4 Ideas For Catification on a Budget (Free -> $$)

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Catify this, catify that, catify everything. We hear this word every day around in the cat world and it’s quite daunting to think about. Is it even necessary to catify your home and deck it out in cat shelves and walkways?

Catification, on the outside, seems to be a large investment of time, effort, and expensive undertaking that only crazy cat people will want to do!

Luckily, there are ways we can catify without putting a dent in our wallets and using some creative but effective methods such as furniture layout optimization, suction cup catification, catification using racks/bookcases, and even door catification.

The key is to use a variety of these catification methods to bring a well-rounded and engaging environment for our cats!

What Is Catification?

Catify or catifcation is a word coined by the original cat daddy himself Jackson Galaxy. Nowadays, it’s pretty synonymous with creating or making adjustments to a living space to accommodate both our cat’s needs (which can really help with stressful situations and new environments) and our needs.

And what are these needs? Spaces that might include places to perch, play, eat, hide, climb or sleep – much like a cat would find in the outdoors (except a lot safer!).

Picture 1. One of the most useful catification tools for owners on a budget – the suction hammock!

The benefits of doing this are vast but some of the main points are:

  • Better cat to cat relationships – the more territories cats have to claim, the fewer conflicts that might arise between cat to cat relationships
  • More places to escape to and observe what’s happening – during noisy or intense situations, cats can escape to these special places to release stress or get away from something that might be bothering them. It’s also a great tool to get our cats off human surfaces such as the desk or computer table.
  • Confidence in their environment – a confident cat is a cat that has fewer behavioral issues (i.e. litterbox problems, destructive habits, aggression, general unfriendliness)
  • Safer for everybody – catifying frees up floor space and as a result, it lowers the risk of any injuries, tripping, and accidental stepping on of any cats!
  • More space for humans to do human things! – cats not being on the floors means that you can have your floor space back and walk around! Or sit down! Or whatever you guys do on the floor.
  • Play variety – cats don’t only want to get to high places but they also want to climb, hide, and perch. Catification allows them to do all of these things.

Catifcation Ideas Without Breaking the Bank

Budget can mean different things to different people. I’ll be going from the least expensive solution (free!) to some small but effective purchases.

It’s also important to mention that these tips won’t damage any walls or furniture for those renting or just want to keep the walls clean.

Catification Using Existing Human Furniture (Free!)

Scan your room for items and objects that you can move around that can provide a sense of vertical progression for your cats.

*vertical progression: a path or progression of elevated surfaces for cats to reach highest perching areas of the room

I love being efficient. In a small living area, having more than one function to an item or furniture piece is quite crucial to a butler’s productivity.

studio apartment setup
Picture 2. My apartment – at this point it was sort of unoptimized but still better than nothing! Look in the sections below to see a very well optimized, catified, apartment.

Having your furniture have functions and use for both humans and cats is the epitome of multifunctional and efficient.,

If you have a lot of moveable furniture around (chairs, stools, bookcases) they can easily be used as part of your catification process. Even the couch can be used as a place for the cats to access different areas of the room.

The first thing to look for and decide is: what the highest point of the room you want your cats to access. For some homes, it might be the bookcase or shelf, or window perch.

Graphic 1. Before furniture catification example
Graphic 2. After furniture catification example

When you’ve decided that, imagine how the cat is going to get there with the furniture that you have around the room.

Fill in the gaps and presto! Catification! Without spending a dime.

The only con to this is if your furniture is quite heavy and troublesome to move around. In which case, you can take a look below for some other ideas that aren’t so heavy!

Catification Using Suction Cup Ledges and Perches ($10-$50)

I absolutely love suction cup cat products. They are super fun to work with (provided you have the glossy/smooth surfaces to hold them up).

So as an aside, catification using suction cups requires:

  • windows or glossy surfaces
  • put in a spot that is easily accessible

Suction cup perches and other stuff aren’t too expensive but they do add up because in general, you’ll want more than one.

Picture 3. This is my computer workstation at home in my small apartment. The cats can observe what I do while I still have my computer space free from hair and distractions. Cat-proofing my computer area is an important part of my work productivity, not to mention protect my equipment from my cats!

I’d recommend choosing a variety of different suction cup perches and hammocks to provide your cats with some different spaces. Open hammocks, closed caves, sturdy platforms, and cute lounges – it’s all available and really fun to play around with!

Again, think about the progression from the bottom to the highest point of the suction cup ledges.

Graphic 3. Before suction cup catification example
Graphic 4. After suction catification example

Here’s a quick tip: think about how the cats are going to move from platform to platform. Don’t stack them on top of each other or else it might be difficult to get up. Create a laddered layout! It’s fun to watch your cats navigate the suction cup ledges!

  1. K&H Pet Products EZ Mount Window Scratcher Kitty Sill Cradle

    This curve design gives your cat a cozy resting spot and also doubles as a scratching spot! Gives your cats a chance to escape noisy situations and refills are readily available for the scratching surface.

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  2. K&H PET PRODUCTS K&H Multi-Cat Window Perch

    Amazingly great for multi-cat homes. My cats use it daily and it's very well made. If you have a large enough area to mount this - It's a great tool for creating more elevated spaces. It's also very simple to set up and clean.

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  3. Cat Window Bed Hammock Window Mounted

    Easy to mount and almost never pops off. This is the staple in my apartment for easy catification. Put it on any glossy surface and it can create a highway for your cats without drilling or damaging walls!

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    04/22/2024 01:49 am GMT
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Catifcation Using Racks/Bookcases ($50-$100)

It’s almost a guarantee that one of these items will be in your home. So it might even be free!

Bookcases might need a bit more work or modifications but it’s still quite an effective piece of furniture for catification.

My favorite is the rack. There are no modifications that need to be done. Just put stuff on it and it’s automatically a nice cat resting or play area!

Racks are often full of mounting spaces and that means, cat parents can mount almost anything to the rack. This means that we can place cat beds, hammocks, scratching pads, and basically, anything else that is able to fit on the rack.

Racks also have a lot of places that you can hook something to. I like to change things up from time to time and hook on a feather or a ball or something the cats can bat around while they’re lounging on the rack.

Picture 4. On the left of the TV is my multipurpose rack. On the bottom is the cat cave/bed, on top is some stationary toys (I recently put a round scratching pad lounge there) and on top is an air purifier. Super space-efficient.

Door Catification ($60-$200)

Door catification is something that a lot of my friends and clients have tried and it works very well for them. It’s sometimes a bit of a pain to set up but once it’s up – the cats love it and it lasts for years.

For the most part, they’re stable, large, and the door area is usually an unused spot in a lot of people’s homes. The only downside is that it can be a bit bulky. It also might be noisy if the cats are playing around it because doors tend to have a hollow boomy sound if anything bangs onto it.

Graphic 5. Before door catification & suction cup catification example
Graphic 6. After door catification and suction cup catification example

In small apartments, these types of items are a good idea to put on the bathroom door. As it’s usually in a pretty congested space, getting the cats off the ground in this area is highly preferable!

  1. SmartCat Climber Door Mounted Hanging Sisal Cat Tree

    The SmartCat Cat Climber gives pet parents a space-saving product that satisfies all of the furriest family member's needs. It hangs on any door in the home and gives cats four platforms to climb or take a nap on as well as natural sisal post cats love to scratch.

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  2. K&H Pet Products Nylon Hangin' Feline Funhouse

    The Hangin Feline Funhouse has three kitty pleasing levels, two mesh windows, two open windows. The simple bracket design tightens from the bottom making this Hangin' Feline Funhouse stable enough for any cat looking for some fun. If the cat condo is too big or you have only one or two cats - this is a great option as well!

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  3. K&H Pet Products Nylon Hangin' Cat Condo

    Super simple design and sturdy enough to handle any roughhousing. The cat condo is amazing with multi-cat homes and provides your cats with multiple rooms to play, hide, and sleep.

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Other Ways to Catify and Improve Our Cat’s Environment

Combine The Methods Above

Based on your budget you can even combine two, three, or all of them – pick the ones that fit best with your home environment.

Picture 5. A lot better optimized. Cats have a clear path of how to get from the floor to the highest point in the room.

Now there’s no hard and fast rule to catify and sometimes the best way is to combine all of the above. As long as it works and the cats use it, it doesn’t matter how we go about it.

In my small apartment, I use a combination of all of these things and it doesn’t feel like I’m living in a small apartment at all. The cats are happy and that makes me a happy owner.

Hanging Cat Lounges

There are a lot of hangable items too that can be a lot of fun for cats that like to climb, play, or chill. While they don’t provide any storage space, they do allow a lot of enrichment for cats – especially kittens! Kittens love to swing and play with each other on these macrame cat lounges!

They can hook onto any place that can handle the weight of your cat. Stick-on, door, and other types of hangers all work with them! Additionally, because it’s hanging, you don’t have to worry about it taking up precious floor space.

  1. Macrame Hanging Cat Lounge with Catnip Cushion

    Hand-woven and aesthetically pleasing for any home. The catnip bed is round for cats and kittens that love to curl up! It's easily assembled and incredibly durable

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  2. Macrame Cat Hanging Lounge

    An elegant and stylish way for your cats to relax. The base is wide for cats of all types of sizes and weights (even the chonky ones!). Has the option to include a bed or only the swing.

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    04/22/2024 01:00 am GMT
  3. Kittyhaus Cat Pillow Hammock Lounge

    Give your homeboy a place to hang out with the Pet Life Kittyhaus Dual-Lounger Cat Pillow Hammock Lounge. This hanging cat hammock is crafted using ultra-premium polyester and velveteen fabrics. It features fluffy pillows for added comfort and is paw-fect for use with multiple cats. This hanging cat pillow is equipped with a stainless-steel hook for a wide variety of installation options. It is machine-washable for easy cleaning after your companion has enjoyed kicking back for a while.

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  4. SmartyKat Portable Happy Hammock

    It adjusts to hang under chairs and side tables to create a tranquil hideaway for your kitty. This hammock allows your companion to curl up for secluded rest and also includes an attached feather toy for some added fun. Great item to put on a rack!

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With a science background and years of experience including learning, observing, and training cats - increasing our beloved feline's welfare and wellbeing is the priority and passion.

16 thoughts on “4 Ideas For Catification on a Budget (Free -> $$)

  1. Great ideas!!! The succion cups won’t fall off?

    Gonna catify my hole place ☺️ Thank you !

    1. There might be times it might fall off after a couple of months – just wipe off the suction cup and area to ensure there’s no dust underneath and it’ll probably be stuck on there for a very long time! It’s more secure than you think! Thanks for your comment!

  2. This is so amazing!!! We have rescued a cat and will be moving in the next few weeks to our apartment. We have been very worried about our little mate not being able to climb trees outside but there are many dangers for him outside there. Thank you for all your great ideas to catify our place. Main thing ‘Bluey’ will be happy and safe there now. 🐱🐱🐱

  3. How do you get the suction cups to actually stay on?
    We got 2 different window beds and our cat LOVED it. But after about a month it just randomly fell off and didn’t stay suctioned on the window anymore.
    We got the item that got the best reviews, the cat is pretty slim and under a year old, there were no harsh temperature fluctuations :/

    1. Hi! If ever my suction cup things fall off (which is very rare) I clean off the suction cups and window with a damp cloth or even better with some Windex (or similar type substance) to get any dust or residue off the surface. While the suction cup is still a bit wet, suction it onto the window and continue pressing for a few minutes to let it dry (don’t let your cat jump on it at least for 15 minutes). It should be stuck on pretty well after that!

  4. I really like all of your ideas! My brother moved to be close to me recently, and he’s afflicted with the same “Animal Lover Rescue” defective gene that I have. Between my brother, his spouse, and their roommate, they suddenly had six dogs and four cats in a modest-sized home. Although both species get along well, it’s vital for cats to have independent space – there are times when a feline simply doesn’t want to be groomed by her drooly (but much-loved) canine siblings.

    I was just explaining the concept of virtual space for kitties, catification, etc., and promised to send my brother examples of what I was talking about. The url for this happy page is definitely going on the list. Thanks for providing examples that don’t require a major investment. Cheers!

  5. Hi.
    Can you tell me where I can get the cat bed/scratcher with the track and ball you show in your “4 Ideas for Catification (Catify) on a Budget!” video? It’s the one in the beginning of the video that is transparent plastic that is not any of the ones you listed.

  6. Thanks for all of the recommendations! Where did you get the racks from? I’m having trouble finding inexpensive square ones.

  7. Great ideas! Thank you for sharing! Quick question though – where did you get that exercise wheel for your cats? I can’t find any good options.

    1. Hi! My exercise wheel was made and sold here in Korea so unfortunately, it’s unavailable for sale in the West. I’ll keep the article updated if I find anything else! Thanks for your comment.

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