Healthy Cat: Catify
One word you’ve probably heard me say over and over again is one you won’t find in any dictionary: Catification. I’m a broken record about it because it is one of the most important tools I can provide you with when it comes to elevating the well-being of your cat companion as well as your relationship with them…through interior design. Don’t believe me? Read on to learn more...
Catification is the art and practice of creating an environment that satisfies the needs of both you and your cat. Ultimate cat confidence - what I call Cat Mojo - boils down, in part, to what they perceive to be ownership of their territory. Come to think of it, that’s kind of what humans need, also. We design to satisfy that need for ourselves, right? We hang pictures of loved ones, paint in our favorite hues, burn specific incense and spend entirely too much time and money picking out just the right furniture, all adding up to us feeling at home.
You see where I’m going, right?
We tend to avoid putting effort into giving the same feeling of ‘ownership’ to our cat family members, often because we hate the thought of what it entails – “cat stuff” – strewn about our well-thought out home.
There’s good news to be had, though - that’s where the concept of Catification comes in. You can give your cats the territory they need and you can have a stylish, comfortable home, too.
- Find Your Cat’s “Confident Where” Some cats really feel confident when they’re up there in the vertical world, high on a shelf. Others prefer being down on the ground. Some are in-between. Many have a habitual spot they tend to hang out in. Put on your cat detective hat and observe your cat’s behavior to figure out where they already feel the most confident. Watch how they hold themselves, where in your home they choose to make themselves comfortable. As a reminder, there’s a big difference between hiding on top of the fridge and being what I call a “tree dweller.” It’s the difference between “gee I hope nobody sees me up here, I’ll just see if I can blend in with this ceramic owl,” and “Here I am, king of the Savannah, surveying my vast domain.”
Got it? Now build on It.
- “Pop The Top” Now that you know where your cat’s “where” is, whether in the bush, the trees, or anywhere in between, it’s like having the one color you need to paint your masterpiece. In a cat’s world, every square inch along the vertical axis is fair game for ownership – Remember to think, see and build 360º. Start enriching that Mojo-building terrain. “Scent Soakers” are objects like beds, mats, scratchers, anything porous enough to hold your cat’s scent. These objects, strategically dotted throughout their confident areas become imbued with ownership. They become Mojo makers!
- The Cat Superhighway is a must in homes where sharing space is unavoidable. Is your cat living with other cats? Dogs? Children? Giving them a way to traverse the world while occupying lanes of traffic only cats can get to will be a seriously deluxe Mojo-booster. Shelves can connect with arms of chairs, window sills, mantels, etc. A Cat Superhighway provides an extra lane of traffic so that your cat can get around a room without touching the floor. This is perfect in your living room, the hands-down most travelled social space in your busy home. Now, instead of running away, your now mojo-fied cat can watch from a safe distance while still owning the territory.
Let’s go back to my original point about humans, no matter how much they love their feline family, they sometimes avoid catification like it was the design version of the chicken pox. Here’s where I reassure you that all of this can be done without sacrificing your aesthetic, or your mojo-making sense of territorial ownership. Don’t believe me? Check out the books I wrote with cat style maven Kate Benjamin - Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!) and Catify To Satisfy: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home. You’ll find inspiration, DIY projects and golden rules galore, but you’ll also see proof that compromises can be made that allow the best of all inhabitants, cat and human, to flourish..
Now, no excuses…go forth and catify!