Architectural Cat Houses For Savvy Felines

It is no secret that cats can be the fussiest of cultural critics which is why Los Angeles-based Architects for Animals has assembled some of the city’s leading architecture firms to design functional yet inventively fancy outdoor cat houses at “Giving Shelter,” a benefit for FixNation, which spays and fixes homeless felines.

Los Angeles is home to one of the nation’s largest populations of homeless felines, an estimated one to three million cats, according to FixNation’s website. The nonprofit aims to provide a more effective and compassionate alternative to mass euthanasia.

Each firm was tasked with designing, building and donating an urban outdoor cat house that can withstand the elements. The donated cat houses are then on display every year at the Herman Miller showroom through the “Giving Shelter” exhibit.

A total of 11 unique cat houses were created. Here are some savvy kitty dwellings to inspire.

Photography by Meghan Bob Photography

Tenting it

Inspired by the simplicity of a tent’s rain fly, Tracy A. Stone Architect wanted to create a playful structure that uses tent technology and simple materials.

A custom tent pole suspends the rain fly over the platform to create refuge from rain and other elements. Homely amenities such as water bowl, scratch pad and dangling toy have been integrated to give our feline friends a memorable stay.

Legs house

This shelter inspired by urban dwellings extends three levels. Its vertical design uses CNC-machined Kebony wood slats, a more sustainable alternative to Brazilian walnut, to express “both wild and domestic sensibilities.”

The slabs vary in shape and gradually taper as they reach the ground providing protection from weather, while allowing air to circulate through the house naturally. The first two levels provide areas for sleeping and eating, while the rooftop deck features plants and acts as a lookout space.

Crate tower

D3architecture killed two birds with a stone with this Crate tower. Unwanted plastic, wood and metal boxes are re-used to create a kitty-shelter.

This shelter is sculpted from an assortment of used milk crates. The boxes stack on top of one another, above a base crafted from wood, to create ample opportunity for climbing and lots of space for napping.

The cat pod

Standard Architects created a flexible, modular unit using a prefabricated curved concrete shell that is infilled with teak wood, certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and reclaimed from flooring samples. Slats of teak frame an accessible cat door and beige felt blankets the ground of the shelter.

Concrete was chosen for its high thermal mass, it gathers heat throughout the day and gradually releases it overnight, while the teak walls and doors let in a breeze, keeping the cat comfortable all day.

Meow-dular CatCube

The CatCube is a modular system that allows flexibility in the dwellings configurations, letting the user determine the number and type of modules that best suits their cat needs. Each module’s interior is lined with felt and features a colored linoleum on the exterior to create a cozy and fun yet hardy interior for the cats.

The base of the modules are carpet tiles or pet grass that are easily removable for cleaning or changing. The set of two modules connect via hidden magnets under the surface of the linoleum, and each module rests on elevated felt pads to allow it to slide easily across flooring.

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