Feline Design: How Cats Rule Architecture

Luke Barley Luke Barley

It’s true: cats really do rule everything around us, or at least they act like they do. While some pet lovers may argue that the unquestioning affection of dogs is preferable, cat lovers know that the attention of felines is reserved for those of us with discerning taste… in architecture and companionship.

A Cabin in a Loft, Terri Chiao, Brooklyn, New York

The whimsical Cabin in a Loft is a bed and breakfast in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. The space was created to offer affordable lodging to traveling artists and foster a global artistic community. The cat-in-residence is just the cherry on top of a sweet design.

Goldstein-Rosen Residence, Charles Holden, Durham, North Carolina

This home, a minimalist renovation of an existing building, includes large windows that create a perfect space for cats to bask in the sun and keep an eye on outdoor wildlife.

House Taishido, Akira Koyama + KEY OPERATION INC. / ARCHITECTS, Taishido, Japan

The brutalist exterior of this home hides a bright and cheery interior filled with wonderful details. Cats have an evolutionary preference for high perches, and the built-in shelving system in this home provides a perfect vantage point from which to survey their surroundings.

Softbox TiriPiri, ARHIS, Plienciems, Latvia

This eco-conscious vacation home makes use of geothermal heat and solar panels. It also features an amazing split-tread staircase that would be perfect for any cat to climb (and likely trip up their owners!).

coloro-desk / koloro-stool by Torafu, Tokyo, Japan

Cats aren’t known for their industrious natures—there’s a reason it’s called a “catnap.” This modular plywood workstation may be perfect for human productivity, but a feline can easily find another use for the in-stool storage.

Sandringham Residence, mcfarlane | green | biggar Vancouver, British Columbia

The architects of this modern bungalow concentrated on using floor-to-ceiling windows and doors to open the home to the spectacular landscape views. But of course, the cat of the house already knows life is more interesting when you get a taste of both the outdoors and the indoors.

Hausboot Silverbeaver, Confused-Direction Design, Oldenburg, Germany

Cats typically hate water, so a houseboat might seem like the last place they’d like to call home. However, this particular floating home is actually a cat’s paradise, featuring a wood-burning stove to warm up by and carpeted perches on the wall designed specifically for the feline residents.

The Share Apartment, WALL STUDIO LTD., Mei Fu, Hong Kong

Cats and dogs get along like, well, cats and dogs. However, the modular interior of this apartment allows inhabitants to shift dividing walls according to their needs, and their pets seem to co-exist peacefully. Maybe an adaptable environment is the key to domestic harmony?

Parc Safari, Bernard Fredette, Hemmingford, Quebec

This exhibit offers visitors an eye-opening peek into the life of their house cats’ much larger cousins. Hopefully these architects and engineers developed a strong structural system! (Let this also serve as quick reminder that if your cat was bigger, he could eat you.)

The Cat Show: Tubes Over Tubes Inside Tubes, Freecell Architecture llc, New York, New York

Contemporary architecture cares about cats! This incredibly immersive cat environment complete with perches and scratching areas is the perfect example of the way cats have won the hearts of architects everywhere.