Sadly the word “cat-house” is slang for a house of prostitution, a brothel. This adds a complication to the work of writing about cat house designs. For instance people search for the “Nevada Cat House”! I thought this might refer to a really nice, architecturally designed detached house in the state of Nevada, USA. A house that was given over to domestic cats, customized for their use with the human cat caretakers coming second, for once. I think I was being a bit naively optimistic! A similar brothel is searched for using the phrase, “cat house Las Vegas”.
Another complication is that the phrase “cat house” can refer to a kind of kennel for an outdoor cat to live in. An igloo cat house is one example that is available on Amazon: Petmate 25702 Kitty Kat Condo, Mouse Gray
Well, this article is about cat house designs or more specifically a house that was designed to be a living space for the integrated use of cats and people on an equal footing. From this example we can formulate our own cat house design and I would expect ours to be less cat focused because the cat house design I am referring to is one built by a leading house builder in Japan. He is Asahi Kasei and he built the Plus-Nyan House.
This montage gives a flavour of the interior:
This is the plan of the first and ground floor:
Another house dedicated to giving free expression to domestic cat behaviour is this colourful example:
What do these superb cat houses tell us if we want to make our house cat friendly? In my opinion this are the major points:
- Cat enclosures are excellent for city duelling cats particularly. It is dangerous out there. The catio is about as good as it gets and Finn has one in Denmark and so has Gail in the U.S. – Catio Cat Enclosures. There is a good argument that a catio should be obligatory in homes that have cats.
- I like the idea of cat flaps in indoor doors. If a person is living with a partner, on occasions it may be suitable to close the bedroom door for example. Cats like to join us on our beds at night. With an interior cat flap in the bedroom door the person can get some privacy if that is what they are seeking and at the same time their cat gets access to that all important bed! Ummm…cats like to join us in the toilet (bathroom or “john” in the USA) come to think about it…!
- I love the combo cat toilet and human toilet area. Why not? Although I don’t see this being adopted very often.
- The cat runs/platforms that go up the walls and near the ceiling are stupendous. I love them but you have to be prepared to tear up your vision of what a human home looks like and think: integrated cat and human home. The emphasis is away from the purely human, to thinking about both species of animal equally and I love that concept. This is very proper. It would actually help stop declawing.
- In fact, in the Asahi Kasei cat house design the cat facilities are so well integrated that they don’t jar or impinge that much on what is considered aesthetically acceptable for a human home. They actually enhance the home. The runs, trees and sleeping areas are like pieces of furniture.
Few people can afford to do what Asahi Kasei did but he gives us ideas to make our home more cat friendly and that must be a good thing.