Pets x Domesticity.
The aim of the project is to create a space where humans and cats are able to live in a collaborative environment.
What does catification means?
Catification is the art of making changes and adjustments to your home that meet the needs of both you and your cat (aesthetically and spatially). You want to create spaces that really satisfy your cat’s primal instincts and challenge them the way being outdoors does. Your cat’s instincts propel them to jump, perch, climb, play, sleep, eat, hunt, and claim their own territory.
What does the human – feline relationship signify?
Cat living indoors are under the charge of their human caretakers. This means guardians control what, when, and where their cats eat, as well as where they use the litter box. Guardians also are responsible for their cats’ opportunities to engage in species-appropriate activities.
Cat guardians who try to get their cats to adapt to their human lifestyle and preferences without considering cats’ true nature and needs will likely find themselves with an unhappy cat who exhibits what the guardian deems as undesired behaviour problems. A cat guardian must try to understand how domestication affects their cats’ behaviours, well-being and health. (Benjamin, 2018)
Introducing Min Ying, who has been a cat owner of 9 years.
An avid cat lover who makes frequent trips to cat cafes and enjoys the company of cats.
Name: Min Ying
Pet Owner of: 9 years
Cat Name: Prosciutto
Breed: Domestic Shorthair
Q: In the house, where does your cat usually hangs out?
A: My cat usually hangs out at the balcony as most of her stuff is placed there. She likes to play outdoor and bathe in the warm sun during late afternoon to evening. Other times, she would stay in the living room or on my bed as it is comfortable.
Q: Why does she hangs out at the balcony in particular?
A: Her bed is placed there and there are many boxes for her to explore, as cats like boxes in nature. It is also easy for her to scratch the surface of the boxes. Since she is also not allowed to stray, the balcony provides a outdoor environment for her.
Q: Are there any interesting traits about your cat?
A: It seems that she is quite lazy but is more active at night (cats’ natural behaviour). She is quite picky with her items and does not need expensive pet items like the scratching posts as she is satisfied with the boxes.
Q: Are they any changes made to the interior of your home due to your cat?
A: I mostly changed the balcony area so as to put my cat’s items like food, bed and litter box. It results in lesser space for my family to put my laundry. Even though the balcony is not meshed up, my cat is smart enough to not jump out.
Q: What are some problems you faced at home?
A: When it rains, her items have to be moved into the living room from the balcony. Since she is also afraid of thunder and lighting, she would avoid the window areas. I feel that there is a lack of scratching areas as she ended up scratch the dining chairs and storage boxes.
Day / Night Light.
The following diagrams show the sun path ranging from 0900 to 2100 hours. By doing so, it provides opportunities to work on areas that are shaded/ unshaded. It can also be used to infer Prosciutto’s possible locations as she likes to be in the sun.
This diagram illustrates the common route that Prosciutto takes. It shows the places that she commonly visits. By inferring from her locations and the sun light, it can be seen that she does enjoy the sunlight. The place that she spend the most time at would be the balcony/ living room, followed by Min Ying’s bedroom, the master bedroom and lastly, the kitchen.
I have came up with 7 different features for cats to live in the house, which are 90 degrees, Ventil(c)ation, The Cat Plank, Catallina, Raised (c)atform, A Catastrophe and CatWalk? Catwalk!. These are specially catered towards pets and the human lifestyle.
In total, there are 7 different features for cats to live in the house. I sincerely hope that the creation of these installations would allow for a more collaborative environment between the humans and the cats. To each has their own spaces, they are able to enjoy their comfort and privacy collectively.
Other than these features, owners should spend more time with their cats, so as to observe and control their behaviour. There seems to be a relation to playing and hunting, increasing their instincts level.
“In the case of a cat, we have never found any particular significance to the human being. Cats prefer to play with toys that in some way look like their pray; they got feathers on them or they are furry or they are about the right size that a cat would safely be able to prey on… and cats play more intensely when they get hungry.”
– John Bradshaw (Bradshaw, 2013)
As Mark Twain says, “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.” (Lezard, 2014) This project gives me a better understanding of the way cats perceive the world, and how humans can better accommodate ourselves to them.