How to create a cat-friendly living space

Our homes are where we feel most comfortable, and we plan our interiors according to what makes us feel that way. Some of us like everything in its place, while others are a little more relaxed around the house. However you choose to live, things get a little more complicated when you add a cat to the mix. Undoubtedly, you will have things like scratching posts and water bowls standing around, and these might not fit in with your idea of the perfect home. Here’s advice.

Why curiosity killed the cat

If you have a cat or are getting one, the first consideration is always safety. Cat proofing your house takes special care for the simple reason that cats are special creatures! They like to jump onto things, and they can squeeze themselves into places you wouldn’t have expected. Their natural curiosity can indeed get them into all sorts of trouble. These are a few things in your home that might pose a risk to your cat:

  • Open washing machines or tumble dryers might strike kitty as a lovely place to hide in, especially if there are warm clothes inside. Double check before you switch these appliances on.
  • Many cats like to be involved in what you are doing and keep a close eye on your activities. If your activity happens to be cooking, supervise your cat around a hot stovetop. She can easily jump up and burn her feet.
  • Ensure that the plants you have in your home and garden are not poisonous to cats.
  • Keep all cleaning materials completely out of your cat’s reach.
  • Do not leave needles and thread lying around. These can appear to your cat to be an awesome toy – with horrible consequences.
  • Wires can also intrigue a curious cat. Keep these out of reach to prevent her from chewing on them.

Your cat and your house

Our cats need food, water, a safe space to live, and of course love! They also need a living space that they feel comfortable in, and one that caters to their specific needs. Cats enjoy high spaces and they also need to take some time out from being social from time to time. A house design that doesn’t provide for these needs might lead to a bored kitty.

Food and water While the food bowls only come out at mealtimes, your cat needs access to fresh, clean water at all times. Fortunately, these days bowls come in all shapes and sizes, and you will easily find something that suits your taste.

High places Cats love to climb, and they love to observe their surroundings from a higher space. A staircase is a great way to fulfil this need, but not all homes come with them. You can, however, incorporate higher spaces into your home decor.

  • Your cat definitely needs a scratching post, as scratching is a natural behaviour for cats and you don’t want her to use your furniture for scratching purposes. Scratch posts on the market range from very simple to extremely elaborate. You will be able to choose from different shapes and designs, some of which will fit in with a well-designed home. If you really don’t like the look of a scratching post, your best bet is to keep it in a room that doesn’t often get visited by guests.
  • Your furniture can provide your cat with a higher-up resting place, in the form of, for example, free-standing wardrobes, bookcases and other shelving. If they are very high, you can do your house design in such a manner that there’s something lower close by in order to make it easier for your cat to jump up.
  • If you have a handyman around the house and you are willing to really create a fun space for your cat, you can always consider constructing fun platforms specifically for your cat’s entertainment. There are many examples of these online.

Somewhere to hide Sometimes a cat just needs to feel like she is invisible. Make sure that she has access to a warm, private area that is also safe. Many scratch posts come with a section your cat can climb into for some alone time.

Bedtime! Cats spend a lot of time sleeping, and their beds needn’t be an eyesore. There are many luxurious options to choose from, and you can even have your cat’s bed covered in a material that matches your home decor. Of course, cats being cats, she might prefer to choose her own favourite spot – or the box the bed came in!


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