Maud Feijt posted to her Twitter feed pictures of a cat bedroom that she constructed with her partner because she says that “we made our cats a bedroom”. And her Twitter feed has accrued a lot of likes and comments so clearly people are interested in this sort of construction. People like to see cute miniature bedrooms for cats. I like it to. It looks nice and it looks caring. It strongly indicates that this pair of cats are well loved and cared for.
So I just woke up and Prim was (still?) sleeping on the bed. Best decision ever – Maud
It is, though, an example of the anthropomorphization of the domestic cat (humanizing cats). I don’t want to get technical and too cynical but that is what it is at the end of the day. It’s almost like looking at a doll’s house. It’s a miniaturised human bedroom for cats. You can see that it has been built in a small area of the home which was probably unused before because it is high above the floor level and the cats access the bedroom via a ramp or platform. That’s quite nice too because cats like to be high up and are very adept at using walkways like this.
Perhaps the area’s height above the floor was an encouragement to build the bedroom there. There are two beds because there are two cats. I hope that these guys use it. My experience is that you can provide the most luxurious bed for a cat and bend over backwards in making her/him comfortable but it won’t necessarily mean that it is used. It is the same with toys.
They may use it for a short while, perhaps two or three times and then instinctively move to another area of the home. I find that my cat rotates between certain places and uses them as his bedroom in a cycle. The impression I have is that my cat likes to change the position where he sleeps from time to time but within a certain set number of designated sleeping areas.
Domestic cats tend to like to sleep on their owner’s bed because that is what Jackson Galaxy describes as a “scent soaker“. What he means is that the human bed smells of the human (a lot) and this is attractive to a domestic cat. They want to be in it and share it. This works against the success of making them a separate bedroom as shown in the photograph. Perhaps a cat’s bedroom should be placed within the human bedroom. My distinct impression is that domestic cats regard their owner’s bedroom as the core area of their ‘home range’ (their home space). This is the place where they find the most comfort and reassurance and is the centre of their territorial area. It might not always be like that, but often it is.
This is also an example of a cat’s environment being enriched; constructing something in the home exclusively for the cats which improves their lives. It is good to see. It is an aspect of cat guardianship which can be overlooked but which Jackson Galaxy, the America cat behaviourist, strongly recommends.
The fact that these photographs have been so popular on social media indicates that domestic cats are very much part of the family. They are more often than not seen in the same light as children rather than the old-fashioned notion of cats being possessions. This is why the word “owner” is no longer suitable even though I do use it sometimes out of convenience. Cats are never owned in any case, not from their point of view. To them, humans are companions and providers. The law is anachronistic and miles out of date in regarding domestic cats as possessions like any other. It is time for the law to be rewritten in that respect.