5 Easy Ways to Add Vertical Territory to Your Cat’s Domain


If your cats are showing signs of stress like fighting or inappropriate urination, part of the problem may be territorial anxiety. If you live in a small home or apartment, you can’t make more rooms appear, but one thing you can do is add vertical space. Here are some quick ways to do that.

1. Clear space on the bookshelf

If you have a bookshelf, consider allowing your cats to use one of the shelves as a perch. Make sure that the unit is level so it won’t fall over when your cat lands on it, and that there’s a relatively easy way for your cat to get to "his" shelf.

2. Clean off the top of the refrigerator

If your refrigerator isn’t enclosed under cabinets, the top of the fridge can be a great cat perch. It’s warm up there, and it’s probably at least six feet off the ground.

3. Install cat shelves

You can find pre-made designer cat shelves to suit almost any taste. But making cat shelves can be an easy and inexpensive project: By using shelves, brackets, and carpet samples you can buy at any home supply store, you can create an entire run around your living space. Here are some easy instructions for DIY cat shelves.

4. Add window perches

If you have double-hung windows with flat ledges, you can buy cat window perches. These come in a range of price points, and many don’t require any tools to install. If you have more tools and time than money (or if you just enjoy making cool stuff for your home) you can build your own kitty perch; here’s a how-to video from the DIY Network.

5. Get a cat tree

For a long time, cat trees were utterly bereft of anything resembling style. Covered in the ugliest carpet on the market, weighing about a ton, and taking up more floor space than most appliances, they were nobody’s idea of a great home accouterment. But cat trees are getting more sophisticated. Today, many trees have small footprints and are available in colors that blend in with most home d├®cor. You can even get cat trees that look more like works of art than cat furniture, but be prepared to pay a designer price if you go that route.

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