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cat on carpet

Do you love the idea of a sweet feline friend to cuddle, but you hate the idea of what that sweet little cat might do to your house? It’s true that cats love to scratch, have plenty of fur that can get all over your couch and have a tendency to completely ignore your demands to stay off the countertops. But smart interior design means you can definitely co-exist with your purring little ball of fur.

Cat-friendly interior design ideas

To create the best pet-friendly space, you need to start with the pet themselves. Look at the world through their eyes — from about one foot above the floor. For both you and your cat, the flooring you choose makes a big difference. Many pet experts will tell you to opt for hardwood floors or tile rather than carpet, which can be easily stained or damaged. If you prefer throw rugs, go with seagrass or sisal, and be prepared to replace them every few years if necessary. If you do opt for carpets, choose colors that will work well with your cat’s hair color. For example, a white carpet might not be the best choice if you have a long-haired black cat!

Ways to protect your furniture from cats scratches

Protect your furniture with tempting scratching posts. Though having your cat declawed is always an option, it is more humane to look for other options first. When given a dedicated place to scratch, many cats prefer a nice post that offers good texture for their claws. If your cat insists on scratching on the furniture, save your sanity by investing in scratching panels that fit easily on the corners of your couches or the side of your tables.

Cats, windows,  and natural daylight

Plenty of sunlight is important, and besides that, cats get great entertainment from watching the world go by outside a big, bright window. Extended windowsills are a great idea to incorporate, as are attractive step stools that give your cat a way to access the window with ease. Avoid shades that they can get tangled up in! When designing a new area of your home, opt for windows that reach from the floor to the ceiling — your cats will be very happy with the opportunity to look outside anytime they please.

Practical considerations presented in an attractive style

What about the litter box? That dreaded detail is one of the most important consideration for a pet-friendly home. A great solution is the “litter house,” a litter pan that is hidden away inside what looks like a little playhouse. Other options include an attractive “kitty door” that leads to the garage, where the litter pan awaits.

Want to give your cat plenty of room to play? If you have exposed beams in your home, a kitty will be delighted to have a way up to them. Fashionable steps can be installed on the nearby wall to allow access. Speaking of walls, why not look into a scratching post/playhouse that bolts to the wall like a geometric work of art?

Food bowls always seem to get in the way — but you can remedy that with a low pull-out tray in your custom kitchen cabinets that allows for easy and fashionable feeding. For something a bit more whimsical, invest in a food and water stand that fits in with the rest of your decor.

Finally, consider letting your cat out a bit. You can do this with a window that opens into an attractive caged area, where your cat can enjoy the outdoors while staying perfectly safe. You can also make this change with a screened-in porch. Adding screen and a door to an existing porch can take a good contractor only a few days.

Comfort for your furry friends!

Cat-friendly design is a pleasant way to make your home comfortable for your furry friends, and it can even make for an interesting conversation piece. And who knows — when you realize how easy it is to keep a home clean and attractive with a cat around, you might even decide to get a dog, too!

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Shannon Dauphin Lee

Shannon Dauphin Lee is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. When she's not writing, she and her husband are taking road trips to explore covered bridges, little wineries and quaint bed-and-breakfast inns in their beloved Pennsylvania.