Saturday, July 26, 2014

Decorating a Cat Friendly Apartment: Litter Boxes, Scratching and Climbing

I have a cat. And when first getting an apartment, I found it was really hard to decorate with her in mind. At the dorm, there were a few community cat things, but most of them were tacky or improvised. Like, a student put a stationary bike in a community area and it turned into a cat perch!



Obviously my cat doesn't care what her scratching post looks like. She doesn't care about the aesthetic of her path to the highest point in the apartment, but she'll always find a path up there.

But I care. Especially now that I've been decorating an apartment with my flatmate, I've realized how hard it is to decorate around ugly cat furniture. Ugly cat furniture can take up a lot of space and, worst of all, by trying to hide the eye sore from human eyes you may make it more difficult for you cat to use her atrocious looking perch. Don't make the mistake I did and waste your money on something ugly you wish you could throw away!

Read more for recommendations and a ton of easy links!




Litter Box


Since your litter box needs to be in a central location, why not have it undercover? 
Or even functional! Searching for Litter Enclosure will give you some amazing results; Amazon linked.

If you cat has 'aiming issues,' line these furniture options with plastic before you encourage the kitty to use it.




This is the litter box that I have. I've had it for about 6 months now and I recommend it highly.  It's a lovely cherry wood or mahogany color, very warm, which I really like. Best of all, it has a drawer inside that I use for plastic bags and the scooper. If you have a medium sized litter box, you can also fit a box of cat litter inside. Everything goes in one perfect location that looks like regular furniture. I would also suggest a short lidded trashcan to put next to this cabinet for easy disposal.

When arranging, make sure that you can open your cabinet and that your kitty can easily get in and out of the litter box. You probably don't want to put food or drinks on top of the litter box because of the dust, but a flower pot or something that's safe with nature, as it were.

Climbing


My cat is not a climber. She has one spot that she 'climbs' to. She clambers up my loft bed. In the winter she stops here to cuddle on top of me. But in the spring, she then leaps from the rail of the loft to the top of the wardrobe where her little cat bed is. I was so terrified the first time I saw her wiggle her butt to make the leap, but now I take the jump for granted. 

If your cat doesn't immediate explore things, then you need to engage that cat! My cat used to be terrible about sitting on furniture with people. I know some people would consider that the opposite of a problem, but I wanted a cat that would sit with me while I read a book or type away. More importantly, it seemed like she was scared of people and one of the rooms in the apartment. So I engaged with my cat! I encouraged her to jump on top of things, calling her up and offering treats. I picked her up, pet her, and placed her on comfy couch seating. I called her into the 'scary' room and demonstrated the nice scratching post in there for her. And it took a while for her to get it, probably a month. Now she has a favorite spot on the couch and will keep anyone company. I don't believe that a cat won't go inside of something. 

If your cat loves climbing, check out these stylish cat climbers!


 The Refined Feline Lotus Cat Tower in Espresso$337

See, I know that this is pricey. But keep in mind that the standard ugly ones are about $200. I currently have a $150 Armarkat climber and it doesn't fit anywhere in the apartment. Watch out for those 'easy assemble' column climbers: if the cat sees that a post wobbles when she scratches it, she won't sit on the resting area above it. My flatmate and I have tried to put it everywhere and the climber continues to frustrate us. I might get rid of it when I move out...

Now, this actually looks like a piece of furniture that I'd have in the living room! It's a lovely color and has scratching posts on it too. I love climbers that also have places for the cat to rest at different heights. Most importantly, even the top location is secure.




Are you seeing this! This is amazing! It looks like a little doll house but it's for your cat! More so, it's got waterproof finish on wood. It's great because it provides a place for your cat to climb but also rest away from prying eyes. I think one of the reasons my cat loves to be on top of the wardrobe is because she absolutely can't be bothered there!



Scratchers


PetFusion Cat Scratcher Lounge, Walnut Brown $50

I also have this. I like it and feel that for a cardboard scratcher it's worth the price. I am probably going to make my cat an incline scratcher with all the moving boxes I'll have in August, but I would never make her an infinity sign! It holds up very well. My cat loves to sit on it and scratch it. She also loves to play batter on it: I throw toys at her and she knocks them away. I like to keep track of how often she knocks them into the loops of the scratcher.

My one warning: lots of cardboard shedding. This will be true of any cardboard scratcher and my cat happens to love cardboard scratchers. If you have this in a central location and your cat makes good use of it, as mine does, expect tons of little pieces of cardboard to travel throughout the room!



It's a paw. The cubby and the white makes a paw! You've got to be kitten me right now, that's too cute! I'll stop.

What I love about this is that it's a durable carpeting material and a cute conversation starter.