Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the September/October 2015 issue of Catster print magazine. Click here to subscribe to Catster magazine.
Orange County, California, keeps growing. The population grew 4.5 percent in the past five in expanding years, higher than the state average. Know what else is growing? The cat population. It’s at 85.8 million nationwide, the most since survey conductors at American Pet Products Association began keeping records. In 2009, 38.2 million homes had cats; in 2015, cats lived in 42.9 million homes.
This means it might be the perfect time for homebuilders to consider all their homes’ potential inhabitants. Southern California development company Brookfield Residential has already started.
“Cats need their own place. They have some accessories, like the litter box, that need to be privately located and out of the way,” said Mercedes Meserve, vice president of marketing. She said the company believes in creating “the best places to call home for all members of the family, including the furry ones.”
The company recently began offering “cat caves” in homes. These Southern California offers its first built-in cat features for residents. Cat-only cubbies are created to give cats some privacy in their litter box moments, tucked out of sight, yet in plain sight, within laundry rooms.
“For a long time, we’ve been offering options for dogs; this helps accommodate the four-legged family member who needs his/her own space inside the home,” Meserve said. “We’ve taken our cabinetry in the laundry room and refurbished it to offer the privacy and the access for the litter box to be compartmentalized.”
The new features can be built in the Tustin, Calif., neighborhood development of Huntley at Greenwood in Tustin Legacy. The price for the built-in is $300.
Meserve has customized her own home for her cat — after the fact, as it were. She and her husband heard a loud crash in their kitchen one day, and when they looked for the source of the sound, they found their cat had jumped on the hood above their stove and broken it, sending it down to the ground.
“We remodeled and added in a lot of high places for the cat to jump,” Meserve said.
No word on whether Brookfield will put in cat shelves for potential homeowners, but we’re hopeful.
Update: Here’s a video made by CatChannel.com on the cat caves:
About the author: Anastasia Thrift’s “job” is to find interesting cats online and share stories and photos about them for CatChannel.com. She’s written about pets and their people for 10 years, working her way up the food chain to cats. Neighborhood cat, Killer, ate on her front porch for a year before reluctantly letting her bring him indoors. Follow Anastasia on Twitter.