You won’t find the word “catification” in any printed dictionary, and it’s even too new to be found in online dictionaries. I’m not positive, but I believe the term was coined by Jackson Galaxy, noted cat behaviorist and star of the popular Animal Planet show, My Cat From Hell. If you watch that show, you’ve probably heard Jackson tell the clueless humans “you’ve got to catify your house!” Jackson has also had a Catification Column on his website for at least a year, so if he didn’t create the term – and the concept – he’s certainly had a hand in making sure cat owners everywhere are familiar with it.
So what is this catification thing, exactly? “Catification is about creating feline-friendly environments that cater to a cat’s natural instincts to climb, perch, rest, play, and own their space,” says Jackson. To catify your home means to provide adequate places that satisfy your kitty’s natural desires to either be up high if he’s a “tree dweller” or “down low” if he’s a bush dweller.
Jackson’s Catification Column is written by Kate Benjamin of hauspanther.com, an online magazine for design-conscious cat people. It includes lots of terrific examples from cat peeps who have created feline-friendly environments in their own home, like the ultra cool kitty staircase pictured at right.
Although catification might seem to be all about the cat, it actually provides benefits to the human occupants as well. A happy cat is less likely to engage in undesirable behaviors, like making mincemeat out of your couch or carpeting. Which means that you get to have nicer things in your home and don’t feel the need to apologize to guests for your ratty décor (unless you happen to love ratty décor, wherein you wouldn’t be apologetic anyway.)
The sponsor of this blog, CANIDAE Natural Pet Foods, selects one reader every three months to receive a free six month supply of their premium quality pet food. The winner is chosen at random from every new reader who subscribed to the blog via email during the past quarter. The winner gets to pick any formula of CANIDAE dog food or FELIDAE cat food.
The lucky winner from last quarter is Tricia C. of Henderson, Nevada. Tricia and her husband Scott have a lot of cats – 13 to be exact! As you can imagine, feeding that many hungry felines is no small feat (they go through about 26 pounds of kibble and 275 6-ounce cans every month!), so Tricia was super excited to find out she’d won some free cat food. She spoke with CANIDAE Customer Service to determine which of the five cat formulas would be the best choice for her “Kat Pack” and decided upon the FELIDAE Cat and Kitten formula. I’m positive her kitties will love this great food, because my cats have eaten it for many years, and they all give it two paws up!
Tricia writes a very entertaining daily blog called the Katnip Lounge, which is subtitled “A Baker’s Dozen of Fabulous Cats.” With so many cats on hand (on paw?) there is never a shortage of good material for her blog. Tricia’s Kat Pack includes six girls and seven boys: KonaKitty, The Baby, Grayce, Sweet Pea, May Ling, Salem, Johnny, Felix, Rupert, Scouty, CC, Maui and Sylvester. Oh, and then there is Henry, an outdoor feral kitty they also feed.
My new favorite TV show is Animal Planet’s Must Love Cats. The show is billed as “a celebration of fascinating felines and the fascinating people who love them,” which is spot on. It’s hosted by musician John Fulton, who travels across America to find pawesome kitties, cat-obsessed people and interesting stories about “all things cat.” I was pleasantly surprised to see stories about many things I’ve already written about on this blog, such as Matilda the Algonquin Hotel Cat, potty training your kitty, and the Cat House on the Kings sanctuary. Haha – I had my finger on the pulse of cat culture, and I didn’t even know it! The show also covers many things I didn’t even know existed, such as cat poo coffee (ewwww!), a kitty with four ears, feline fashion shows, posh cat-only hotels, and whimsical cat statues in Catskill, New York.
Last week’s episode of Must Love Cats featured “catios,” something I knew a little about but had never seen on such a grand scale. A catio (cat + patio) is a securely enclosed balcony, deck or other outdoor area that gives kitties the opportunity to be outdoors in the fresh air. They can range from small practical structures, to full-on fantasy playgrounds for cats with multiple ledges, ladders, ramps, tunnels, catwalks (ahem) and natural scratching posts. A small catio is pretty much just a cage, which I don’t think any cat would like even if it is outdoors. The giganti-cat model featured on Must Love Cats, however, is definitely something indoor kitties would appreciate.
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