Catification: Babou’s Custom Kitty Condo

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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.”

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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.”

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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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Have your own Catification project that you want to share? Click here to submit your photos!

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.

  1. sheldon   October 10, 2013 at 11:05 am  

    I wonder what the cat will drag through your home and into it’s Tuntmore crib next….

    Reply
  2. CMW   October 11, 2013 at 11:06 am  

    looks great, but I’m guessing it won’t be easy to keep clean.

    Reply
  3. Māris Munkevics   November 14, 2013 at 8:38 am  

    Wow, that is an astonishing DIY cat house. Couldn’t want it better. As I see it, it’s more than just a catification, it also has a visual appeal. NIce job here. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Deseree   December 3, 2013 at 5:21 am  

    Love the Tuntmore House! How does the garage work?

    Reply
  5. brian   December 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm  

    Hey all thanks for the awesome comments! The garage has a hole to the middle box next to it which connects to the other giving him another escape while he explores and plays. Thanks again all!

    Reply
    1. Sharon   January 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm  

      I think a video walk/crawl thru would be awesome.

      Reply
  6. Susie   January 6, 2014 at 11:30 am  

    Wow this looks so great!!! You have inspired my husband and I to DIY a catcondo for our three brats :).

    Reply
  7. kathy   January 16, 2014 at 11:30 am  

    i have to make this for my cat i just moved in my new house and i have enough boxes left

    Reply
  8. Adriana   April 9, 2014 at 2:06 pm  

    Look at his little spots! His tufted ears!

    Very cute cat and very creative house.

    Reply
  9. Karen Mulligan   April 21, 2016 at 11:00 am  

    Dear Jackson, I realize this is a little late but I only found your website a few months ago and I thought this was a great exercise.

    My name on paper is Tough Guy but the lady who takes care of me is Karen and she has only ever called me Sweetheart or Hey You if I’m ignoring her.
    I think I was born in an Animal Shelter with my other litter mates. My sister and I were taken away from my mother before I was ready to leave, Elly was probably ok with it. My sister Elly stayed with me and took care of me. A lady who is deaf and spoke really loudly adopted the 2 of us at 6 months but got the shelter to declaw us so we wouldn’t ruin her furniture. She named us Elly and Bob after her best friends. Elly liked her name but I hated the name Bob. It makes me flatten my ears and make me really annoyed.
    At nine months the lady who adopted us and shouted all the time decided she didn’t want us and gave us to Karen. It was really hard being forcibly moved to another home. I was really insecure and wanted to go back and Elly was giving Karen some really poisonous looks. Karen was patient and took care of us and played with us. After a while I realized she wasn’t so bad and so did Elly but it took her longer to like Karen.
    Things worked out really well until one day Elly woke up in pain. Her hind legs weren’t working properly. Karen took her away and came back without her. Karen cried a lot and I started walking around the house meowing for her. One day I looked up at Karen trying to understand what happened and Karen just sat on the floor in front of me and cried some more she told it was a thrombosis. I have no concept of what that is.
    It was a year of up and down with Karen and I after that, but our relationship changed and she and I are closer. Sometimes I still go to the places with Elly liked to hang out because they still smell of her and I will meow for her.
    When Elly used the litter box her pee had a wildly wicked penetrating stink that only lasted about 10 minutes but that stink put everyone out of the room for that 10 minutes. My shit has never stank that bad. I used to torment my sister about it. Then she would ambush me when I came out of the litter box and scare me. I would be so pissed off I would chase her around the house.
    My idea of fun was getting Elly to give me a bath which she always did without question and then I would put her in a headlock. Once I even flipped her end over end. Elly was seriously pissed at me that day.
    I have always been really shy around strangers because I’m worried they might snatch me away and I would lose my home again. Several years ago Karen had the basement renovated and strange workman were constantly walking through my house. It drove me so crazy I started standing in the middle of the room when they were around and stare at them. I am less afraid of strangers now than I used to be.
    One time when the basement was only partially finished Karen opened the door so we could investigate the new smells, Elly went right down into the basement and couldn’t get out. She was all panicky and meowing a lot. I went and found Karen and asked her to help and Karen went down and helped Elly out. I tormented Elly for a while for being so silly.
    I always did my best to communicate about everything, one day I got on top of the cupboards opened the door from above and pulled out all Karen’s plastic containers and pitched then on the floor. Karen called me a rascal but thinks I’m pretty smart. It took a few tries but I managed to tell her where to place the litter box. Elly didn’t care. As long as she had clean litter box, food and water nothing else mattered.
    Karen called Elly reactive but said I was passionate, intense and very proactive. She even lets me go outside without a leash anymore. She is always there keeping an eye on me which is ok because I just like the fresh air and freedom of just being outside. I also like to pick up the local news and eat some grass.
    Sometimes I will chase neighbourhood cats out of our yard. One day I chased a female cat but she stopped and turned around and snarled at me and was ready to kick my ass. I was so confused I went back into the house. I’m not good at making friends and I never learned how to actually fight.
    I’m almost 13 now and I sleep a lot and I don’t play with my toys as much anymore. These days I like to snuggle up with Karen when she watches TV and when we go to bed it’s just something we do now. It seems to be important to both of us, it’s an entire ritual. Although the days do get long without Elly to keep me company. Karen tried to adopt another cat once but I was really angry and aggressive and frightened the cat so much Karen had to keep us separated until she found him another home. She meant well but I’m unwilling to share.

    Reply

We regret that Jackson does not answer questions posted in the comments. This is due to his demanding schedule and the high volume of requests he receives. But most importantly, since he has not met your cat, it would be contrary to his approach for him to give specific personalized advice for your specific situation. That being said, general questions and issues are addressed throughout this blog, in his book Cat Daddy and of course, the show My Cat From Hell.

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