From the Floor Up

The Pet-Friendly Home: Design for Cat Lovers

Posted by Daltile Team on Oct 28, 2016 2:44:11 PM

Your cat is just as much a part of the family as anyone else who lives there. Why not give your furry little one a space to live that she’ll love? Here are some ideas for transforming your home into a place just as comfortable for your pet as for you.

 Cat with tile

Climbing to Happiness

Your cat is constantly perched on top of bookcases and other high places. Cats jump high to escape perceived danger or to find some space away from everyone and everything. Cats are also curious and naturally want to explore—including vertical spaces.

Use vertical space to place catwalks, ledges, staircases, and bridges that will keep your cat busy all day long—or all night. These can be permanent fixtures that blend into the design or something changeable to keep kitties interested.

Try simply clearing off a bookshelf to give your cat a needed getaway that affords a great view of his kingdom. Your feline will find ways to climb so even if you don’t want to get too fancy, simple changes can make a world of difference.


Scratch-Resistant Materials

Cats scratch to maintain their claws and to mark their territory. They are going to scratch; there’s no stopping them. Cover your home in scratch-resistant materials to minimize damage due to scratching. Tile, tough fabrics, and scratch-resistant paint are all worth it if you have a cat.

Wallpaper and several softer wall coverings are a no no for cats that use walls to take care of their scratching needs. Tiled walls are an excellent choice to protect walls from scratching. Put in an accent wall with large tiles or tiny mosaics in your home and steer clear of materials that would be damaged by scratching.


Scratching Posts that Don’t Stand Out Like a Sore Thumb

Speaking of scratching, providing a scratching post is a must for cat lovers. An internet search will reveal all kinds of designer posts in all kinds of materials, shapes, and sizes. You might even try sisal rugs or furniture made for scratching. Some cats actually prefer horizontal scratching so observe your feline to determine what might work best before making an investment.

Can’t get your cat to use the scratching post? suggests that if you can’t get your cat to use the post, you should do a little training. Rub the post in catnip, put it in front of where the cat is already scratching, put it where the cat spends most of her time, etc.


Japanese Inspiration

The Japanese love their pets. They are members of the family—treated like children. If you are looking for some built-ins just for cats or want to include some permanent fixtures in your remodel, look to Japanese designs.

Functional design includes pet needs. Special nooks and crannies are a part of the plan from the start. Feeding stations, beds in the kitchen, and climbing gyms seamlessly merge into the design.


Color Matching to Fur

Shedding is another inevitable element of owning a pet. Short of running around with the lint roller all the time, you could match your decorating color scheme to your cat’s fur color. It will hide the fur you didn’t get a chance to clean up yet.

If you have a lovely ginger cat that doesn’t mean you have to decorate in rusty orange. Just make it an accent of the color scheme. You can go broader and simply go with lighter colors if you have lighter fur or darker colors if you have a dark-furred cat.


Washable Everything

Pets can get messy, especially if they are very young or very old. Making sure your design and décor is washable makes clean up much easier and faster.

Slip covers over the furniture are easy clean but can also be removed for immediate transformation if a friend stops by unannounced.

Use outdoor grade fabrics and quality surfaces like tile or stone that can be cleaned over and over without damage.


The mudroom is for more than stowing off-season stuff or hiding shoes. It is also a great point of exit and entry for pets—especially if they are muddy or bearing gifts they found in the great outdoors.

A mudroom with a sink or small tub-like cleaning station is a great place for baths whether or not your furry friend just got into something he shouldn’t have.

Read more about great mudroom design here.


Room with a View

Cats, especially those that are indoor cats, love to look out of the window. They love to bask in the warmth from the sun streaming in from the window. In short, cats need windows.

Place climbable furniture in front of windows so cats can see out. Include large ledges or window seats for easy access. If you are remodeling, consider placing windows lower so they are more easily accessed.

Windows don’t have to be large to give your pet a great view. Install small skylight-like windows near the floor that your cat can curl up in front of on a sunny day.


Alone Time

Maybe you noticed by now that your cat doesn’t need a lot of human interaction. In fact, she probably needs some me-time pretty frequently. Take this into consideration when designing your home to include your cat.

You could incorporate nooks and crannies that provide some private space where your cat can get away. Choose areas that your cat is already fond of. Paying attention (not too much) to where your cat likes to hide will clue you into his favorite spots.


Happy National Cat Day!

Topics: Design

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