Dezeen Magazine

Six houses designed as playgrounds for cats

Any cat owner knows their pet is the true ruler of the household. That's particularly so in these six homes with feline-friendly features – including elevated walkways, stepping-stone shelving and discrete doorways.

House in Seoul by OBBA
Photograph by Kyungsub Shin

House in Seoul by OBBA

Appearing at first glance to be a long and elaborate shelf, the feline-width staircase inside this house by Seoul studio OBBA winds up above the main entrance and stairs. A ledge at the end allows the cat to survey the comings and goings of its owners.

"The cat loves the space a lot and uses the staircase and plays there a lot," said architect Sojung Lee, one of the two founders of OBBA."The cat is used to sitting and looking outside waiting for the clients until they come back from the work, and welcome guests from the staircase when they comes in."

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The Cat House by Key Operation
Photograph by the architects

The Cat House by Key Operation

Based on the movements of the client's feline companion, this Tokyo house by Key Operation features stepping-stone shelves that allow a cat to move between rooms through high-level openings, without using the landing and stairs.

"This arrangement leaves the ample staircase and landings, which double up as a library, undisturbed from the burst of activities of the feline member of the family, while the rest of the family uses them as a place of quietude," explained the Japanese architects.

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Blackened timber extension by Scenario Architecture
Photograph by Matt Clayton

Annis Road by Scenario Architecture

The wall flanking the kitchen inside this London house extension stops short of the ceiling, providing space on top for a cat walkway. Scenario Architecture continued the walkway across the hallway, and through a hole in the wall to a room where their litter tray is kept.

"The cats use it a lot, especially when there are visitors in the house, as a means to investigate the newcomers safely and have a controlled view of the whole ground floor," architect Fanis Anastasiadis told Dezeen.

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House-Is by Do Do

House-Is by Do Do

A workspace for the client, a graphic designer, is set on the ground floor of this house by Do Do, where a white shelf at the top of the room forms an elevated walkway for the cat. It leads to a square opening in the staircase banister – allowing the cat to pop in and out.

"The husband, who is a cat-owner, hoped his house to be creative both for his work and cat, and my aim was to create a comfortable living space in this busy district of Tokyo," said the studio.

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Inside Out by Takeshi Hosaka Architects
Photograph by Koji Fujii

Inside Out by Takeshi Hosaka Architects

Japanese studio Takeshi Hosaka Architects wanted to bring the outdoors inside for the clients' cats. The living spaces occupy a central core, surrounded by an outer shell. A series of apertures in the outside allows rain, wind and light into the space between the two structures.

"The project had started based on the idea that humans and cats live in a same house, rather than cats living in a house designed for humans — and finally this idea brought out a concept: a house inside which you feel being outside," said the studio.

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Loft H by ST Studio
Photograph by Hey!cheese

Loft H by ST Studio

Long shelving staggered at different heights creates platforms for cats to jump between inside this 45-square-metre studio flat in Taipei, which was overhauled by Taiwanese design practice ST Studio to create a flexible space for the owner and his two cats.

"The adjustable shelf system on the feature wall offers display and storage functions," explained the designers. "Besides displaying books and other collections, these shelves also work as the playground of his cats – they can jump in between slabs of different heights and chill on the top slab to monitor the whole space."

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