The Play Den

Our ten cats have their own play room. That sounds a bit OTT, but let me explain. It’s a Toblerone-shaped room about fifteen feet by eight feet and barely five feet tall. I can stand upright in the middle, but only just. When we first moved to this old house over twenty years ago, I wracked my brain for a suitable use for this, our smallest attic. Before I thought of anything sensible, we had adopted a fully grown green iguana and the room was turned into the biggest vivarium I have ever seen, with a three-foot pond and a waterfall in the corner. So not exactly sensible, but a great talking point when anyone came round.

Eddie Lizard spent thirteen happy years in there until we eventually lost her to kidney failure. (Sadly it’s as common with iggies as it is with cats). The room lay empty for a couple of years until we adopted three kittens all the way from Constanta in Romania. Their wonderful rescuer has an apartment where she keeps some of her animals and from the photographs and videos she sent on a regular basis, I could see the place was filled with toys. By then the seed had been sown and we set about converting the little room once again and the result can be seen featured above. The room is modelled by (from left to right) Bubu, Pearl, Chai and Buddy. Bubu and Chai are wearing matching red laser dots.

Here is a video of the room in action. It’s hard to believe that all the cats here were once badly abused as kittens.

Of course, I simply couldn’t stop there and so the toys and trees spilled out around the rest of the house. The larger attic is filled with cat beds, radiator hammocks, three trees and a musical swinging crib I found on Amazon and yes… some of the cats love it! There is a huge plastic storage box at one end, filled with their smaller toys and they love to jump in, rummage around and pick their favourites. As with children, everything is picked up off the floor every couple of days and thrown back in the box, but the place doesn’t stay tidy for long.

Our bedroom is also home to another tree, even though it barely has enough space for our own furniture. The top has been chained to one of the old beams in the eaves and the cats take it in turns to sleep in the “crow’s nest”. Little Foxy will actually perch on the beam, although I would rather she didn’t. Here is the little minx in a more traditional pose on top of the giant scratching post that lives in the dining room. We have no dining furniture in there, just more toys and beds, but then… if it makes them happy, then we are happy.

About the Author:

Zooey lives on a smallholding in Sussex with her husband, ten cats and many other assorted animals. In her spare time she is a keen photographer and has her own blog Elements https://myelementsblog.com

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54 thoughts on “The Play Den

        1. Eighteen was a very full house, but they still didn’t fight. Ten is probably a better number though. It’s the same with our ferrets (who also have their own room). You work to make them happy and when you bring a new one home, they just join in the fun. There’s no point in rocking the boat when there is enough food and love to go around 🙂

          1. And ferrets. My cats are from the same litter and one of them still tries the whole dominance thing. They’re loved to bits but don’t seem to want to share. 🙁

          1. Well, I do. I have the responsibilities, make the decisions where they live, how often they are taken to the vet, even about their live’s end. I do not see them as things, but I own them, because they cannot own themselves, like humans do. German laws treat animals as things, though it states they ARE no things.

        1. It was easy. Just upload your image somewhere and copy and paste the link within the comment. Eddie was a very happy iggie in there. It was odd doing our outside animals in the middle of winter and looking up to see her watching us from her window in the warm 🙂

    1. If you mean the pale fawn bed at the back, it’s a Catit track. They come in sections and we bought an additional set for them the other Christmas. It has a flashing ball that they can move around by putting their paws through the slots. I photographed the room with the light on, but it’s normally fairly dark in there, so the laser toys work really well 🙂

    1. The funny thing is that even the new rescues catch on immediately. I don’t know if it would work so well with a normal sized room, but this little attic is ideal 🙂

  1. Our adopted cat Sid fully understands these cats. He was himself abused the first three years of his life and thrown out into the street. Rescued and then adopted by us. He sends all of them his sincerest meows.

    1. Please give Sid a big cuddle from me. I know we can’t rescue them all, but these poor souls have so much love to offer. I wish more people would give them a chance. (I currently have five of them sitting behind me in the study waiting to take me upstairs to bed) 🙂

  2. Purrfect for them a place they can chill-out . My home is such that I have all my furniture just off the walls so they can run behind everything and climb up and over they have great mad moments.

    1. Those are great, aren’t they? Our lot have a mad moment in the morning and then crash out once they are exhausted. They generally have another one late afternoon and again at bed time. We sometimes hear the roller ball toy going in the attic after the lights have gone out 😀

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