If you are a cat lover, you probably want to make your home as comfortable and stimulating as possible for your feline friends. But how can you do that without compromising your own style and space? The answer is catification and catios!
What is catification?
Catification is the art of creating an enriched home environment that is acceptable to both you and your cat. Catification teaches us that every square inch of the home can be shared in a positive way. Allowing our cats to own spaces through scent distribution and finding confidence in the vertical world can be accomplished—all while respecting and adhering to our own personal aesthetics1.
Catifying your home means understanding your cat’s needs and preferences, and providing them with opportunities to express their natural behaviors, such as scratching, climbing, hiding, playing, and resting. It also means creating territorial signposts that help your cat feel secure and confident in their environment.
What is a catio?
A catio is a patio or enclosure that is designed for cats. It allows them to enjoy the outdoors safely and comfortably, without the risks of predators, traffic, diseases, or getting lost. A catio can be as simple as a window box or as elaborate as a multi-level structure with tunnels, bridges, hammocks, plants, and toys.
The difference between a catio and just an enclosure for your cats is that they are designed and intended to be enjoyed with your cats. Catios provide a space that both humans and cats can enjoy and gets both of you a little bit closer to nature2.
How to catify your home and build a catio?
There are many ways to catify your home and build a catio, depending on your budget, space, and creativity. Here are some tips and ideas to get you started:
- Assess your cat’s personality and preferences. Are they a bush dweller, a tree dweller, or a beach dweller? Do they like to be high up or low down? Do they prefer cozy or spacious areas? Do they need more stimulation or more relaxation?
- Provide vertical space for your cat. Cats love to climb and perch on high places, as it gives them a sense of security and control over their territory. You can use shelves, cat trees, wall-mounted furniture, or even ladders to create vertical pathways for your cat.
- Provide scratching posts and pads for your cat. Scratching is a natural behavior for cats that helps them mark their territory, stretch their muscles, and keep their claws healthy. You can use sisal rope, cardboard, wood, or carpet to make scratching surfaces for your cat. Place them near their sleeping areas, entryways, or windows.
- Provide hiding places and cozy spots for your cat. Cats need places where they can retreat and feel safe when they are stressed or want some privacy. You can use boxes, baskets, beds, blankets, or even tunnels to create hiding places for your cat. Make sure they are easily accessible and comfortable for your cat.
- Provide toys and enrichment for your cat. Cats need mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and frustration. You can use interactive toys, puzzle feeders, catnip, or even DIY toys to keep your cat entertained and engaged. Rotate the toys regularly to maintain your cat’s interest.
- Build or buy a catio for your cat. A catio can be attached to your window, door, balcony, or backyard. You can use wood, metal, mesh, or plastic to make the frame and walls of the catio. You can also add plants, water features, bird feeders, or other elements to make the catio more attractive and natural for your cat3.
Benefits of catification and catios
Catification and catios have many benefits for both you and your cat. Some of them are:
- They improve your cat’s health and well-being by reducing stress, anxiety, boredom, obesity, aggression, or other behavioral issues.
- They enhance your cat’s happiness and satisfaction by fulfilling their instinctual needs and desires.
- They strengthen your bond with your cat by providing opportunities for interaction, communication, and fun.
- They protect your cat from the dangers of the outdoors by keeping them safe and contained.
- They protect the wildlife from the impact of free-roaming cats by preventing predation or disease transmission.
- They beautify your home by adding style, color, and personality.
Catification and catios are great ways to make your home more cat-friendly and enjoyable for both you and your furry companions. By following some simple tips and ideas, you can create an enriched environment that meets your cat’s needs and preferences while respecting yours.
If you want to learn more about catification and catios, you can check out these books and websites:
- Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!) by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin
- Catify to Satisfy: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin
- The Catio Spaces website, which offers DIY catio plans and tips
- The Hauspanther website, which features cat-friendly products and design ideas
Do you have a catified home or a catio? Share your photos and stories with us in the comments below!