When you add up all the wildlife and ruminants with the fifty-one million pets in the UK, you get an animal population that’s going on well beyond double us mere humans.
We’re outnumbered by our furry friends by at least two to one. Yet you wouldn’t know it by looking around and traveling through our towns and cities; the vast majority of our environments are shaped to fulfill our needs, and our needs only.
Nowhere is this contradiction clearer than in the modern day home. Kitchens, living spaces, stairs, floors, beds, furniture — no matter what it is, if it’s in your house it’s likely designed for bipedal, fleshy monkeys that can grasp things with their opposable thumbs. Cats, dogs, turtles, iguanas, and every other pet is excluded from the design of apartments and houses and so get no say in how their abodes turn out. The result is a home for them that is dull, dark, and downright dangerous. When in fact, what they need is a crib that’s diverse, daring, anddevoted to their way of living.
Create a home that’s both functional and stylish for you and your furry friends with these three
steps to taking your residence from human house to pet paradise.
What better way to test what your home is like for your pets than to get down on all fours and explore it? You’ll see the place from a whole new perspective, finding dangers you didn’t know existed and discovering opportunities you never knew were possible. When you’re scurrying around, as well as making sure that no one is going to interrupt you, you should keep a special lookout for things such as makeshift ladders, human foods, medications, cleaning products, sharp edges, loose material, holes and cracks, and anything else that could be harmful to your pets.
A household item of particular note is anti-freeze — a highly toxic substance that is attractive to both cats and dogs. Foods such as grapes, raisins, coffee grounds, Xylitol, nutmeg, and chocolate can also have harmful effects in dogs. And many of the same foods including many plants like lilies, along with onions, garlic, dairy, and alcohol can be poisoning to cats.
Your pets immediate living space is generally made up of everything that sits lower than the one-metre mark. That means the floor you use only for walking is 90 percent of their world and is used for everything from sprawling, dining, and sleeping, to fighting, going to the bathroom, and day-to-day living.
As most standard furniture offers a challenge to pets, particularly older ones, you want to make sure there are a number of lower level chairs and cushions that can be used for things like climbing and sitting. You may even want to consider a ramp or makeshift ladder to furniture or beds for elderly pets.
For bathroom needs, ensure litter boxes are placed away from feeding areas and in private but not too isolated places. Like us, pets need to feel safe and comfortable to go to the loo, and so if they don’t, they won’t.
When it comes to materials, a general rule is to go with whatever makes less work for you. Easy-
care leather and ultra suede are comfy for cats, easily wiped clean, and don’t wear so quickly as others. Hardwood floors with urethane finishes are popular among small dog owners. Those with larger dogs often opt for ceramic tiles or other nonporous hard surfaces.
Besides diet, safety, play, and comfort are up there with the most important needs of your pets. Not only does play make for happy and healthy animals, it ensures they keep their hunting and survival skills fresh and up to scratch.
For cats, particularly if they don’t have outside space to roam around, a few scratching poles or cat trees work great. If you have a more active or fussy feline, you could even buy or build your own climbing perch, tailoring it to match the design and shape of your home.
Unlike many cats, dogs are pretty easy to please. Big, wide open spaces are what they like, as well
as sturdy toys which make for worthy adversaries. This squeaky rope raccoon for dogs is robust,
stylish, and also helps to care for their teeth and gums.