The non-profit charity FixNation raises money to reduce the homeless cat population in Los Angeles with a spaying and neutering program. And FixNation now has allies in the form of 12 LA based Architectural firms, who helped raise money for their cause by designing and building unique and unusual cat shelters auctioned off at the Architects for Animals “Giving Shelter” benefit.
The fan favorite of the 12 designs is the Cat in the Fish Bowl – Cat Bowl Shelter designed by Abramson Teiger Architects. It has everything from a closed cave with peek-a-boo holes to a faux grass perch on top. Even the stacked ever smaller (or bigger) spherical-ish layers of plywood create the paw-fect cat climber.
Similar in concept and yet completely different is the stacked plywood Silhouette Shelter by CallisonRTKL. Unlike the previous roundish design this plywood funfest is a 6 concave sided home with the ply layers evenly separated and 2 entry/exits opposite each other rather than randomly placed. Far more symmetrical in shape the design is still a protected shelter with easy visibility to the world at large and a definite perch on top of the shelter. It’s a fur-riffic design for those that enjoy a geometric aesthetic.
Kitty Kurves Shelter by Lehrer Architects reminds me of a drum set and I can just see a bit of rock and roll happening wherever this artsy design is located. All white, the shadow plays really rock the design and the 3 round blue mats, they’re just a bit of pop art fun.
Catleidosope Shelter by Perkins & Will is a kitty condo with its own pops of vibrant colors and it even features the ever-popular cantilever that is popping up in homes around the world.
If you harken for a little Cat and Judy Paw-pet show, the Teatro de Gato by Pfeiffer Partners Architects has it all from a hidden compartment behind a pair of red curtains to a backstage ramp. There’s nothing like a little bit of theatrics when it comes to feline fun!
The space age looking design by WORD and Schmidt Designs is unnamed so I’m going to call it the Kitty Rover. With steep ramps sporting a stripe of clawable material to the Stainless Steel lookout station on top to the tunnel of fun in the middle, Kitty Rover may not have been the fan favorite but is probably the cat favorite if cat’s where given a vote.
Another wood design, the catSCAPe Shelter by HOK is made from solid wood in an alternating stacked design with its own set of asymmetrical voids. It reminds me of a child’s wooden tumbling stacking tower game and I think any cat would have fun playing a game of peek a boo with this woodsy design that by the way won’t tumble down no matter how much you huff and puff.
RNL‘s design gets first prize for its name “The String Theory”, I am always in love with a good visual/word combo pun and this one gets 4 paws up. I also am really impressed with the “sewing” of each plywood section into a tension fit design that is literally held together by the red rope. Aside from that I also love the way the rope cleverly separates to allow entry/exit for your feline.
Who says a cat shelter needs to be just a shelter? The Lunar Cat Lander by Knowhow Shop has it all from a feeding/watering station to moon holes that come with a black and white mouse just in case the moon is actually made of cheese.
You can’t have a series of architectural designs without at least one mid-century interpretation and the honor for that goes to the Californian Cat Cube by Standard Architecture/Design. This design gets my first prize for a design that will blend seamlessly with a home’s furnishings, I love the splayed tubular steel legs, don’t you?
For a more outdoorsy furniture aesthetic the Cat-a-Tete Shelter by Formation Association, Arktura and BuroHappold takes the cake, A bench design that faces in two directions it also has a cleverly hidden cave beneath the backrests. I so could see this on my deck!
If you live in a hot climate the Spiral Kitty Shelter by DSH gives a cat both a place to hide and an upward funnel to a hot air escape and its loosely fitting scales create the pawfect scenery for cross ventilation. Who knew such a simple, elegant design could be so incredibly functional?
Photography by Meghan Bob
These 12 cat shelters are ingeniously creative, as they should be considering they came from the minds of architects but architects aren’t the only designers that can create fantastic shelters by cats, check out our previous article on 20 chic and cozy cat beds and, if you are also a dog lover, our feature on 20 Uber Chic Dog Beds is a must read.