Pet-Friendly Remodeling Designs

Pet owners are increasingly looking for ways to remodel their homes so that it has amenities for their pets, with a wide variety of visions and plans.

Cats: Felines love to jump, climb, prowl, scratch and explore, but the items necessary for this can take up a lot of room. Anyone who’s ever owned a cat knows that toys and accessories need space, especially the more closely they’re meant to mimic an outdoor habitat. But a recent article in showed how one woman transformed her home into a cat haven by making smart use of her 19-foot ceilings.

Marci Kladnik worked with Peter, a contractor, to build a series of ledges, shelves and perches, giving her four cats plenty of opportunities to explore and sun themselves. Everything was colored to fit in with the décor so that it would like it was built with the house, and the result was a seamless effect.

Although not everyone has the funds to match Kladnik’s project, there are easier, less-expensive ways to achieve the same idea. Floating shelves—whether straight, wavy, or tiered—can be bought just about anywhere, take very little time to install, and can easily support the weight of a cat. They can also be joined or placed very close together to create a series of ledges that the cat can navigate, and instantly free up floor space while simultaneously adding wall texture.

Dogs: It’s a little trickier to remodel your home for dogs simply because they don’t leap like cats do, and have to have their add-ons rooted to the floor. But one of the most popular options is to cut out space in existing blocks of furniture, such as creating built-in food and water bowls on the side of a kitchen island and building a “pet island” with a dog bed under the counter.

But for those with bigger aspirations and deeper pocketbooks, a dog-designated mudroom where they can clean and dress their dogs is an idea to take on. The floor should be easy to mop up (especially when muddy paws become an issue), contain a low bench with space underneath for boots both canine and human, wall hooks to hang up leashes and jackets, and cubby-like spacing above for miscellaneous materials.

It’s also important to consider a dog’s emotional health, as he can get scared of unseen noises. Treva Horwitz has two Chihuahuas and built small, low-to-the-ground windows for them to avoid this problem, as well as creating a heated window seat so the light on fur dogs wouldn’t be cold and shivery in the winter.

Whether you keep it simple or reach for the sky, remodeling your home to make it pet-friendly is only a few simple steps away.

Amy Wright
Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.

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