The Cat Condo (AKA the Chat-eau)
The design of the cat perch is an exercise in absolute material efficiency. A single rectangle of thin metal was cut with a water saw, and then it was formed into an “S” shape (when viewed from above), allowing the otherwise unstable metal sheet to stand erect. The flaps formed by the water saw were then formed to create the elevated flat perch and funnel-shaped cat cave.
These surfaces were lined with thick wool felt to make them attractive places to rest. A similar wool basket below was created to cradle a kitten or be used as a toy box.
The staggered-hole detailing of the scratch pad allows for each strand of natural cotton rope to tightly abut the next and brings visual interest. The scratch pad can be accessed by a cat of any size and once shredded, could be replaced cheaply and easily.
We provide the dimensions of the Cat Condo below, but to help everyone visualize it, we asked OHS’s very own rescue cat, Rudy (weighing in at 8 lb / 4 kg) to try it on for size.
● Dimensions (wood base and metal frame): 48” D x 24” W x 36” H / 122cm D x 61cm W x 91cm H
● Approximate weight when fully assembled: 50 lb / 23 kg
(Metal frame and wood base can be separated to facilitate easy carrying and transport.)
● Painted metal frame
● Ultra-thick natural cotton rope scratchpad
● Natural wool felt padding
● Felt toy box (or kitten crib)
● 4 cat nip-scented natural wool mouse toys
● Durable base and structure to prevent tipping and sliding
Made from pet-safe materials:
● Durable wood base sealed with mineral-oiled solid wood
● Painted steel structure with smooth beveled edges
● Natural cotton rope (can be easily replaced as it wears)
● 100% wool felt
● Cat nip-scented wool mice (can be easily replaced as they wear)
Kariouk Architects has always been committed to providing our expertise to our community, pro bono. Over the years, we’ve also considered the needs of pets in many of our architectural designs.
In creating two new projects, a dog “crib” and a cat “perch”, we’ve combined these two ideals to aid a much larger community of animals. We created these pieces for the Ottawa Humane Society to raffle off, with 100% of the proceeds donated to animals requiring urgent care.
The designs started with an idea: if your dog or cat stopped thinking about food and cuddling for a moment, and articulated their wish list for a custom shelter, what would they request? Because everyone at Kariouk Architects has a long history of living with pets, we knew we could act as interpreters, and set to work.
As with every single design project at Kariouk Architects, we began with a very pragmatic set of criteria:
● To the greatest degree possible, the materials had to be natural, extremely durable, and sustainable (or at least recyclable).
● Construction is complicated and costly, so we had to ensure that material efficiency was paramount. (And the corollary to efficiency is a reduction in the use of very limited natural resources.)
● As with our designs for humans, these pieces had to reflect the reality that every living creature ages and loses physical mobility. Hence, all our designs had to accommodate life’s changes without necessitating subsequent alterations or renovations.
● After the above considerations started to yield possible design directions, we delved into fusing these into beautiful, elegant, physical forms. Architecture is firstly shelter for the body, but then it must also shelter the soul (and if you happen to be a cat, that likely means nine souls).