5 Ways to Have a Beautifully Designed Cat-Friendly Home on a Budget

As a nation of animal lovers, it’s no surprise that there are currently over 10.8 million pet cats in the UK. We all want to provide the best home possible for our beloved moggies, but as the cost of living continues to rise, designing a beautiful interior that also suits the needs of your cat can seem like an impossible challenge.

Cats Protection, the UK’s leading feline charity, have assembled the avengers of the interior design and cat worlds to help you create the purrfect beautiful and budget-friendly home for your cat.

Sharing their top tips on reaching harmony in the home are Interior design heavyweight Anna Ryder Richardson, Instagram design guru Laura Magee from Deco Dwelling, and Cats Protection’s Central Behaviour Officer, Daniel Cummings.

  1. Be resource-wise

Daniel: “Get to grips with cat welfare resources before you embark on any design overhauls. That way you can make sure you provide everything your cat needs for a happy, healthy life and you don’t waste money on non-essentials.”

Cat owners should ensure that their cat has one food bowl and one water bowl (kept in separate places), a litter tray kept away from their food and drink sources, a good scratching post, and plenty of toys for enrichment. Cats spend up to 16-hours a day sleeping so a comfy cat bed is also essential. If you have a multi-cat household, each cat will require their own separate resources. Take a look at Cat’s Protections handy resource guide here.

  1. Get creative

Anna: “Recycling and upcycling have never been so on-trend. Now is the time to consider low-cost adaptations for your cat’s comfort. Don’t go out buying expensive things, instead, save the pennies and work with what you already have around your home. Try upcycling tricks like turning a worn-out suitcase or old chest of drawers into a cat bed. A quick search online brings up some great DIY hacks for upcycling your old homeware into stunning cat accessories.”

Daniel: “Aesthetically pleasing cat beds can be a pricey venture, but you can avoid hefty costs by simply repurposing an old jumper. All you need is an old jumper, some wadding or foam pieces for filling, scissors, a safety pin, thread, and a darning needle. It’s important to note that if your cat has a propensity to chew wool, then this jumper bed is probably not suitable for them. As with all fabric beds, check it regularly for damage, to ensure there is no risk of entrapment. Visit the Cats Protection Website for our great how-to guide.”

Laura: “You can also make your own scratching posts using sisal rope! It’s much cheaper than buying off the shelf. Like Anna said there are tons of how-to-guides online, and they are easy to follow.

  1. Trend watch

Anna: “Interior design trends cat owners should be on the lookout for in 2022 include natural materials like basket weave, Macrame, Industrial accessories, 70’s style, and house plants. These can all be easily adapted or incorporated into our design style for our cats. If you are following our earlier advice on upcycling, then consider adding some of these things to your upcycled creations! Macrame cord can be available quite cheaply, you could even make a whole cat bed from macrame – it’s a bit of a time investment but you’ll be the envy of all your friends!

“If you don’t want a bulky or expensive cat scratching post, why not try fixing some 70’s style carpet to a wooden plaque and hang it securely from your wall? It looks great and replaces a cumbersome scratch post with some enviable wall art! There are lots of places you can cheaply pick up carpet off-cuts. Make sure the plaque is safely hung from the wall, so a cat can’t easily pull it off with their claws and hang it at an easy-to-reach height for your cat.”

Laura: I love the miniature pet-sized sofas that are available! I would totally have invested in one of these, but my cat George prefers the human-sized version. He has never really taken to a pet bed, and much prefers to be chilling on a chair, beanbag or bed! If you are worried about cat accessories standing out then try to colour coordinate them with your home, it works a treat! I have a green cactus scratching pole that really works well with my indoor plants.”

  1. Space to climb

Daniel: “Cats love to climb. Getting somewhere up high enables them to quietly survey their surroundings and feel safe, so ensuring you incorporate plenty of safe climbing spaces into your home is really important.”

Laura: “If you can’t invest in specialist cat accessories that allow them to climb, you can use shelving instead. There are some really nice cheap shelves available to buy or you could clear a shelf somewhere in your home instead and make it a dedicated cat perch. Both of these are great ways to create your own cat perch for less. Using an existing shelf is ideal because you already know this is going to blend in beautifully with your home.”

  1. Indoor plants

Daniel: “Certain types of plants can be harmful or even toxic to your cat, so it’s vital you research what plants to get before you get them. Plant varieties like cycads (such as lilies), cheese plants and aloe vera are not cat friendly. Seasonal plants like mistletoe and poinsettia are also dangerous. You can find a full list of plants that are friendly and plants that are not on the Cats Protection website.”

Anna: “House plants make a great addition to an indoor space, not only as they are aesthetically pleasing but they provide a myriad of other benefits too, such as purifying the air and helping with mental health. Cat-friendly and budget-friendly plants you could think about include spider plants, Boston ferns and bamboo plants. All easily and cheaply available from garden stores.”

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