Caturday felid: Habitats and furniture for the well-appointed cat

Due to a serious backlog of felid-related material, I’ve been slow to post about a German company that designs “cat furniture” for the well-heeled ailurophile. At least a dozen readers have called my attention to the links to the company “Goldtatze” (“Golden Paw), which has a site in German detailing all the amazing devices for the climbing and sleeping pleasure of your cat.

To see their furniture, click on any item in the right column labeled “Was Ihre Katze lieben wird” (“what your cat will love”), or go to Hauspanther (“house panther”), Oh Gizmo!, or quickmeme, sites in English that show Goldtatze furniture. 

Here are a few of the items you can buy, though they’re not cheap:

Hanging cat bed:

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Top view of above:

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Goldtatze1

Goldtatze6

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I love these walkways:

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Now really, don’t you think your cat deserves some of this? You have tons of furniture for yourself, but what does your cat have? Probably just a stupid old basket or a cardboard box. Wouldn’t your King or Queen love a plank walkway to circumambulate your living room? Baihu, Butter, Kink: talk to your staff!

*****

The Style section of the December 18 New York Times has a piece “Cool for cats” that tells the story of Kate Benjamin, a true “cat lady” who has furnished her house with fancy felid furniture and other items for the active or recumbent cat.  She designs cat furniture and runs the Hauspanther website, and she’s trying to refurbish the image of “cat lady”:

“The idea is to influence the mass cat-product industry to step up their game,” said Ms. Benjamin, who has teamed up with Jackson Galaxy, the cat behaviorist from the television show “My Cat From Hell,”for this effort. “We just want to be the go-to source for anyone who wants to live stylishly with cats.”

As the tattoo on her arm announces, Ms. Benjamin is positioning herself as a cat lady for a new generation. A vegan with Bettie Page bangs, she has upended the old stereotype of the frumpy, middle-aged woman surrounded by cats. And her two-bedroom townhouse here is a showcase of the latest in feline interior design.

The living room is filled with all manner of cat beds, scratchers, hiding spots and perches, including a miniature sun bed attached to sliding glass doors that open to a catio (a patio enclosed for the protection of her cats). The centerpiece on the dining table is not a flower arrangement or a fruit bowl, but a white porcelain cat bed designed to look like a sink. On the coffee table is a thronelike cat lounge that doubles as a scratcher. And a huge basket of cat toys is stationed next to the sofa.

There’s a lot more to the story, which is two pages long.

Since you asked, Benjamin has 12 cats, and here are some photos from the accompanying slideshow,A cat woman’s lair“:

(All photos below by John Burcham for The New York Times).
Kate Benjamin:
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\ Screen shot 2014-01-25 at 6.11.26 AM

Screen shot 2014-01-25 at 6.11.45 AM

h/t: Ginger K.

25 Comments

  1. Sean
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Horrie story I would like to bring to proff Coyne’s attention:

    NPR – January 24, 2014

    A mentally ill British national held in Pakistan has been sentenced to death for blasphemy after claiming to be the Prophet Muhammad….

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/01/24/265743855/pakistani-judge-orders-death-for-man-who-claimed-to-be-prophet?sc=17&f=1001

    • Sean
      Posted January 25, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      Horrie meant to be “horrible”. I apologize for the typo. (Sending from mobile phone)

    • Posted January 25, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      And that has to do with cat furniture how?

  2. Simon Hayward
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Not sure about having lots of stuff while the cats have none. Normally (per Hili below) the humans in the house have whichever bits the cats are not using – last night that meant two humans in the middle third of the bed with a cat on each side. As I type this one of those cats has decided that the laptop is now taking up his space and must be displaced

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I love that hanging bed! The Wandschale looks very practical as well! If I had a cat, I’d have this whole set up.

    • Achrachno
      Posted January 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      It was not clear to me how the cat gets into the hanging bed. Ramp out of view, I suppose.

  4. Posted January 25, 2014 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Beautiful stuff. After having some of this, will a cat even glance at a cardboard box or a paper sack?

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 25, 2014 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      It would suck if after spending all that money for your cat heaven, your cat decided the cardboard box was better & continued using it.

      • Merilee
        Posted January 25, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        I think that many cats would prefer the cardboard box.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted January 26, 2014 at 12:55 am | Permalink

          That thought occurred to me too. Just imagine receiving one of those elaborate pieces of cat furniture, spending hours carefully fixing it to the walls / ceiling, proudly introducing your moggie to her new habitat, and she instantly does a Maru and dives into the box it came in… ;)

  5. still learning
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Incredible wall furniture! Imagine practicing your projectile hairball regurgitation while up there.:)

    • Merilee
      Posted January 25, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      +1

  6. krzysztof1
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Even *I* think that stuff is pretty darn cool! I’m reading Pinker’s _The Blank Slate_ right now and I sense a tie-in here. Cat brains are pre-wired to feel at home in environments where they have to constantly explore and climb, etc. People spend lots of money on creating those plastic hamster runs and tunnels, why neglect cats?

  7. Posted January 25, 2014 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I love it – but my apartment is far too small for that. I have long dreamed of having a large apartment with lots of rooms and several terraces so that I could dedicate one room and one terrace (with safety meshes preventing cats from falling off the terrace and preventing birds from entering the terrace). Alas, in my present tiny financial situation, that will remain the stuff of dreams, unless I win the Euromiillions jackpot.

    Did you know that there are a number of luxury hotels just for cats around the world! Very handy if one is wealthy and needs to travel.

    https://www.google.ch/search?newwindow=1&q=hotel+for+cats&btnG=

  8. Kevin
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I am so building those things for my cats when the kids leave home.

  9. Michael Smithy
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    “…but what does your cat have? Probably just a stupid old basket or a cardboard box.”

    Any cat person knows ALL the furniture is the cats. They just let us keep it warm for them.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 12:58 am | Permalink

      all the furniture is the cats’

      I think the apostrophe is essential.

      Otherwise the cats will get rather annoyed at being constantly sat on.

      Your friendly grammar nazi…

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 26, 2014 at 12:59 am | Permalink

        But you’re quite right that they own all the furniture, though.

  10. Posted January 25, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I can see how one of the circular platforms could have a hole in the center for peering down upon the humans. A portal for the ceiling cat!

  11. Posted January 25, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I actually have vague plans for doing vaulted ceilings, which would expose the rafters and provide a latticework of exactly those types of highways. It’d also open up some “loft” types of spaces which should be quite cat-friendly.

    But, since all that would cost as much as a small car, it’s likely a couple years away at least….

    b&

  12. MZ
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Here in the Twin Cities there is a store called Purrniture which also has wonderful cat furniture; it too is pretty pricey but I keep thinking that someday . . .

  13. stuartcoyle
    Posted January 25, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    If I bought that stuff for my cat, she would still find an old cardboard box or my lap to sit in.

  14. Posted January 26, 2014 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Haha, that first photo confuses me!! How do they get up there?! :)

  15. Mary L
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    My cat had a covered, foam bed that he loved, until the new microwave was delivered… years ago. He immediately claimed the emptied box and it still sits in the dining room. It’s next to the paper bag he also likes to sleep on, but not in. After he eats, he chews a plastic packing strip to clean his teeth and mouth. We’ve been roomies for 12 years, I’m used to him/

    • Mary L
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Whoops. That should be a period, not a slash.


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