Image via iStock.com/anurakpong
By Kathy Blumenstock
Your feline has a wish list filled with fantastic ideas for a cat room that’s all his own. Skip those sedentary human comforts, like an oversized TV and recliner with cupholders; the perfect cat hangout should engage a cat’s sense of play and stimulate his curiosity while also providing him a space to relax.
That Purrfect Cat Hangout Space:
For the best cat hangout, Rita Reimers, aka The Cat Analyst, says that an environment that mimics cats’ natural needs to climb, scratch, hunt and hide is best, and it’s pretty easy to accomplish.
She says this type of environment is “essential for their physical and mental well-being and the best recipe for having an anxiety-free, happy, healthy cat who won't decide to destroy your belongings out of boredom.”
Add Cat Scratchers
To keep those claws from being bored, Marci Koski of Feline Behavior Solutions likes the Katris Mix & Match blocks "Z" shape cat scratcher and companion Katris Mix & Match blocks "O" shape cat scratcher, which she calls both functional and stylish.
Koski says these products will work well for cats who like to scratch both vertically and horizontally. They’re also versatile; each block can be stacked with other blocks for the ultimate kitty condo, or it can be mounted on the wall for a higher vantage point.
Give Your Cat a New Vantage Point
“Cats evolved to climb things, like trees and rocks, so that they can have a secure view of their environment, which may help them avoid predators and thus survive another day. Your home may be without predators, but your cat doesn't know this (and even if she does, her instincts will always tell her to be cautious),” says Koski.
Koski says that offering a cat high places to perch or nap “can give your cat more confidence and a sense of safety as well as help multiple cats share a common space more peacefully.”
Hanging Cat Condos
For a climbing/hiding spot that lets cats get away from it all, Koski is a fan of the K&H Pet Products Hangin’ cat condo. This product could work well in smaller areas due to its space-saving design; a hanging cat condo option like this can be hung on any door to turn a room into a secret cat climbing zone.
Koski also likes that cats can navigate through openings between levels as well as peer out through the exterior holes. “There are several options for both privacy and height, and I could see multiple cats using this at the same time,” she says.
Cat trees are another option for rounding out your creative cat hangout decor. They provide your kitty with multiple levels to view the room from as well as an outlet for pent-up energy.
“Climbing and jumping to various heights can also provide your cat with exercise, especially if she is chasing a prey item, like a toy attached to the end of a wand toy,” says Koski.
Reimers reminds cat parents that when considering cat trees, “be careful that they are sturdy and won't topple over from the weight of your cats jumping on and off or climbing up.”
Because of this potential safety issue, Koski particularly likes floor-to-ceiling cat trees, such as the Cat Craft 3-tier floor-to-ceiling cat tree, that can be securely locked into place. The compact style of a floor-to-ceiling cat tree enables cat parents to install a solid cat perch even in a small space, Koski says.
Koski does advise that in a multi-cat home, you should make sure to keep certain areas and favorite spots a little separated. She explains, “Offering alternative ‘roads’ for cats to travel through each other’s territories can help cats time-share a space more peacefully.”
If you are look for cat hangout decor that brings the outdoors inside—without actually bringing the outdoors inside—you can try the On2Pets luxury cat tree. The faux foliage and three levels of carpeted perches allow your cat to feel like he’s in an actual tree without stepping any paws outside.
Koski says the leafy overhang lets your cat “feel concealed yet still see her space,” but she does caution that you should keep an eye on your cat while in the tree to make sure your cat is not trying to eat the leaves, which could be a potential choking hazard.
Cat perches allow cats a view of what’s going on outside their window, which can keep your kitty mentally stimulated, as there is “always something new to find,” says Koski.
Koski recommends the K&H Pet Products EZ Mount window bubble pod cat house because it provides a valuable nook for your cat. “The bubble allows her to see what’s happening in the room and still gives her a private little place to snooze,” she says. It’s also a handy getaway if your cat is trying to dodge the dog, the kids or the vacuum cleaner.
“Window perches are ideal for bird ‘hunting’ and/or snoozing in a sunspot,” Reimers says. “In nature, cats live to hunt, and they are always on the lookout for birds to stalk.”
Koski also likes the K&H Pet Products EZ mount window penthouse window cat house, calling it “another great option for felines who like to spend time enjoying the sun or just watching birds and squirrels outside.” She says the enclosed area is a “nice quiet spot in which a cat can get some good alone time.”
Create Spaces for Cat Naps
Cats are Olympic-caliber nappers, and having the right bed is a key element for your most creative cat hangout.
“Cats love to hide when they nap; it’s a throwback to their self-preservation instincts in the wild,” says Reimers. “So, you want to provide lots of cozy corners for your cat’s napping pleasure.”
Reimers recommends the K&H Pet Products outdoor unheated multi-kitty A-frame house for a cat house.
This A-frame house, which can be used both indoors and outdoors, features two exits with flaps so your cats can easily go in and out. It can be used as a napping spot or a fun cat tunnel for them to explore.
Cat Covered Bed
For a ‘crawl-in’ bed that Reimers says cats love, the sleeping-bag-shaped Armarkat burrow cat bed offers your kitty the opportunity to enjoy a comfy place to snooze.
“Put this on a couch, or secure it to a perch, and it’ll be a burrowing cat’s favorite winter hangout,” says Koski. It’s even machine washable and styled on a skid-proof, waterproof base.
The Pet Parade pet ottoman, which lets you and your cat relax together, grabbed Reimers’ attention as another great “crawl-in” cat bed option.
A definite hit with one of Koski’s own cats is the Meowfia premium felt cave cat bed. “Our most shy kitty has claimed it as her own,” she says. “It's definitely a cozy little cave, and she can nap in near total seclusion because the entrance hole is on one side of the bed.”
Elevated Cat Beds
Your cat may also enjoy the coziness of The Refined Feline kitty ball cat bed. Koski likes this cat bed because of its up-off-the-floor design, “which can give your cat an extra sense of security. Being able to see their surroundings (and potential threats) allows cats to feel safer for a more relaxed napping experience,” she says.
The Refined Feline kitty ball cat bed offers a 17-inch adjustable dome that can accommodate more than one cat and includes a plush, machine washable interior cushion. “If your home has drafts or hard flooring, this bed may also be warmer than placing a cat bed on the floor,” Koski says.