Jackson Galaxy coined the term “catification” on his hit TV show “My Cat From Hell.” The concept is based on the fact that at their core, even our domesticated cats are still wild animals, and while we’ve invited them into our homes to share our lives, we can’t expect them to completely give up all their instincts. We have to look at our living space from the cat’s point of view and provide an environment that keeps them stimulated.
Cat style expert Kate Benjamin, the founder and publisher of Hauspanther, believes that good design can enhance the way we live with cats and improve our lives and the lives of our beloved feline companions. Kate combined her love of cats with her passion for interior design, architecture, product design, graphic design, art, and fashion, and for the last seven years, she has been showcasing her catification solutions on Hauspanther. Kate has assisted Jackson Galaxy on several episodes of “My Cat From Hell” in creating stylish, cat-friendly environments.
Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You) is the result of the collaboration between these two champions of cats. Galaxy and Benjamin offer the definitive guide to creating a cat-friendly home environment by sharing design tips and DIY projects that can be accomplished by even those who may be afraid of using a hammer and nails. Projects range from simple wall shelves and kitty hammocks to elaborate cat trees and “catios” (outdoor enclosures.)
The first part of the book explains why catification is crucial for happier cats, happier humans, and a deeper bond between the two species. Many behavior problems can be prevented or eliminated by providing an enriched environment. Catification is essential for single cat as well as multi-cat households. It reduces stress levels for cats and humans, and allows everyone to share the same space peacefully. “A home that proudly advertises that you care about your own comfort as well as that of your animal companions is beautiful,” writes Jackson in the book’s introduction.
Jackson explains the concept of the “raw cat,” something he also calls “cat mojo.” This confident ownership of a cat’s territory and instinctive feeling of having a job to do – the job of hunt, catch, kill, eat, groom, sleep – makes for a happy and well-adjusted cat. It’s up to us humans to understand cats in general, and to take into account the experiences each cat brings with him when we bring him into our home. By understanding each individual cat’s needs, we can create an environment that allows each cat to be a happy cat. Catification is the way to do that.
Part two provides detailed information on catification projects: projects with names like “A Stairway to Heaven (Cat Style),” “Tunnel Vision: Creating the Perfect Cat Tunnel” and “Kitty City: A Climbing Structure with Two Catwalks.” The sky, or, in this case, the ceiling, is the limit when it comes to implementing cat-friendly living ideas. This section also includes a behind the scenes look at several catification projects from “My Cat From Hell” with never before seen pictures of how the modifications to the cats’ homes were created.
The book is beautifully designed with full-color photos, work sheets to get to know your cats’ catification style, and lots of tips and tricks from Jackson and Kate.
Catification will inspire even the most experienced cat guardians to look at their living space with fresh eyes. Within the first two days of finishing the book, I discovered at least three areas in my home that needed catification improvements. I found myself re-evaluating every room in my home, making small changes as I went along, and taking notes for more complex projects that I want to tackle in the future.
This book belongs in every cat guardian’s home. This is a book that will change lives. It will empower cat guardians to help cats with behavioral challenges by making often very minor changes to their cats’ home environment. It will allow cats and humans to live together in a space that is both functional from a cat’s perspective and pleasing to the human eye. And ultimately, this book will not just change lives, it will save lives. As Jackson writes in the books’ introduction, “if cat guardians can understand how their cats see the world and make the necessary changes to accommodate those preferences, more cats will stay in their happy forever homes, and fewer will be sent to shelters, or, worse, outside to fend for themselves.”
Catification will publish on October 14, 2014 and is available for pre-order from Amazon and everywhere books are sold. The publisher will donate $1 for every pre-order to organizations dedicated to helping homeless cats.
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.