The Catification Lady: Think Outside The 'Cat' Box!
Posted by Kathie, the Catification Lady on 6/6/2014 to The Catification Lady
The Vertical Cat - The Catification Lady blogOne crazy cat lady explores the depths of Cat Behavior, Catification, and Environment Enrichment

Have you been thinking about adding vertical space for your kitty? If so, it may be time to think outside the "cat" box. No, I'm not talking about a litter box. But let's consider thinking outside the “cat” box and how it can help you catify your house.

Getting a cat tree can be a great thing for your cat and it may be all your cat needs. However, if you have a cat that really covets vertical space or you have more than one cat, it may be time to think like a cat.

Each cat is as individual as a person and they have different needs. After eating and pooping, establishing territory is the number one priority for most cats. That's why they want to sit on everything you own, including your freshly laundered clothes.

Cats scratch and rub up against things to establish their scent on objects. For most cats, that is their mission in life.

The Vertical Cat - Gus and Gordo

Cats are driven by their nature to establish territory and claim ownership of everything, including you. And you thought you owned the cat. No. The cat owns you and she knows it.

So imagine your cat's world. Only being able to own what's on the floor is like only being able to see in 2D AND in black and white. Add vertical space to the equation and suddenly you've given your cat a 3D colorful world!

While you might not be able to afford an entire Kitty Superhighway, you can get creative. Use chairs, cat trees, and the top of a big piece of furniture like an entertainment center to create vertical space. The picture above of Gus and Gordo shows the sofa being used as an entry onto the cat shelves.

Consider the possibilities! A foot stool can provide a step to get your arthritic cat up off the floor. A couple of big old phone books stacked can make that height to get up to the stool even more accessible for an elderly cat or a tripod (aka a cat with three legs). A scarf placed between two shelves of a cat tree can offer a hiding place for a shy kitty that likes heights.

Think about opening up a shelf on a bookcase and give your kitty a path to get there. A small cat bed or some bedding will make it a cozy place to hang out and it will give a new meaning to the term “cat shelf”.

If your cat is constantly getting into an area that should be inaccessible, evaluate what might appeal when it comes to that location or height. You may be able to offer your kitty a more acceptable location, or make the area she likes to visit easier to get to so she doesn't get hurt in a fall.

You can slowly add cat shelves and wall mounted pieces to your makeshift Kitty Superhighway. A well placed wall mounted cat shelf can give your kitty a perch by a window, which is the ultimate Kitty TV. Windows offer a great perching location, but cats also like to hang out where you hang out. Where you sleep, read or watch TV allows a kitty to be with you on their own terms.

Make sure your cat's path flows and makes sense, and that the spacing the cat has to jump isn't too far. And once you do start to build that Kitty Superhighway remember your pieces don't have to be a stock items. For example, we can make railings on our shelves to create safer travels and sleeping spots, especially for cats that aren't as steady. Or if you want a more challenging setup for an athletic cat, that can help provide exercise and mental stimulation.

But it all comes down to putting yourself in your cats paws and letting your imagination explore the possibilities.

If you have a design question, contact us at or give us a call to find out how we can help you create something special for your kitty.
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