Cat Daddy Jackson Galaxy recently moved into a new bungalow outside Los Angeles and he asked me to help “catify” the place with a little Moderncat style. He lives with his three cats, Velouria, Chips, and Caroline, and his little dog, Rudy. Jackson spends his days working with clients, helping them to see the world from a cat’s perspective, so this was his chance to put into practice some of his own advice for his feline family.
The top priority was to create a “cat superhighway” throughout the house. On any good superhighway, you have ample lanes to accommodate the flow of traffic, as well as on and off ramps. In a multi-cat household, sharing a lane of traffic can cause conflict. Cats shouldn’t have to compete for space on a one lane dirt road.
Jackson’s superhighway includes multi-levels: the floor, the ottoman, the bookshelf, and two levels of cat shelves. His cats have all kinds of options for traversing the space without facing a potential traffic jam.
In the living room, there are three perfect cat windows with big beautiful trees right outside, so we placed shelves from Ikea right under each window. Nothing fancy, but the cats love it! To keep the cats from slipping on the shelves, we placed sisal carpet remnants with rubber backing on top of each shelf. A simple solution that’s easy to keep clean and looks great.
To add a little designer touch to the highway, we used a Wave perch from Urban Pet Haus in the center of the wall between two windows. But by watching how the cats used the shelves, we noticed that the cats couldn’t quite get from the Wave to the middle window shelf or over to the bookshelf, so we added a couple of Itch Steps from Square Cat Habitat. These are perfect when you need just a little ledge for kitty to cross from one place to another, plus they have replaceable carpet tiles on top to prevent slipping. Now there’s a clear path along the entire wall that is used quite frequently.
We continued the highway in the bedroom with more shelves from Ikea leading from a low table up to the top of the dresser. Strategically placed cat beds and scratch lounges make for nice destinations along the highway for happy cats to stop for a nap.
In the office nook, again by watching the cats’ behavior, we found that the cats were using the desk surface as part of the highway, moving from the middle window shelf to the shelf above the desk by jumping on and off the desk. Instead of discouraging this, we accommodated the cats by placing sisal pieces with no-slip backing on the corners of the slippery desk surface. This is a great example of modifying an existing surface to accommodate the cats behavior.
As any of you who have both dogs and cats know, sometimes it’s necessary to separate them at feeding time (greedy dogs!) In order to address this issue, Jackson decided to use the top of the low bookshelf in the living room for the cat’s feeding station. To make it easier for the older kitties to reach the raised surface, we added a set of modern pet stairs from Urban Pet Haus. Now the cats can easily access their food while Rudy dines on the lower level.
Of course we had to showcase Jackson’s guitar collection, along with other personal touches. Overall, everyone is quite pleased with their new digs!