What happens when the owner of a custom building firm decides to Catify his own home? Well, the possibilities are endless! This is the home of Peter Cohen, owner of Trillium Enterprises in Santa Barbara, California. Everywhere you look he’s added catwalks, climbing poles, tunnels and other features to accommodate his 18 indoor cats. I wonder if they know how lucky they are?
The extensive walkways running throughout the house are fully integrated into the architecture — a major undertaking with a price tag to match (between $30,000 and $40,000 total for all of the Catification features). I asked Peter about adapting the ideas for smaller budgets. He replied “I think the ideas translate well to any level of construction, from the way I have built mine (banded edges and invisible bolts) to inexpensive shelves held up with right angle brackets.” Some of the more complicated pieces, like the spiral ramp shown above, would be more challenging to recreate on a budget. The ramp was made over many months by laminating strips of wood around a large cardboard tube.
In addition to the walkways, the house includes a network of tunnels allowing cats to travel from room to room and out to the garage where some of the litter boxes are kept. I’m glad to hear that they kept safety in mind when creating the tunnels and walkways. “We never build an area they can get to that we cannot,” Peter tells me. That’s the number one rule of Catification! Make every place accessible in case of an emergency and also for cleaning purposes.
The colorful interior is filed with decorative features that make it look like a fantasy land. The cats add the perfect element to the interior landscape.
No special surfaces or paints were used on the walkways and other features, just low/no VOC water based enamel paint that’s easily wiped clean. The upper catwalks are all cleaned periodically with a ladder and the lower surfaces are vacuumed and wiped down weekly.
The cats took to the design features right away. “When we first started building the walkways and tunnels I was worried the cats would not use them, but from day one, they couldn’t wait to get on everything” Peter tells me. He has continued to add features since the original renovation, constantly experimenting with new elements to keep the cats entertained.
In addition to the litter boxes in the garage, some are housed in closets with fans for air circulation. Peter paid special attention to the other important rule of Catification — especially in a multi-cat household — make sure that every area has at least two entrances and exits. This helps avoid ambushes or gatekeeping activity. You don’t want anyone to get trapped!
This is an amazing example of Catification, and it’s also very inspirational. I encourage you to come up with creative budget-conscious ways to add some of these kinds of elements into your own home, even if you don’t own a custom building firm!
To see other work by Peter’s firm, Trillium Enterprises, visit their website trilliumonline.com or check out their profile on Houzz, where you can also read another profile of this project by Houzz editorial staff Mitchell Parker.