5 Tips to Catify Your Small or Rented Home | Lola The Rescued Cat
Tuesday, November 17, 2020

5 Tips to Catify Your Small or Rented Home

Space in most city apartments is limited and unless you own your apartment, drilling holes into walls and making other permanent changes are not always possible. This can make catifying your home a little challenging, but not impossible. There are a ton of alternate solutions, and with an open mind and a little creativity, your cat can be living a "catified" life in no time.

If you’re worried about looking like the stereotypical “crazy cat person”, fear no more. I have five tips to help you catify your home in a way that are environmentally enriching for your cat and aesthetically pleasing to the human eye.

catify small spaces

When I attended Cat Camp NYC last year I spent most of my time volunteering and manning the table for The Jackson Galaxy Project. I was able to squeeze in a few seminars, though, and I had the pleasure of attending a presentation entitled “Catification Challenge: How to Catify When You Rent” by the fabulous Kate Benjamin of Hauspanther. This was the perfect seminar to present in New York City where spacious apartments are a hot commodity. I picked up some fantastic ideas to make some changes in my rented living space that I want to share with our readers. 

What is Catification?

Some of you may have never heard the term "catification" and may be wondering what it means. Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin created the definition, which they say is "The art of making changes and adjustments to your home that meet the needs of both you and your cat (aesthetically and spatially.)"

Jackson tells us that “Catification teaches us that every square inch of the home can be shared in a positive way”, and Kate gave the audience some great takeaways to accomplish this. 

“Catification teaches us that every square inch of the home can be shared in a positive way” - Jackson Galaxy

Five Tips to Catify Your Small or Rented Space

1. Go Vertical

People who live in apartments use every inch of available space. Oftentimes the only place in your home that can be maximized for your cat is vertical.

Floor to ceiling tension mounted cat trees don’t take up a lot of space. Their openness gives cats a good amount of room, and they can match just about any d├ęcor. The Elevation-II by Contempo Cat,

elevation II Contempo Cat

 and the Frisco Three Level Cat Tree are two examples. 

Frisco three level cat tree

Note: Lola The Rescued Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

You can also create vertical space by using cat ladders. 

refined feline

I love these ladders and wish I had a place for one. If you don't have room either, you could try a door hanging cat climber like the Smart Cat Climber Door,

smart cat climber

or the K&H Pet Products 3200 Hanging Cat Condo.

hanging cat condo

Making use of existing furniture is another great option. You can make bookcases, armoires, cabinets, etc., into safe vertical territories for your cats. Lola loves jumping up to the top of my curio cabinet and watching Lexy and me from high above.

Clearing clutter off of a shelf or an area that your cat wants to go on makes it easier for them to get there. So does moving a cat tree, or other existing furniture, close to the area.

catifying small spaces
We have a reveal coming soon and this is a sneak peek. 

Carpet tiles and sisal remnants make your furniture into a non-slip surface. In the photo above, I placed a sisal remnant on the cabinet, and now both Lola and Lexy can run and jump without slipping and sliding.

“Catification in small spaces just requires a bit of creativity! Start with what you already have, look for items that serve multiple functions to save space, and seek out hidden spots that are not being used. Even if you live in a small space, your cat can feel like she has unlimited areas to explore and own!” - Kate Benjamin

Jackson Galaxy refers to carpet tiles as “scent soakers.” Your cat has scent glands on their paws and they transfer their scent as they walk on tiles, signifying their territorial ownership.

2. Use Suction Cup Products

There is a variety of suction cup cat products on the market that can also give your cat some private space above ground level. 

ez mount window bed

The K & H EZ Mount Window Bed has industrial strength suction cups that hold up to 60 pounds.

The Sunny Seat is another option, especially if your cat prefers more room. This window perch seat will hold up to 50 lbs.

sunny seat

3. Create Secret Scratching Places

Cats need to scratch, and cat parents need to make sure they offer proper scratching areas. Small apartment dwellers should take advantage of hidden spaces, such as under desks and tables. The Scratch Pole by Hauspanther is a tension mounted pole that fits right underneath a desk or a table and takes up minimal space. 

scratch pole by hauspanther

Door hanging scratchers also work well. The Clever Claws by SmartyKat is one example.

clever claws

If your cat prefers a cardboard scratcher, check out the Feline Be Mine scratchpad that you can hang from a doorknob.

feline be mine

If you’re feeling crafty, you can make a DIY table leg scratcher by attaching some sisal rope to a table leg with a hot glue gun.

4. Make it Multi-Functional

Products that serve many purposes are great space savers. The Wiski Cone has been on my wish list for some time now. It is a scratching post, perch, and napping space all in one. Not to mention very stylish.

wiski cone

The Katris Modular Cat Tree is a scratcher and a climber that allows you to make endless configurations to fit your space.

katris modular

There are also products that you and your cat can both enjoy. The A-Frame Cat Bed by The Refined Feline is a stylish bed and scratcher for your cat and a side table for you. 

a frame cat bed

The Nile Cat Bed also doubles as a cute end table. 

nile cat bed

5. Use a Litter Hider

Litter hiders keep the litter box out of sight in a stylish way.

designer cat washroom

The Designer Cat Washroom by unipaws is perfect for small spaces because it gives your cat a private space to use the facilities and can be used as an end table by you.

If you have an empty corner, the Good Pet Stuff Hidden Litter Box performs double duty as an artificial planter, which looks like a clay pot. 

hidden litter box

I gave you just a few examples in each category, but there are many, many more. You can find what works perfectly for your space by doing a quick internet search.

When I recently spoke to Kate about her ideas for catifying small spaces, she told me “Catification in small spaces just requires a bit of creativity! Start with what you already have, look for items that serve multiple functions to save space, and seek out hidden spots that are not being used. Even if you live in a small space, your cat can feel like she has unlimited areas to explore and own!”

Installing a  Cat Crib hammock is a perfect example of finding a hidden spot to use. 

cat crib

With a little creativity and out of the box thinking, your space will be catified in no time. I’ve made a few changes in my apartment that I’ll be revealing in an upcoming post.

catifying small spaces
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I’d love to hear your catification ideas in the comments below. Post a photo on our Facebook page, too! 


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  1. Those all look good and are great ideas. I like the sunny seat. It would have taken both Eric and Flynn's combined weight of 39 pounds, although I think Eric's size would have taken most of the room.

  2. Those are some great ideas! We are lucky in that we have a fairly large house plus a cat run.

    Tama and Genji

  3. Oh my word, my credit card may get melted; what lovely items you've posted about! The Eastside Cats crib is large, but some of these would be purrfect for us. Thanks!

  4. we knead ta chex out that under de table scratchez pole !!! awesum !!! ;) ♥♥

  5. Great post. We have a lot of trees for cats to get to high places. I never have luck with suction cup stuff though- always falls. I love your blue rug and cabinet. XO

  6. Those are all such wonderful products, really classy too!

  7. Catification is important for everyone's health and happiness. You have lots of great ideas and some really interesting products (like the ladder and tee-pee thing).

  8. Great tips! We have a big house but some of these things would work really well for us.

  9. These are great tips! We have a small home and it's definitely challenging. I've often wanted to get Mudpie a suction cup sun seat...but I worry she might be too heavy for it. (Don't tell her I said that!!!)

  10. Excellent tips, Dawn! Love what you did with the non-slip remnant on the cabinet for Lexy and Lola.

    Those ladders are awesome. Not sure we have space ... well, maybe...

  11. These are super tips! LOVE these certification products and who knew there were so many great ones! I enjoyed seeing them as well as knowing about them. I have no idea of quite a few of them.

  12. Catification products. Spell correct.

  13. Great ideas. When we lived upstairs it was only about 800 square feet so tight for 7 of us. Dad put a cat walk up and it was such fun expanding our places and we loved it Purrs

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