Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet’s hit show My Cat From Hell, knows a thing or two about how we can better share our environment with our feline friends. He recently teamed up with cat style expert Kate Benjamin of HausPanther.com to bring us Catification, a go-to guide for cat parents wishing to accommodate their kitty’s natural instincts while maintaining a stylish home.
We sat down with Jackson and Kate to learn a bit more about what it means to catify your home and to get some tips on creating spaces our cats will love:
TAILS: What does “catification” mean?
Kate: It is the art of designing a home environment to accommodate the natural instincts of cats. This can involve adding climbing and perching surfaces, scratchers, litter boxes, beds, and other items that entertain cats and provide them with the stimulation and accommodations that they need to thrive both mentally and physically.
What is one key thing cat parents should do when catifying their home?
Jackson: Ask yourself, “Where in the vertical world does your cat find her confidence, or her mojo?” Is she a “bush dweller” or is she a “tree dweller”? Learn by observing and then build your “cat superhighway” based on her needs.
Kate: Get to know your cat! Every cat has different preferences and it’s important to understand what your cat likes in order to properly catify. We want people to be excited about observing their cat and really getting to know what makes him or her tick. Where is your cat most comfortable? Does he like to climb way up high or is he happiest hanging out down low closer to the ground? These are important things to keep in mind when creating your catification plan.
Are there simple things people can do right now to begin catifying?
Jackson: Think 3-dimensional. When cats walk into a room, they’re not looking at the floor, they’re looking at everything from floor to ceiling. Your job becomes accommodating their need to climb, explore, nest, etc. Go ahead and buy cat trees, cat beds, scratching posts, etc., but before you get overwhelmed, remember, Kate and I believe in “no excuses catification.” That means it could be as simple as clearing off a mantel or bookshelf to make room for wandering cats.
Kate: Take a look around your living room and see if there’s a way for your cat to navigate the whole room without touching the floor. This is what we call the “cat superhighway.” You don’t have to build anything special, you may just have to rearrange some furniture or clear off some shelves. Ask yourself, if I were a cat standing on the top of this bookcase, where would I want to go and how would I get there? Now, take that insight and create a safe and easy way for it to happen. You have to think like a cat!