how we catified our house for our new kitten

I was sent products from different brands for inclusion in this article. There are affiliate links in this article. All opinions are my own.

This summer, we brought home our kitten named Pepperoni. We always had cats at my mom’s house growing up, and Ryan grew up with cats also. Pepperoni has been our first cat that either of us has had as an adult though. When we decided to get a kitten, I spent a lot of time reading everything I could to make sure we were as prepared as possible to become a cat family. 

There was a lot that I learned in advance, and some more that I’ve learned from experience or from additional research as things have come up since we got Pepperoni. One of those things was catification. I thought I’d share how we have catified our house for Pepperoni, for the sake of helping other cat owners or people considering getting a cat. 

What is Catification? 

Catification is a term coined by Jackson Galaxy, and it’s a process of making your home more suitable for cats. This can include making your house safer for your pets (similar to baby proofing) as well as making sure your home is designed to meet your cat’s needs for climbing, scratching and playing. 

10 ways to catify your home for a new kitten #catification

10 Ways We Have Catified Our House For Our Kitten

Wire Protectors

Protecting cords and wires. Before getting Pepperoni I had read that cats often love to play with and bite any electric cords they can access. I thought we would wait to see if Pepperoni really was that interested in messing with cords or not before we did any cord-related catification. We should have done so in advance, because we only had Pepperoni in the house a couple of hours when I was placing an overnight order for some cord protectors!  We bought these cord protectors on amazon

There’s just something about cords that makes them seem like the perfect toy for kittens and cats. They want to bat at them and chew on them which can be dangerous for them, and may harm your devices as well. To fix this problem, we’ve been more careful about putting any wires up if they aren’t actively being used. For the wires that we have to leave out, we have kept them protected with these wire protectors from Amazon. They can be cut to size and do a nice job of holding a cluster of wires together, which makes it less enticing to cats. Plus, if they do try to chew, they are unlikely to be able to get their teeth to reach the wires inside keeping your wires and your cat safer. 

Litter boxes

Extremely basic, but so important. Most experts recommend having at least two litter boxes for one cat, and an extra litter box per cat. So 1 cat should have 2 boxes, two cats should have 3 boxes, etc. The location matters, too. Of course, most people would prefer to have the litter box as far away from common areas as possible so that we don’t have to deal with any smells. However, it’s recommended to keep litter boxes in common areas. Cats care a lot about scent, and will feel more empowered and confident if they feel encouraged to exist throughout your entire home. Having their litter box in a main area allows them to feel like they are really welcome in your space. Plus, if there are any odors coming from the box, that means it’s time to do some scooping anyway! 

Another thing to consider when it comes to litter boxes is whether it’s in a place that feels secure for your cat. People commonly try to place litter boxes in the human bathrooms or laundry rooms. Flushing toilets and running washers and dryers are often scary noises for cats which can discourage cats from using the box. Make sure the area the box is in isn’t intimidating for your kitty. 

We bought our litter boxes from but it’s currently cheaper on Amazon. I like how the one we got has tall sides that will contain the litter even if your cat is overzealous with their digging/covering behaviors! I also liked how it came with a litter scoop that has a handle that lets you hang it on the rim of the litter box to keep it close by.

Pioneer Pet raindrop ceramic cat water fountain

A Cat Water Fountain

One of the things I learned early in my research that surprised me that cats tend to skew dehydrated! This is a big part of why many have kidney issues. It’s bad enough that many recommend only feeding your cats wet food so that they can get some added hydration from their food. 

We feed Pepperoni some wet food daily, but we also wanted to do what we could to get her to just drink water as well. Having multiple water sources can help, and having a fountain can help as well. When researching cat fountains, I saw that a lot of them are plastic. From back when I had dogs, I knew that plastic pet water bowls can harbor more bacteria than some other materials. So, I wanted to try to find a non-plastic water fountain. I settled on the Pioneer Pet Raindrop Ceramic Pet Fountain. It’s really easy to use, it has a really basic pump with a few powers/strengths you can choose from. The higher settings will cause the fountain to bubble a bit, while the lower settings just have the water trickle down. I tried various settings and Pepperoni seems to prefer it on the lower settings. Most importantly, I’ve seen a significant increase in how much water Pepperoni drinks, and she exclusively drinks from this fountain now. She has no interest in standing water dishes when she has access to a fountain. TMI, but in 24 hours of getting this fountain we noticed a significant change in the size of the clumps of litter we were scooping from her peeing. So, she clearly is drinking more now which is awesome. 

@emilyreviewsblog One day Peoperonis mouse toy that hangs over our bedroom door got caught on her wall mounted cat tree and this game ensued. Since then we sometimes out it through the top of the cat tree so she can play this way. #catification #cattree #cattoys #catfurniture #catswithfoodnames #kittensoftiktok #fluffykitten ♬ No Copyright Background 80s Synthwave Music – Eduard Perelyhin


A wall-mounted cat tree

Our apartment is pretty small at just 350 square feet, so we don’t have lots of floor space to dedicate to cat furniture. However, cats largely see their space in a vertical way, so having spaces where your cats are allowed to climb up high is important for most cats. When I discovered wall-mounted cat trees, I knew this would be perfect for Pepperoni. Pepperoni loves to get as high as she can, and that was resulting in her climbing up our curtains!

I wanted to get a really tall cat tree that took up minimal floor space. I went with the Calmbee 78 inch wall mounted cat tree. We found that the instructions were somewhat incorrect. We had to install the steps in a different way than the instructions suggested which caused a decent amount of frustration but eventually we figured out how to make it work. We also realized after it was mostly assembled that we didn’t really have room for the bridge, which is a bummer. The only place we could install it would leave the shelf right behind my boyfriend’s computer desk which would limit his ability to move his computer chair back to step out from his desk. However, we do hope to move later this year or next year so we’ll save the shelf to hopefully install it in a new place later. Pepperoni loves the cat tree as-is. She was around 4 months old before she was big enough to jump from the top shelf into the top portion, but one day she got big enough and immediately took to using that part regularly. She usually sleeps in bed with us, but sometimes she’ll leave our bed to go sleep in the top of this tree! 

We have a over-the-door cat toy for her and one day it accidentally got caught on her cat tree. This led us to discover that she LOVES to chase this toy mouse from her cat tree. So if you happen to install a wall-mounted cat tree near an entryway, consider getting a toy like this to coordinate with it. Here is a video of Pepperoni playing with this cat tree and the toy together. 

Cat scratchers

Cat scratchers are a really important part of catification. Cats have a natural need to use their claws. If you don’t provide a scratcher for them, they’ll be scratching up your furniture, carpet, or other belongings instead. Some cats prefer horizontal scratchers, some prefer vertical scratchers, and others prefer slanted or angled scratchers. Pepperoni has shown a preference for vertical scratching. We have three scratching options for her in our home. We have the wall-mounted cat tree shown above that has several sections that are wrapped with rope designed for scratching, a free-standing cat tree with sissal rope portions intended for scratching, and a scratcher that hangs from our doorknob (I found that one at TJ Maxx). She uses all three scratching places at times, but she does most of her scratching on our free-standing cat tree. I think she prefers it because the sections of sisal covered poles are taller so she can really stretch out while scratching. 

Feandrea woody wonders cat tree

This cat tree is the Feandrea WoodyWonders Cat Tree. I liked the look of this cat tree, I thought the wood look was nicer to look at than the carpet style cat trees. I also liked how it was fairly narrow, but tall. We don’t have much floor space, so I like how the base of this is just 22.8″ x 15.7″. I found this pretty easy to assemble, and it feels nice and sturdy. Pepperoni is currently 4.5 months and this cat tree is designed for adult cats, so she is a bit small for it. She navigates the entire tree on her own except for the very top perch. She hasn’t jumped up to the tippy top just yet, but she regularly sits on all of the lower portions of the tree. I have this  next to my desk while working and she lays on the portion that is about shoulder height with me most often. I like how the various cushioned portions simply velcro on and are mashine washable. I love how there are several areas that she can scratch, too. She mostly scratches the lower two poles, but she does sometimes scratch the upper ones as well. 

Feandrea woody wonders cat tree

Sticky Paws

Sticky paws to deter cat scratching

On the curtain behind Pepperoni you can see the Sticky Paws tape! 

As I mentioned above, Pepperoni likes trying to climb our curtains. The most important thing to do is to give cats an appropriate outlet for the behavior they’re wanting to do. So, we got Pepperoni two cat trees that she could climb. It helped a lot, but she’d occasionally still try to climb the curtains. That’s where Sticky paws came in handy. Sticky Paws is a double sided tape designed to discourage your cats from scratching that area. I applied this to the portions of our curtains that she touched first when climbing. I also applied it to some fabric storage bins that she sometimes tried to scratch and was damaging. Cats generally dislike their paws sticking to things, so if they touch this tape they’ll usually avoid it after that. With Pepperoni, we’ve found that she never even tried to touch it. I’m not sure if the adhesive just has a look or scent that she dislikes or if she somehow knew she would stick to it if she touched it? Regardless though, it’s been effective at keeping her from scratching things that we don’t want her to scratch. 

Cat dancer charmer cat toy

Cat Dancer Toys

When visiting other people’s houses that had cats, I rarely saw their cats play. As a result, I thought cat toys may be a pretty optional thing. I quickly learned that isn’t true. Cats have energy that they want to get out through play. For cats, playing is their way of role-playing hunting, essentially. It’s something they’re naturally driven to practice even though you’re giving them food they don’t have to hunt. If they don’t get enough play, cats are likely to try to “attack” you as you’re moving around. They want to go after things that move, so they need toys that move so they can chase them or they’ll chase after you instead. 

Cat Dancer sent me some toys for a review, but they truly are several of our absolute favorites. Cat dancer original” rel=”nofollow”>The original cat dancer and Cat dancer pro are nearly the same product. The original cat dancer is just on a longer wire without a handle, and the cat dancer pro is shorter and has a handle that allows you to clip it onto a wire cage or kennel. I find the cat dancer pro a bit easier to use because of the handle. The end of this toy has some rolled-up paper, basically – but the way that this wire can bounce and the way it can move across the carpet really mimics bugs. As a result, Pepperoni goes absolutely wild trying to get this toy. She absolutely loves it. She loves when we use it through the air and when we drag it across the carpet. I think she gets more hyped over this toy than any other that we own. 

We also really like the Cat dancer charmers. These are basically long strips of felt on a wand that can be wiggled through the air or across the floor. Pepperoni gets really excited about this toy and will play with it for 20+ minutes at a time. It’s a great way to get some of her energy out. 

And lastly, the Cat dancer chasers. These come in a few different designs, we were sent the circular ones. I’ll be extremely honest – when I first saw these, I thought they seemed lame. Why would she want to play with a little bit of felt on a circle? I didn’t get it. Pepperoni showed strong interest as soon as I let it out of the package though. These are small and lightweight so she’s able to carry them around in her mouth and bat them around the floor. We’ve also learned that she likes to play fetch with these! We’ve tried playing fetch with some other toys but she seems to prefer these for fetch. 

Pet Storage Tower & Carrier

Years ago I was sent a Richell USA pet storage tower for my pugs. They passed a few years ago, but I held onto this pet storage tower because I just found it so useful for storing our dogs’ items, that I knew we’d find it useful again someday. We’ve started using it again for Pepperoni. We use it to store her food, toys, nail trimmers, brush and more. I love how it’s tall and slim so it doesn’t take up much floor or wall space yet allows for lots of storage. 

Richell USA double door cat carrier

Recently, Richelle USA sent me a new product just for Pepperoni, the full name is the Richell Double-door cat carrier. We have Pepperoni scheduled to be spayed and to get microchipped, and they require that cats are left with hard carriers, not soft carriers so it was important to get a pet carrier that was not soft. We wanted to get one early because I’ve read that cats will be less afraid of going into a carrier if the carrier has been accessible to them in their home. Pepperoni has used her carrier as a place to hang out and play since we got it. She uses it like she would use a randomc ardboard box on the floor. She thinks it’s just a fun place to hang out. We occasionally lock the door and carry her around, to get her used to that as well. I like how there is a door on top of the carrier so we can get her out more easily than pulling her out the front. I also like how the top of the carrier allows for a vehicle seatbelt to go through it, to secure the carrier in place while traveling. 

Independent play toys

Yes, more toys. We have just one cat, which means she doesn’t have another kitty to play with. People often suggest getting kittens in pairs of two, for this exact reason. However, we felt strongly that just one was right for us. We knew this would mean that we would have to play with her more. So, we use our Cat Dancer toys and other toys to play with her some, but we also have a variety of toys that Pepperoni enjoys playing with independently, so she can play throughout the day while we’re working. 

These spring toys are one of Pepperoni’s top favorites. She also loves the tunnel that we got for her in this assortment of toys, the Over the door mouse toy, this electric ball toy, the Petsafe cheese and mouse electronic toy, the PetSafe automatic laser cat toy, and this cat ball track toy. She also gets lots of play out of various boxes that we have. If I get a package or even empty a larger food box (like a box of saltine crackers) I sometimes leave those on the floor for her for a few days to play with. 

Petsafe automatic cat sprayer

We haven’t used this yet, but I was happy to be sent the Petsafe SSScat spray deterrent as I think we’ll need it in the future. I generally believe in using positive reinforcement rather than using negative tactics to modify cats’ behaviors. However, a common problem that cat owners run into is cats getting on their kitchen counters and even their stove. Pepperoni isn’t yet big enough to be able to jump up there, but I know it’s just a matter of time. Cats being on kitchen counters is unhygentic, and them gettting on the stove can be pretty dangerous to them. So, I really wanted to be prepared to try to quickly and efficiently train Pepperoni not to go in those areas once she is tall enough to try. 

A lot of people use spray bottles for these scenarios, but I’ve read that cats understand that spray bottles require humans to spray them. So they will avoid the counters if you are around, but if they are home alone, they’ll still jump up there. These Petsafe automatic sprayers were designed to get around this problem. They automatically detect your cat getting on the counter and release a a puff of water/mist that will make them want to get away. You don’t have to be present for this to happen, so the cat will learn to associate getting wet with jumping up there at any time, which can curb the behavior faster. 


This post currently has 8 responses.

  • Melissa Storms

    I am planning to add a few cat shelves in our home. I just cleared a wall and am looking into all of the different options.

  • Peggy Nunn

    That is a lot of good information. Thank you for sharing.

  • Maria Egan

    I have 3 cats and over time have found some of the items that work best for them and me. I have been considering a water fountain as they don’t tend to use their water bowls much, so this was very helpful information.

  • Helga

    We have five cats so these ideas are very helpful in making our home more catified. Jackson Galaxy is a cat expert par excellence.

  • Lauryn R

    You did an incredible job catifying your house! I bet Pepperoni is one very happy kitten! It helps so much to be prepared for your new kitten. The water fountain was something that really helped my cat drink a lot more water, they really do love a flowing water source.

  • gloria patterson

    You got a lot of great information here.

    Glad you mentioned the kitchen counters. I trained my cats that they were never allowed on the kitchen counter. I could leave treats, or meats on that counter and they would never get up there. I had a friend who let her cat on the counters and they slept on the refrigerator. NO NO

    Get a brown grocery (paper) bag and put some cat nip in it……………. fun time!

    Also if you do have to litter boxes and have room in your bathroom it would be good to place one in there. My cats would go with me most of the time and if there are problems in the litter boxx you are there and seeing them.

  • Maryann D.

    Pepperoni is just adorable and so much fun! Super ideas on how to make a home Catified! I find it is very important to have cat scratchers also.

  • Peggy Nunn

    I like the idea of the tape…. it can stop furniture destruction.

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