It is a little known fact that humans have been used by cats for many thousands of years for food and shelter. This is an unequal symbiotic relationship that has remained unchanged to the present day.
In recent years, cats have even managed to fool architects into designing and building them luxury cathouses.
Here we proffer 14 of the most amazing cathouses you have ever seen. We will also attempt to answer some commonly asked questions about cathouses.
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How do I make my house cat-friendly?
To be honest, cats are pretty easy going when it comes to homes. So long as you feed them they'll pretty much stick around.
But there are some things you can do. According to sites like icatcare.org, try not to have an ultra-modern, ultra-minimalistic home.
Cats love to roam around and feel most secure where they can lurk and hide at times. "The slightly more cluttered home is a haven of possibilities for a cat, offering high places to sit and plenty of places to disappear from view," according to icatcare.org.
Other obvious things should be kept in mind. Try to make your home as cat-safe as possible by removing any serious health and safety issues.
But bear in mind that cats are natural climbers so you should provide some elevated things for them to use. A staircase is ideal, but if you live in a single story home you might want to provide some elevated areas for cats.
They also like to play with things, so you should consider getting them some toys.
Cats are also highly independent and, where possible, you should provide a means of egress and ingress for your precious feline. Cat flaps, for example, are a great addition to your home.
Obviously, this won't be possible if you live in a high-rise flat/condo.
How do I keep a stray cat warm in the winter?
Although cats come with their own home-grown fur coat, even they can suffer in very cold conditions. Just like humans, if they remain in below-freezing conditions for too long they can develop serious medical complications like hypothermia and even frostbite.
One really useful thing you can do is build, or buy, a cat shelter for any stray cats you are worried about. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the most important feature is that they are effective.
It should provide a good means of acting as a windbreak and be just big enough for a cat - not a dog, or other larger animal. If you can get one that is insulated all the better.
For more advice on this, check out pethelpful.com's useful guide.
What is the best outdoor cat house?
As we have already seen, a good outdoor cat house should primarily act as an effective windbreak and only be big enough for a cat. But, that being said, there are some great ones out there you can buy.
Petlifetoday.com conducted an exhaustive review of various examples of the market. In their guide, you can check out their guide for some of the best outdoor cat houses on the market.
14 awesome examples of luxury cat homes
So without further ado, here are 14 examples (credit to dezeen.com) of awesome luxury cathouses designed by actual architects. We'll let you decide if that is laudable or not.
1. "White Jack" is a jack with a difference
"White Jack," designed by Abramson Teiger Architects features three criss-cross white tubes that meet at a central point - just like a jack! The idea is to provide not only shelter but some entertainment for its feline occupants.
2. "Ball of Twine" is just that
Also designed by Abramson Teiger Architects, "Ball of Twine" is, as you've probably guessed, inspired by a ball of woven string. This luxury cathouse is hollow in the middle to provide a comfy living space for one lucky cat.
3. CallisonRTKL's cat cathedral is awesome
This luxury cathouse offering from CallisonRTKL has been described as a cathedral for cats. Featuring colored windows and a miniature disco ball, this house is bound to keep one lucky cat occupied for many hours.
4. D3 Architecture's cathouse is made from scrap
Scavenged from junk parts, this hyper-industrial luxury cathouse by D3 Architecture is truly awesome. Using discarded air conditioning ducting as tunnels, this cathouse has a central chamber that acts as a bed which is suspended from the surrounding metal frame.
5. "Meow Miaow" was inspired by origami
Built from plywood triangles and aluminum piano hinges, the Meow Miaow is designed to house several cats at the same time. Designed by ES-EN-EM, this luxury cat home is specifically inspired by origami, and can be folded flat for ease of transport.
6. "Flora-Gato" doubles as a seat
Flora-Gato by Formation Association, Terremotto Landscape, and Arktura, is an interesting take on the concept of a luxury cathouse. Incorporating Spanish moss and Korean grass, the whole main structure made of recycled plastic.
It is intended to have a dual purpose - a home for stray cats and a seat for volunteers.
7. "Can't We All Get Along" is ambitious
Designed by HKS Architects, this luxury cathouse sports three birdhouses sprouting out of a fish-shaped cat den. It was designed to help shelter needy cats as well as only the bravest of birds.
8. HOK's tubular luxury cathouse is different
Build from 7 felt-lined plastic tubes, this luxury cathouse by HOK is something else. Designed to home 7 lucky kittens, it has a fake wood external lining to make it suitable for both indoor and outdoor locations.
9. Knowhow Shop's cathouse is a work of art
Designed by Knowhow Shop, this modernist luxury cathouse is something of a work of art. It has a feather coated base and two irregular shaped openings at either end of the irregular shaped sections.
10. "Cat's Win!" looks fun
Designed by Kollin Altomare Architects "Cats Win!" consists of two halves. A pair of ramps lead up from either side to the central wooden platform, where cats can scratch a material pole.
11. "Unfurled" can be modified
"Unfurled" designed by Perkins+Will is a coil-shaped luxury funhouse for some very lucky cats. The house is modular in design allowing for several variations to be created at any one time.
12. Stantec's cathouse is a plaything and home in one
This luxury cathouse by Stantec is designed to be played with and slept on. Incorporating two curved plywood frames, it has a series of red strings, pulled taut, to keep cats busy for hours.
It also has a fake white fur bed for them to sleep on when they get bored with pawing at the string.
13. "Catosphere" might be the coolest cathouse ever
"Catosphere" designed by Standard Architecture, consists of a raised concrete shelter on raised brass legs. But its standout feature is a series of reclaimed wooden louvers that can be moved to keep the home hot or cold as the weather dictates.
14. CatSCAPE is amazing
CatSCAPE by HOK, an LA-based architecture firm, was designed to raise funds for the animal advocacy group, Architects for Animals.
"Architects for Animals invited LA's top architecture and design firms to build and donate creative and functional outdoor dwellings for cats," they said.