Vegetable-dyed scratch pads and organic catnip leaf? The money grows on these cat trees.
Early on in the pandemic, Mi-Anne Chan grew tired of staring at the beige cat tree in her two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. She had been tackling D.I.Y. projects during lockdown, so, inspired by the designs of the company Cat Haus, an idea was born.
Ms. Chan, 26, allocated a budget of $150 toward upgrading her cat Bootsy’s home. Over the summer, she spent about six days filming the process of stripping and replacing the carpet scraps. She consulted Marci Koski, a cat behaviorist, and learned that Bootsy prefers sisal rope as a scratching post. (A disco ball was also installed to satisfy Bootsy’s lust for shiny objects.)
“The goal was to not have it be so hideous,” said Ms. Chan. “In a small apartment, a cat tree takes up so much real estate so you need to have something cute.”
For some time now, aesthetically pleasing cat trees have been popping up on social media. Some may feature vegetable-dyed scratch pads or organic catnip leaf, others a Greek marble base. Behind this reimagination of feline furniture are companies like Cat Haus, Tuft and Paw, Rinn, Petfusion, Litterbox, MiaCara, Tateno and Cattsup.
Lora Lombardi, the 28-year-old founder of Cat Haus, began building cat furniture when her gray Tabby cat, Tuesday, started scratching all the furniture in her new apartment. Ms. Lombardi, who is based in Portland, Ore., takes a sustainable approach to her pieces, building patchwork cat towers out of repurposed materials.
“I decided to make her a cat scratcher that wasn’t boring, soulless, beige or from a MegaCorp,” she said.
When Axelle Vertommen, 28, couldn’t find a scratching post that fit with the interior of her home in Antwerp, Belgium, she decided to create her own out of cardboard. In 2018, the interior architect and furniture designer started developing the “gattorre,” a collection of four postmodern scratching posts that cost 275 euros (about $325) each.