Category Archives: Pet fixtures & furniture

Cat furniture — it’s all about vertical space

cat treeFor cats looking for a place to lounge, it’s certainly about comfort – but more importantly — how high can they go?

Cats love vertical space – the higher the better.  I have one cat who loves to position herself at the top of the staircase so she can look down on what’s going on in the living room.  I have another cat who loves to walk out on the ledge surrounding the second story staircase – scary to look at, but she has never fallen off yet.

So in choosing furniture for your cat, it’s all about height.  The taller the better as long as it fits comfortably given your home’s ceiling height.

For stability, make sure that the cat tree includes a nice wide base – about 30 inches by 30 inches.  Rock the tree from side to side before buying to test stability and to make sure it can stand up to the weight of a cat jumping off.

You can get as fancy as you would like.  Many cat trees feature multiple perches, tubular hiding spaces and scratching posts.   (The best scathing posts are made of sisal.  See my blog on scratching posts.)  Again, check your space to make sure it will fit in your home allowing adequate clearance for cats to jump on and off without hitting furniture or knocking over plants.

If you can, place the cat tree near windows that get sun for cat naps.  A view of birds and wildlife makes for great kitty “TV.”

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Bigger is not always better when choosing pet beds

Jack Russel Terrier in a dog bed

There are SO many beautiful cat and dog beds on the market.  And for some pet owners, bigger seems to be better – but for your pet, this is often not the case.

Watch how your dog or cat sleeps.  You will often see them curl up in a half-moon shape.  This is done to conserve warmth and contain their own body heat.  So the beds that we find dogs and cats seem to like best are the “cuddlers”  —  oval-shaped beds that match a dog’s or cat’s body size and provide support as they curl up.

So big is not always better.  As long as your dog or cat can fit in the bed, they will be happy.

ADDED NOTE TO NEW PUPPY OWNERS:  Before investing in a dog bed, have your puppy take the chew test.  Use an old blanket folded up into a make-shift bed to see if your puppy is content to use the bed as a bed – or if he or she is more interested in using it as a chew toy.  If the latter is true, you have saved yourself some money and will know to hold off on the bed until your puppy is through the chew stage!

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Cat scratching posts are not created equal

Scratching catCats love to scratch – and the best way to discourage them from doing it on your furniture is to get them their own scratching surfaces.

Cats tend to like scratching POSTS that allow them to stretch.  Scratching posts come in a variety of sizes and heights.    Some include lounging surfaces so that cats can enjoy the vertical space they love.  Others include hanging toys.  They all include some sort of solid base for stability.  Many scratching posts are made of a durable material called sisal which lasts longer than other materials such as carpet or cardboard.

There are also flat scratching surfaces that are designed to sit on the floor and others hang over a door knob.   I have never seen a cat use the latter.  In our experience, the towers win paws down!

Is kitty still more interested in scratching your favorite sofa or lounge chair?  Try sprinkling a little cat nip on the scratching post to get kitty in the mood!

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