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4 Women who designed their houses for their cats

Thanks to the internet, cat lovers already knew what the rest of the world has more recently discovered — cats are awesome. And although their personalities range from sweet and cuddly to adorably antisocial, cats are so lovable that their doting parents often go to extremes to cater to their furry felines. Here are four creative cat ladies who tastefully designed their homes to accommodate their kitties.


A cool cat lady’s condo and catio in Phoenix

Kate Benjamin

Photo credit: Kate Benjamin / Esther Martinez

Cat style expert Kate Benjamin’s entire business is focused on helping people live stylishly with cats. Benjamin houses 12 cats and has written about cats and design since 2007, currently on her website, Hauspanther. So we wouldn’t expect Benjamin’s polished Phoenix, Arizona, condo to be anything less than inspirational to cat owners who want to create fab, cat-friendly abodes.

Kate Benjamin Catio

Photo credit: Kate Benjamin
Kate Benjamin

Photo credit: Esther Martinez

“The main motivation for doing what I do isn’t just aesthetics, but it’s really about keeping cats in happy, loving forever homes,” says Benjamin, who has an eye-catching “Cat Lady” tattoo on her right forearm.

“If I can show cat guardians that there are beautiful, sturdy cat scratchers that they wouldn’t mind having in their home, then it may just save that cat’s life. The cat can get what she/he needs and the guardians are happy. So it’s a win-win.”

To give fellow feline lovers guidance, she co-authored a forthcoming book called Catification (Tarcher, October 2014) with her business partner, cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell.


A modern and cat-friendly Minneapolis home

GloGirly cat collage

Photo Credit: GLOGIRLY

Debbie Glovatsky is the proud cat mama of two rescues — an 8-year-old tuxedo cat named Katie and a 1-1/2-year-old orange tabby named Waffles — and the clever scribe behind the humorous, award-winning cat blog,

“I’ve made my downtown Minneapolis townhouse a comfortable and stylish home for both me and my cats. I love finding well-designed, cat-friendly pieces with a modern aesthetic. Although the kitties probably don’t care if this matches that or if their climbing tower is modern and cool, it gives me lots of smiles and endless photo ops,” says Glovatsky.

“My cats love to watch the world around them, especially from a vantage point way up high. I try to give them their own spaces by some of my biggest windows with cool-looking climbing and perching structures. The more places like these they have to hang out in, the less tempted they are to climb on things I’d rather not find paw prints on.”


If Carrie Bradshaw had cats,
her NYC flat would look like this

Tamar Arslanian I Have a Cat

Photo credit: Tamar Arslanian

Tamar Arslanian is a stylish, savvy and single New York City gal. She writes the popular blog, I Have Cat, and her personal philosophy is, “Just because you have a cat — or any pet for that matter — it doesn’t mean your personal style should go out the window.”

“As a single woman with three cats living in a one-bedroom NYC apartment, the last thing I want a potential suitor to think upon entering my home is, “Welcome to Casa Cat!”

Tamar Arslanian I Have a Cat: Empire state building scratcher

Photo credit: Tamar Arslanian

To accommodate her three rescue kitties — Haddie, Kip and Petie — Arslanian pulled out all the stops. Some of her cat-friendly design touches include: modern-looking wave shelves in the living room designed for cats; a Cat Hole in the storage area under the steps that hides the litter box; cardboard and replaceable carpet scratchers mounted to the wall, so they take up less space and are aesthetically pleasing; a cat-scratcher replica of the Empire State Building; and KittyBlocks that can be stacked and also double as loungers.

“Most of my non-cat-friendly friends think I’m a bit off my rocker for accommodating to the needs of my cats, but I don’t have many of those,” she says. “The rest of my friends love my apartment, and it inspires them when they are decorating theirs!”


A rehab ramp for a sick kitty

Barbra Pearson

Photo credit: Barbara Pearson

After her darling cat, Kirby, suffered a stroke, I Have Cat reader Barbara Pearson built a ramp to help him get up and down the stairs. She also made a ramp, so he could easily maneuver onto the bed and the couch.

“[We used] a tube of Nutri-Cal, which he loved, as bait for him to go down the ramp the first time,” says Pearson. “After that, he used that ramp every day almost until the day he died, just over a year later.”

Ways to transform your cat house

For design tips and to purchase products to make your house cats more comfy, check out Hauspanther, Catty Stacks and Square Cat Habitat (5 percent of your purchase will be donated to cat charities).

More about cats

What not to say to a cat owner
How to properly train your cat to play nice
The truth about your cat’s food

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