Monday, February 1, 2010 8:40 AM

The Perfect House for Cats

More than one person who has come to our home has made the comment, "This is the perfect house for cats!" They mean any cat, of course, but particularly indoor cats. Why is that? Well, let me take you on a tour.

Our house is a passive solar home, and, after living here for over 15 years, I don't think I would settle for anything less ever again. The large south-facing windows let in plenty of light, even on cloudy days, so we seldom have to use lights during the daytime. On winter days like this, the sunshine just pours in, heating the interior to a comfy mid-70s temperature, even when it is less than 20 degrees F. outside. This translates into many sunny patches for cats to lounge in, which is their favorite activity (besides eating). Believe me, it's a sight to warm your heart: Three snoozing, totally relaxed cats stretched out like taffy, each on their favorite napping spot.

The flip side of these large windows is that cats never have to venture far to find a view of the great outdoors. Add to this the fact that the builder installed custom, extra-large window sills and you've got a perfect situation for cats to lounge in the sun as well as keep an eye on the birds and other animals that make their way through our yard. Of course, when the sun is out, their eyes are seldom open!

The design of our house also provides us with large windows in the walk-out basement. This makes this area very usable, and also provides the cats with huge sills to lounge upon, due to the thickness of the cement wall. We also have our wood-burning stove down there, another source of radiant heat that the cats just love. Our house is considered a story-and-a-half, so cats have three floors to explore and run to and from. When they're not sleeping, they get plenty of exercise doing just that.

The main thing that makes this a perfect house for cats is that we love cats. This ingredient is necessary, in large doses, to make any house perfect for pets (and people). So, you can always install a wood stove, trim trees to bring more light into your house, put on an addition (just kidding) and put comfy pillows and blankets around. As the Beatles said, "All you need is love." If you've got the loving part down, the rest is really just gravy.
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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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