Cats are rightly considered one of the most beloved pets of our time, and almost everyone has ever lived in the same house with a cat. If this is a real favorite of the family, the owners probably take care of him and are ready to create optimal conditions for him in which he will be happy.
It is not surprising that in recent years, special houses for cats have become increasingly popular on the market, especially since the pussies themselves are happy to settle in them.
It's no secret that cats are happy to use any boxes or baskets as housing - this shows that the animal is not alien to the concept of its own den. Another thing is that he usually chooses it at his own discretion. In some cases, the very interior and furnishings of the apartment do not allow placing an ordinary box in the middle of the room, and then the pet can choose a chair or any other accessory that was not originally intended for him. This can cause inconvenience to the owners, and they will try to wean the smaller brother from the practice of rest here, but, firstly, it will not work, and secondly, by constantly driving the cat away, we cause inconvenience to him, and he’s a favorite.
Naturally, the most reasonable way out in this situation is to make the animal a priori choose for itself exactly the place that is intended for it. You cannot force a predator to obey, therefore it is necessary that he himself wants to live in a specially made house - for this purpose, manufacturers involve specialists in feline behavior in the development of models, who can suggest what conditions the cat will consider ideal for its regular stay.
The result is a comfortable, warm and welcoming corner where the pet is much better off than any other alternative location, be it a sofa or a cardboard box.
At the same time, designers take care not only of cats, but also of people - their products look aesthetically pleasing and, with a diligent approach to selection, can fit into any interior as a cute accessory.
In a competitive environment, a huge number of different models of houses have been created, each of which may have its own advantages and disadvantages. Each manufacturer is sure that it is his model that is better and more comfortable for the cat, but the consumer should not believe in such tales. A cat is a predator, and quite smart, it is difficult even for specialists to predict its behavior exactly, therefore a separate fluffy specimen may have completely different preferences than most of its relatives. This creature has a rather complex personality, so the owner should not blindly trust "proven models", preferring to focus on the characteristics of his four-legged friend, which we will talk about in more detail a little later.
There are so many varieties of cat housing that, in terms of its diversity, it looks like it will give a head start to human housing. The average layman can often be shocked when he first learns how difficult it is to choose a house for a cat due to the abundance of options. Naturally, everyone exists and enjoys a certain popularity for a reason - it has its own advantages, and its disadvantages determine the possibility of the existence of alternative solutions. In order to understand at least approximately all this, let's briefly go through the main types of cat housing.
- Houses with a scratching post are considered to be one of the most popular, since they can solve one of the main problems - to wean a cat from scratching furniture. The animal does not spoil furniture out of malice, constantly growing claws interfere with it, which do not grind on the floor at home, and this design has a special stand above the berth, which is ideal for such purposes. At the same time, you can also stretch here, and in some models, at the end of the rack, a small platform is additionally fixed for viewing the surroundings, which should please the predator.
In an apartment, such a structure takes up little space, but for a cat it can become a whole world.
- Soft houses are an improved "box", which resembles a classic cardboard box in shape, but has the advantage of being upholstered with a pleasant to the touch and warm fabric. If you buy such a design in the cold season, the pet will pay attention to it especially quickly, and then get used to it. This design weighs little, the cover can be washed in a typewriter, if it is necessary to transport the house turns into a transformer, and it can be folded to a very compact size, however, it is often unable to keep the ideal shape, as in advertising brochures.
- Wood houses are in many ways a reference to the need to maintain the overall interior of the room, and not to the special needs of the cat for convenience. In fairness, it should be noted that the animal should not feel bad in it - there must be some kind of pillow inside to make it softer, but still, wood without upholstery usually does not keep heat very well. On the other hand, such a structure is distinguished by significant strength and can be multi-level, and if it is also made of natural wood, and not any chipboard, then you can be sure that the walls of your home do not harm your pet with toxic fumes.
- Wicker houses are a good allusion to baskets, which are also very attractive to the feline. The difference from the basket is that in this case the product is created specifically for the animal, taking into account its needs. So, the dwelling may turn out to be two-level, where the first floor allows you to hide from prying eyes and insulate as much as possible, and the second is good as an open observation deck.
Wicker houses are most often made of vines, but at least partial use of some other materials is also possible.
- A couch house is, in principle, the same basket, only this time without reference to the material of manufacture. As a rule, this design is liked by sociable animals that do not pursue the goal of retirement - even the sides of such a lounger are usually low. Such an accessory can turn out to be a transformer if it also has a separate removable roof, but then it is worth considering that the cat cannot, of its own free will, choose in what mode the house should be at a particular moment. Due to its simplicity and the small amount of materials used, this option is often the cheapest, therefore it is often used as a temporary shelter for an animal.
- Houses for young feline mothers are located at the opposite pole - they are obliged to provide maximum comfort, therefore they are often quite expensive. The kids are not yet very mobile, but they are very fragile, therefore a closed sleeping place is necessarily located on the lower floor. The maternity hospital necessarily requires a scratching post for the entire animal family and hanging play elements for the development of kittens. The material simply has to be environmentally friendly and easy to clean.
- Multi-storey playgrounds are a gift from the owner, who does not feel sorry for anything at all for his pet. Using all the advantages of such a structure is possible only if the four-legged owner is young and active, but if this is all about him, he will be happy. On several floors, you can fit absolutely everything you need - there is not only a sleeping place, but also a scratching post, toys, and an open area for observation.
With all the advantages, this choice has a couple of disadvantages - the multi-level design can take up too much space and is almost certainly expensive.
- There are even cardboard houses for cats on sale , but they, of course, are a purely temporary solution. The advantages of this option are obvious, but there are few of them: the only thing worth highlighting is the low price and minimum weight of the structure. You can also note the originality, because cardboard is a pliable and easy-to-work material, it can be given any shape. There is no smell of durability or reliability here - a played out tenant will easily destroy the structure. Such a house does not shine with thermal insulation either - it will be warm only if you put it on a battery.
How to choose?
A cat is a willful and unpredictable animal, therefore there is always a risk that the pet will not appreciate your investment and will not settle in the purchased house. This is even more likely if she has already chosen some other place - for example, the same soft chair. However, this should not be an obstacle to buying a cat house - perhaps you just need to carefully observe the cat to understand what he wants in life.
In addition, it is necessary to choose housing for the beast, taking into account the requests of the owners themselves.
Dimensions and shape
Perhaps the easiest way to navigate is in terms of size, but in this case, buyers are often mistaken. They incorrectly believe that if a house is made for a cat, then it a priori should fit its size, but in fact it is not. A young active animal can be small and tidy, but its adult and well-fed relative is capable of weighing several times more. The key problem is that a fluffy can change its own weight extremely quickly, and houses are often selected so as not to be much larger than their owner - it's warmer.
For this reason, experienced people advise choosing a house with a certain amount of space, although this does not mean that the largest option is definitely yours . A small design will work for your animal only if it fits in it right now, and you are ready to spend money again on buying a new home soon. If not, it is better to immediately purchase a large house, upholstered with soft materials - it is able to accommodate a large animal, while retaining heat until it has grown.
With the form, the situation is even somewhat simpler - build on the conditions that have developed in your apartment. If you are ready to allocate only a corner of the room to your pet, look for a corner house - this solution looks very compact and uses limited space productively. The round version, on the other hand, is good in cases where the cat is allocated a central place in the room.
On the one hand, this will allow you to admire the pet at any time, on the other, you need to remember that not every predator likes to be in plain sight, therefore, you should follow the animal's habits.
Discussions can also be caused by how high the house should be. Single-story options are usually valued for their compactness, but they lack multifunctionality. For example, a typical two-story house usually gives an opportunity to hide in a shaded den on the ground floor for rest, and lie on top in an open area, observing the surroundings, because a predator, even at home and with a bow around its neck, is still a predator. The multi-level design can assume absolutely everything that an active cat needs, including a scratching post and hanging toys. The latter decision is usually justified only for the most active furry characters or for mothers with a whole brood of young kittens.
However, the advantage of tall cat houses is that in a small area they provide for the location of everything necessary for a healthy and self-confident animal.
Most of the classic houses for cats do not imply any special attachment - they stand on the floor and are stable due to this. If the structure is quite tall and the cat is theoretically capable of knocking it over, it is usually heavily weighted to minimize this possibility.
There are also completely alternative options for a cat's dwelling, which can be made in the form of, for example, a hammock. The hanging sample, of course, generally resembles the simplest open bed, on the other hand, it can be tied even under the chair, creating a special level for the pet only for him. After that, the eternal problem of who owns the chair can be solved - the owner and his four-legged friend can easily share it.
Hammock-like structures can even be hung on the wall using hammered nails. It should be borne in mind that rest, during which you have to constantly think about balance, will not bring much pleasure, therefore, such a rookery should, ideally, have points of support. 4. Cat hammocks in any case are fastened rather low so that the animal is effortlessly could climb into his seat and just as easily leave it.
The choice of material is intended to solve several goals at once - the purchase should not only fit into the interior of the apartment, its tasks also include sufficient insulation of the animal in the cold season, softness, strength and safety. Moreover, most of the models of houses are complex, that is, their different parts are made from diverse materials. When buying, you should consider the features of each of them.
Regardless of the type of house, its absolutely obligatory component is the frame. As mentioned above, the structure can even be assembled from cardboard, however, for most varieties, the base is still made from varieties of wood, be it plywood, chipboard, MDF or even boards. Such materials are good for their naturalness, durability and a good level of heat retention, however, make sure that the pressed material does not contain toxic adhesives (to put it simply, does not have unpleasant odors) - the cat will not be poisoned, because he is not stupid, he will just bypass the house. For the manufacture of simple open couches, various materials are used, for example, plastic or eco-tang.
In most cases, the frame is also sheathed with soft tissues. The upholstery, on the one hand, makes the contact with the frame more pleasant, on the other hand, it allows you to place a filler inside for additional insulation. Most often, the upholstery is made of plush and carpet, but theoretically you can use any fabric that does not have a tendency to strong electrification, otherwise the pet will have to get acquainted with the laws of physics. From the same materials, separate pillows and bedding are sewn, if any.
The filler allows you to give the upholstery the required volume for softness, and it is he who is also responsible for the maximum insulation of the cat's house. Differences from human jackets are usually not observed here - fillers in this case are made of foam rubber or padding polyester. Alternatively, a warm house can also be made using special pellets that conserve thermal energy.
A completely special detail of any cat's house is the scratching post. It is made specifically so that the beast can grind off the extra length of the claws without breaking them, therefore the material must be tenacious, but still quite pliable, so that it can be freed from its strong embrace without serious losses. Most often, the frame of the scratching post is made of durable material - it can be either metal pipes or PVC.
Naturally, the cat will not scratch them - they use a braided winding made of knitted yarn or jute rope for its claws.
If we are talking about a multi-level structure of large size and the same weight, then for metal pipes there is much more use in it. Such a house actually has as many as 2 frames - one of them is a mesh of metal pipes, on which the second frame of wall material is already held. If the animal dwelling is organized according to this principle, you can expect a much longer service life from the purchase.
If we are talking about the materials of the house, even considering the frame made of metal pipes, then it is worth considering the fasteners that connect the individual parts into a single whole . Most often, glue is used as a connecting element, and it is he who can potentially become the reason that the cat does not want to settle in the house. We remind you that a pungent odor can scare off an animal, not to mention the fact that its presence indicates the toxic nature of the substance used. Alternatively, staple clips or even nails can be used - this is potentially safer and more reliable if you make sure that the sharp edges are not protruding anywhere.
The corners, which can be made of both metal and plastic, will also be useful.
How to train?
Cats are very fond of various boxes and will gladly take any of them, not much interested in the owner's opinion. In this regard, your disappointment may turn out to be even more serious when you realize that the cat does not notice the specially purchased house or simply ignores it, not wanting to settle there. In addition, the predator does not always behave predictably - he, having chosen a box and wallowing in it during the day, can still sleep in a new place every day.
It is easier to accustom a small kitten to a house - ideally, in the apartment where he appears, a house should already be prepared for him. The kid does not yet have the necessary audacity to boldly explore the whole apartment, he does not have the usual places here - except where the owner will constantly put him. An adult cat, of course, has already managed to acquire its own preferences, and it will not be so easy to convince him, but you can try, only you should do it right.
The fundamental point is a reasonable choice of place to install the house. For all the ingenuity of the animal, it is not able to understand at first glance by one appearance that a house has been bought for it - the cat may simply not be interested in a new interior detail. For this reason, the structure should be installed in the immediate vicinity of the place where the pet likes to rest - this will attract immediate attention and will not greatly change the established habits of the pet. For this reason, housing for an adult cat is usually installed next to an armchair or sofa, in some cases - on a windowsill, if there is enough space, and the tailed friend himself likes to sit there. At the same time, keep in mind that the fluffy will not be interested in housing in a draft or just in a cool place, so choose the location where it is quite warm.
In some cases, the animal can ignore the house even if the place for it is chosen according to all the canons. The cat is simply not interested in the new design, and therefore does not even understand its advantages - which means that you need to lure it inside, give it the opportunity to look around. You can lure the animal in different ways - for this, put your favorite toy or just a rustling bag inside the house, as an option - you can even drop a little catnip inside. Another way is to play with your pet near the house using a fishing rod, making sure that the target is always close to the house or even inside it.
It remains to be hoped that the pet after such a good look around, and he will like the new place.
Do not forget about the main rule of training: if the animal does everything the way you need it, you need to praise and reward him. Cats are smart enough to understand in general terms their right and wrong actions, and the pet can go around the house simply because it is not sure whether it can be there. If he is already inside, and you emit rays of good, then everything is fine, and the situation does not cause disapproval from the owner.
If no tricks help, and it is impossible to lure the tailed beast inside for a long time, it remains to figure out why this is happening. It is worth checking the structure once again for the presence of the same pungent smell, but even if you do not hear it well, do not forget that the predator's scent is much sharper. If the problem is exactly the smell, then, of course, there is no way to solve it - you just chose an unsuccessful model. However, there are other common reasons why the pet does not want to settle in the living space allocated to him.
- Please note that cats usually prefer boxes that are roughly the size of the animal itself. This is logical, because the room is also a box, only it is very large for a pet - he is about as uncomfortable there as it would be uncomfortable for you to live in the assembly hall. If the house is too spacious, and the predator is not sure that the walls protect it while resting, it will not settle in it. However, part of this problem can be solved with additional pillows or partitions.
It is much worse if the cat is just cramped in the house - then he will not choose him either, but nothing can be done.
- As a person, choosing housing in the city, focuses on certain areas with their characteristics, so a cat chooses a rookery in an apartment for a reason. We have already spoken about excessive coolness and drafts - even if the house is warm, but the location for it is not chosen well, the animal can simply bypass it. Other factors can interfere with the animal - for example, constant excessive noise, because cats sleep lightly, but they also need normal rest. Finally, it's much easier to appreciate all the benefits of living in a well-known place than where you've never been - the same rule applies to cats. If your apartment has a completely unused corner, where even four-legged ones usually do not go, it would be a mistake to expect that installing a cat house there will immediately attract new tenants.
- Home is a place to relax, where you can completely relax and not think about anything else. At the same time, high multi-storey structures, especially those standing partially on the carpet, as well as hammocks, do not always provide such a feeling. The same applies to dwellings that are installed directly on the windowsill - even if the house fits completely, careless movement of the tenant can put the structure into an unstable position. Feeling that the floor is wobbling under his feet, the cat will do the most reasonable thing that can be done in this situation - leave a potentially dangerous place.
Since this beast is not a person, he does not have any overvalued things in an abandoned dwelling, and he can spend the night at any point in the owner's apartment, where the ground under his feet will not shake, so it is not at all a fact that the pet will want to return to that place where I once sensed danger.
The classic cat house still demonstrates its purpose too clearly. This design has its own style, which may not fit into the interior design at all, but this does not mean at all that you need to give up the special design of the room, as well as the cat or its convenience. Fortunately, modern designers are able to offer original and stylish solutions for any familiar items.
Take at least a house for several cats - such as shown in the first example. It is beautiful, functional and unusual at the same time - if there are no cats nearby, you may not immediately understand that this is a cat's house, and not a fashionable modern bedside table. Such disguise does not interfere with the primary use - here we see comfortable places for rest, and a point for observation from above, and a scratching post, and toys.
If the cat lives in the immediate vicinity of the child, the house could look like it would please both. For example, a kid who has already passed the age when you need to be afraid of any "dangerous" faces will probably appreciate the example from the second photo. The cat itself is unlikely to be afraid to climb into this "mouth", because in nature he has clearly never seen such enemies, but from a human point of view, you must agree, it can look pretty funny.
For those who are ready to pay any money for a chic and very stylish cat house, there are special design solutions that can make any dream come true. For example, if you really like the style of The Lord of the Rings, you probably regret that you can't put round windows and doors in an ordinary apartment, and you can't build a full-fledged house into a hill.
However, this all concerns only human habitation, but with houses for cats, everything is much simpler, which is confirmed by the third photo.
A place for experiments can also be in the part of the game complex for the cat. Usually it is perceived as a small area in the immediate vicinity of the house, but if you are ready to do anything for the happiness of your pet, you can make a real attraction for him to train agility. Some people, for example, attach special bridges for the animal right under the ceiling; the total length of the passages can be several meters.
If there is also a place for a full-fledged observation point, the essence of the predator will be happy, however, after installing such a purchase, you need to get used to periodically looking up so that no one suddenly jumped at you.
How to make a house for cats with your own hands, see the video below.