Cat guardian and blogger Rachel from Cat Lady Alley and Three Chatty Cats has four cats — Sophie, Woodrow, Dexter and Olive plus their newest addition, Guster the dog. With their latest addition, Rachel wanted to create some vertical enrichment for the cats with wall shelves, so she asked for my help in designing a wall layout for her guest bedroom that doubles as the cat room.
Considering Everyone’s Needs
• Get feeders off the ground - preferably counter-height
• Multiple routes and exits with 4 cats to reduce bullying
• Cats are older and one is not the best jumper
Rachel asked if we could try and get the cats’ SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeders out of her dog’s reach and for them to be easily accessible for her to refill during feeding time. She also asked that we still leave room for a guest bed or pull-out sofa.
Each cat has their own personality and lounging preferences. For instance, Woodrow loves to climb, but Sophie is not a great jumper. The cats range in age from 8 to 13, so while they don’t currently have any mobility issues, it was important that these shelves would still be accessible to them as they age.
I took all of this and more into consideration when planning how they would get from point A to point B, whilst having multiple lanes of traffic for the four cats to move freely to prevent fights or traffic jams.
Traffic Flow Planning
The traffic pattern starts at the entrance to the bedroom. For both walls I created at least two on and off ramps. There are also different lanes the cats can take in case one cat is blocking the path in one direction.
Choosing the Best Cat Shelves
On the left wall as you enter the room, the 34” shelves from Catastrophic are what the microchip feeders rest on, giving the cats plenty of room to stand when accessing their food. The Cat Activity Tree from Fukumaru give the cats a second access point for moving up and down the different levels.
Shop the Left Wall
On the opposite wall, since this wall is shorter, both stairs lead up to a hatch in the shelves while still giving the cats room to perch and eat from their feeders. Rachel said that the cat house seems to be a favorite feature for the cats. It serves as a hub for access up to the fleece cat hammock for the best views of the window. If the hammock is occupied, the top shelf complete with a ledge for a cat bed is another great spot for lounging with views.
Shop the Right Wall
Rachel now has an incredible room for her cats and has written a post on Cat Lady Alley about the rest of her set up — including her litter closet. It’s basically everything a cat could ask for in one room. I think that the new shelves further enrich Sophie, Olive, Dexter and Woodrow's world and I’m sure their guests will enjoy their stay as well.
Need help with your own cat wall design? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation about my virtual cat-friendly design services.