Love your cat, but hate what he does to your apartment? Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell, as well as the author of Catification (written with Kate Benjamin, creator of cat design website Hauspanther), explains cat-taming basics, such as saving your sofa from becoming a scratching post. Here are his tips:
- Catify your apartment: Make your home cat-friendly. Galaxy advises approaching your house as if you’re the designer and your cat’s the client. Watch your cat enter a room. Does he go to the couch or up high? Take that info and design a space for him based on his behavior. Feel free to spend as much or as little as you want or can afford.
- Compromise: Clear off a space for your feline friend. Galaxy recommends a window-mounted kitty sill—which is a shelf attached to a window that comes complete with a cat bed. “There is no better place for a cat than a window because what goes on outside is endlessly interesting to them,” says Galaxy. “It’s Cat TV.”
- Look for cat “hotspots”: In homes where there are multiple cats or multiple types of pets (such as cats and dogs) or even kids and cats, a “hotspot” is an area that is heavily contested. Galaxy suggests putting an X in painter’s tape on that spot, and notes that within a week you should see a pattern. Once you figure it out, put up a laddered climbing cat tower with multiple exit routes from that trouble spot.
- Stop sofa-scratching: According to Galaxy, your cat scratching your couch is a way for them to own the space. “When your cat scratches your couch that is a backhanded compliment, because it smells of you.” He urges cat owners to put double-sided tape around the legs of their sofas. Then, right next to it, put up a sturdy scratching post with a texture they’ll like “so they can leave their scent and their mark right next to you.”
In Case You Missed It: Every so often, BrickUnderground digs through the archives to find the best advice our experts have shared through the years.