. Cats don't have a tree to climb up to escape a confrontation in your home. But you can give them an escape.
Pay attention to where conflict happens and consider your options. While this may not be a hangout place, creating an escape route can be just as important to your kitty's well being.
Remember, you don't have to break the bank. You can start small with just one or two shelves and go from there. Your feline will thank you.
Email me at TheVerticalCat@yahoo.com to have your Catification question featured here.