Catification: Babou’s Custom Kitty Condo
Kasia and Brian from Chicago, Illinois decided to go all out and build this custom kitty condo for their cat Babou. Using simple materials and a thoughtful design, they created a fabulous fort that Babou absolutely adores. Here’s how Kasia describes the project:
“My boyfriend, Brian, and I are avid “My Cat From Hell” fans and, after learning about creating cat spaces, we wanted to give Babou, our handsome Siamese-Ragdoll mix the ultimate pad to up his cat mojo, thus, the plan for the Tuntmore House was born (though it was unnamed at the time aptly referred to as “kitty condo within a condo”).
It became a true labor of love scrapped together over the course of a 12 hour day…once we had the materials. The project really started over the course of weeks as we began hoarding just the right size and strength boxes from our respective jobs – Brian is a butcher and I’m an analyst at a financial advising firm – he brought the chicken boxes and I brought the banker’s boxes. The boxes were free, then we just purchased fabric (about 7 yards for our project) to match our home decor and spray adhesive at a craft store for about $60. The remaining materials and tools, we already had – zip ties, box cutter, crayon, scissors, screwdriver. Above all else, patience and energy, lots of both.
First, we used crayons to plan the holes for the “windows” and tunnels. The two bottom left rooms are connected by a hole/tunnel. On the second “floor” both rooms connect and they also connect to the third “floor”. This configuration gives Babou the most exploration potential while preserving the strength of the boxes themselves.
Then we used box cutters to cut out the openings, and spray adhesive to adhere an additional layer of extra-strength cardboard to the top of each box to ensure the tops wouldn’t cave under Babou’s weight. We also used the spray adhesive to adhere the fabric to the boxes. We used a screwdriver to make two small holes about an inch apart inside the boxes in the interior walls at opposite ends and zip tied the boxes in the final configuration. Due to the fumes from the spray adhesive, we aired the kitty condo out for about 10 hours until the scent was no longer detectible. Then we sprayed the condo with catnip mist and added some dry as well as fresh catnip to invite Babou into his new abode.
We left him alone for a few hours to explore on his own but he wasn’t especially interested at first. That was until we began our play session, and the Tuntmore House became Babou’s hunting outpost! The pictures attached show him playing with his favorite “dangly”. He hopped right inside the Tuntmore House within hours!
Now Babou is well acquainted with his new addition and uses it plenty for hunting as well as for perching and just flat out sleeping the day away while sunbathing.”
We had to ask Kasia about the name Tuntmore House. Here’s her reply:
“Yes, there is a story to the name of the kitty condo. Brian and I are both huge fans of the FX series Archer (here I reference specifically the episode called El Secuestro) which has a character named Cheryl Tunt who owns an ocelot with the moniker Babou. (Our plan was to one day get a cat that looks a little like an ocelot and name it Babou, but when our furball came into our lives, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity ocelot looks or not.) Cheryl is a billionaire because her great-grandfather built the railroads across the nation and she would spend every summer at her ridiculously wealthy relatives’ mansion called Tuntmore House.
We were so proud of Babou’s 3-floor, 5-bedroom condo with a “garage” (the white box on the side) what we thought it deserved the name. Long story short, this is the Chicago, real life version of the Tuntmore House and Babou only it’s banker’s boxes and Babou is a cat, not an ocelot! It’s an inside joke and a reference to our favorite show.”
Notes from Jackson: Attaway, guys, Babou is one happy hunter! That’s the way to show the world that Catification is not about money. It’s about labor, love and mojo!
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The Catification column on JacksonGalaxy.com is written by Cat Style Expert, Kate Benjamin. Kate specializes in environmental enhancement for living with cats and is the founder and editor of hauspanther.com, the premiere online magazine for design-conscious cat people. Kate’s design expertise and Jackson’s cat behavior know-how combine to create cat-friendly environments that are sure to please both human and feline family members alike.