"Catifying" your house is one of the most important thing you can do for your feline. It helps relieve stress, expands territory, provides security in a multi-pet household and stimulation to an indoor cat. This Ikea Hack was our solution to some of the territorial problems Bruce has. Catification is a must for a peaceful household with multple pets. Cats by nature are territorial creatures and unlike dogs are not pack animals, too many cats in too little of space is just asking for a fight! Expand that space vertically to maximize territory - it can be attractive too!
Bruce like many street toms, feels insecure when it comes to territory, can become aggressive to defend it, and stressed out if there's not enough resources to go around. In order to adjust to a life indoors we have made various accommodations for him. Although very friendly overall, he has aggression issue that stem from his territorial tendencies. In a home with multi-cats and multi-species, a feeling of security for him is a must to prevent fighting and a stress free household. Stress can agitate his health issues of Feline Herpes & Urinary Tract Disease, both of which can worsen or become triggered during extended periods of stress.
For a small apartments many years ago, I purchased the Ikea's Stora Loft Bed. It had been collecting dust in my in-laws garage for awhile, when not long after a cat fight, a light bulb went off in my head. I knew this would make a nice catification for our spare bedroom - A.K.A Bruce's Room. This room was feeling empty, but we were still making a lot of modifications to our new house and didn't get to this room yet. I plan to also make a cat walk coming down from the penthouse on other side.
Here is what you need for this Ikea Hack:
- LOFT BED
I recommend trying to find a used loft bed as they can be pricey. Search craigslist and keep an eye out at used furniture stores. You can also purchase the less expensive Ikea Tromso or smaller Svarta. Also note, the legs on this loft bed has been cut with a circular saw by 1 foot.
- SISAL ROPE
Purchased at Home Depot. Ideally, I'd like to cover all the posts. The Stora is wood, so you defiantly need to cover it to keep it looking more attractive. Realistically the cats are going to damage parts of the wood either way, but trying to keep it in good shape will help with longevity.
We used Ikea's Laborg Rug and cut it down to fit. It only required cutting off a few inches on the length and was otherwise the perfect size. You will need a utility knife and cutting mat.
I did not line the bottom with plywood but when I get a chance I will. Lining it with wood will keep the carpet from waving over the planks and provide an even firmer surface. The Stora Loft Bed has very close together planks, they are able to walk on top of it no problem, but other loft beds may not be the same. Get a sheet of plywood at the hardware store and have them cut it down for you, its very inexpensive.
- CAT ACCESSORIES
I used the following to decorate Bruce's penthouse.
• pEI Pod: Modern egg shaped pod bed.
There are fake verisons of these online, be careful I have heard they have issues with suffocation if they cat gets trapped in it. I cannot say if thats true or not, but I have never had an issue with the pEI Pod, I have two and they never even tipped over. Plus they have holes for ventilation.
• Kittyblock: Modular cardboard scratcher
• Ikea Lack Table: Add more vertical space
I happened to have some old lack side tables, so why not. It can make a double decker bed.
Overall Cost: $150-300 depending on what you buy or can reuse. Repurposing current or old furniture and accessories is key to saving money! The only thing I ended up actually buying was the sisal and a $3 fleece blanket from Walmart. For the size its an excellent price. You are almost doubling the floor space and its much larger than a traditional cat tree. This hack is best for a spare room, finished basement, studio etc as its rather large.
Fox & Feline Fur-Files is a pet blog dedicated to the challenges and highlights of a multi-species household. Featuring cat hacks, our favorite pet products, education and furry mayhem.
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