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Cat expert Jackson Galaxy defines catification as “the art of creating an enriched home environment that is acceptable to both you and your cat.” Every inch of your home you share with your cat can be shared positively.
When you catify your home, you allow your cat to find confidence and own certain spaces without sacrificing your own home style choices. One of the most important ways to do that is by getting to know the vertical spaces in which your cat feels most confident. These spaces are referred to as The Confident Where.
What is “The Confident Where”?
When a cat walks into a room, it does a three-dimensional assessment of its surroundings in a way that humans don’t. They take in the space from floor to ceiling and start to assess which places would make good resting spots in your home. We all know that cats love to “perch” but you might not know that cats start to survey their possible perches as soon as they enter a room. They also make note of spots where they can camouflage themselves to hide, prey/play, or just take a quick break from being social.
The first step in catifying your home is finding out where on the vertical axis your cat finds his mojo. That’s his Confident Where. Each cat is individual as to the type of place they feel the most confident.
Some cats like to lay low in the home. They might lie in wait under a coffee table or behind a plant. They are often waiting to hunt or pounce. They prefer to keep all four paws on the ground.
These cats can be found anywhere up high. These cats find their confidence on high perches, being able to see the world from above. They prefer the tops of shelves or dressers, or you might even find them on top of your fridge from time to time, keeping watch over the kitchen.
These kitties also prefer to keep all four feet on the ground, but they do not hide like bush dwellers. Rather, they prefer to be out in the open for all to see and notice. Splayed out on a living room floor, their message to all who pass them is, “You can walk around me.”
Figure out which type of cat you have and arrange your furniture and cat-based décor accordingly. Cat perches, beds and trees can be placed according to where your cat personally feels most confident.
Areas to Climb, Jump, Play and Hunt
Cats, by nature, love to race and jump around without touching the ground. There are many excellent cat trees and lounges you can purchase that can weather your cat’s constant action and will keep your cat happy too.
You can further release some of his play energy by providing him with toys that mimic the hunt he’s programmed for. Think of toys that look like mice or other small prey. If you’re at work or out of the house for long stretches of time, consider remote activated toys.
Get a “Cat TV”
If you have a television, your sofa probably faces towards it. In the same way, your cat’s “furniture” should face towards his entertainment: the window! In front of the window, add a perch, cat tree, or bed to encourage your cat sit and watch the world all day. These observations stimulate important instincts in cats, like hunting.
If windows are scarce in your house, consider an aquarium (just be sure it has a cat-proof lid!). This will engage your cat in a similar way.
Consider a “Catio”
Jackson Galaxy is not a proponent for cats going indoors and outdoors at will, but a “catio” is a great compromise! By creating an enclosed space on your existing patio, you can offer all the stimulation of the outdoors with the protection of the indoors. Add vertical spaces, wooden scratching objects, and grasses like catnip to create a cozy “outdoor” space for your cat. He’ll also reap the benefits of some fresh air and vitamin D without leaving the safety of your home.