If you're a cat owner, you're no stranger to furniture that has been coated in fur or clawed to shreds as an ad hoc scratching post. Or both. (Probably both.)
We feebly attempt to counter these feline impulses with less-than-aesthetically-pleasing towers covered in carpet and rope. Maybe those towers have a little swing? Sometimes we offer up a brightly colored cat bed of some sort, one that seems soft and comfy to us, but that a cat will sniff at for a few minutes before resuming its perfect perch on the arm of your sofa, claws in just deep enough to leave a mark.
Those days may be coming to end, however, as furniture makers and retailers realize there's a market for cat furniture that is stylish for us humans and attractive to our furry feline friends. Indeed, a 2015 survey conducted by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council found that the vast majority of millennials think of pets as family members that deserve some pampering, and that they're willing to "splurge" on certain items for their pets, including custom beds.
So it's a market that's just waiting to be tapped, and some manufacturers are ready and raring to meet that demand, especially when it comes to cats. And that isn't so surprising. Given that our perception of dogs tends to them being a bit more low-maintenance and willing to, you know, actually use their dog beds, cats need extra pampering and coaxing. After all, cats have a long history of being worshiped and of being jerks if they don't like something in their space.
With that in mind, here are few furniture options for the feline friend in your life.
Lurvig your cat
It wouldn't be a new furniture trend if Ikea wasn't in on it already, and they are. Their Lurvig line of products is for both dogs and cats, but they have a couple of pieces exclusively for kitties. Naturally, a few of these item complement the human-sized furniture the Swedish retailer sells. For instance, the cubed Lurvig cat house/bed fits snugly into a Kallax shelf space, giving you and your cat the option to either put the bed on the floor or off the ground.
Our favorite may be the cat house on the legs, however. It can be a cube that also fits into the Kallax shelf, or it can go without legs and sit on the floor or be mounted on the wall. On top of all that, the cat house with legs can double as a small nightstand, making it a useful piece for both you and your cat. There's even a little front-facing panel for your cat to reach up and sharpen its claws before it jumps into the house and settles in for a nap. (Now if only your cat could help you put the confounded thing together.)
A tradition for furniture extended to cats
If you're looking for something a bit more grounded in a sense of tradition and craftsman, look no further than the Okawa Kagu campaign. Based around revitalizing Japan's historic crafts industry prefecture of Fukuoka, the initiative developed both a cat-sized bed and a cat-sized sofa using scaled down models of actual pieces of furniture intended for humans. The Japanese and the internet love cats, after all, so what better way to raise awareness?
The bed, designed and made by Tateno Mokuzai, uses a dark wood about 15 millimeters thick. There are no metal fittings that work at that size, so everything is entirely done in wood and crafted by hand. The sofa uses pinewood and was designed and produced by Hiromatsu Woodworking. These are pieces that are intended to "satisfy a selfish cat" that prefers your space.
For the modern American cat
Perhaps you prefer something with a more American feel than Japanese tradition or Swedish build-it-yourself ingenuity. The Ohio-based furniture manufacturer Sauder, like Ikea, has pieces intended for both dogs and cats and pieces exclusively for both. They have few different cat towers, but the natural sphere (pictured) is probably our favorite.
Instead of just being a tower of sisal rope and some fuzzy bits, Sauder created a stylish and cozy scratching post just for your cat. The wicker sphere at the top offers two ways in for you cat, with top and front entrances. Once side, the cat can curl up and take a nap, knowing it's protected from whatever's on the ground. There's a sisal scratching post on one of the legs and a furry ball at the bottom of the sphere for play time. The space below the sphere is even carpeted for extra cat friendliness.
Buildings bridges between species
Of course, cat furniture doesn't have to be all style and substance, form and function. Sometimes it can just be fun. CatastrophiCreations specializes in that kind of cat furniture. Consisting of a series of wall mountings to encourage play and exploration from heights that cat love, CatastrophiCreations also developed what they call Indiana Jones cat bridges (no one tell Disney). The pine bridges are made to order and allow the cat to traverse the house in a way that might appeal to them (but not necessarily to you, should the kitty launch a surprise aerial ambush). The bridges also make for great napping spots, too.