On every product page, there’s a drop-down menu that explains some of the costs included in getting a product to market. That doesn’t include the salary of its employees and other costs, but it at least puts cost into perspective. For this bed, materials cost $87.15, labor and storage cost $24.90, duties (aka importing) cost $14.94, and transportation costs $37.35.
The biggest bummer with Tuft and Paw is that it doesn’t offer returns for even slightly used products if your cat ends up hating it.
Whisker is the company behind the famous Litter-Robots (we love the Litter-Robot 3 Connect and the newest 4 model) and it offers a bunch of nice-looking furniture too, even including some dog crates. I tried this Silo, with sisal scratch pads on the outside, and a pillow inside for lounging. Cats can sit inside or on top, or you can use it as a side table and keep the top for holding some light decor (emphasis on light).
Similar to Catit options, this isn’t as beautiful as some other options out there, but I personally love the gold accents. My cats ultimately didn’t take to it the way I’d hoped, but that’s the name of the game with felines. Whisker also doesn’t take open furniture back. The sisal pads are vegetable-dyed, which the brand says is done for the safety of pets, and composite wood is used to better withstand scratches and avoid splinters. Whisker is TSCA Title VI compliant.
Cats love lounging in the sun, so beds that sit on the window make perfect sense. I’ve been using the K&H Pet Products Kitty Sill Fleece ($37) beds for years. The beige fleece blends in pretty well. If your windows don’t have sills for them to sit on, there are options with suction cups to stick right on the glass.
Suction cup cat seats always make me nervous, especially because my cat Huxley is a hefty boy. But the options from Kitty Cot and Tuft and Paw are secure, as long as you thoroughly clean your windows and give the cups time to really stick.
Tuft and Paw’s Cloud Nine Window Hammock ($79) is nicer-looking than the Kitty Cot ($45) with its black powder-coated metal base and soft dark grey felt. I’d recommend adding something soft to both—both offer blankets or pads for an extra cost, but I wish they could be attached even with snaps or velcro, so they don’t slip around if a cat leaps onto it.
The Best Scratcher
Not every piece of nice cat furniture needs to cost several hundred bucks. I’ve used a few of PetFusions’s loungers and they held up really well under ferocious cat claws. They also look cool and are strong enough to support my weight (sometimes ya gotta reach something up high, you know). Cats can scratch one side to oblivion and then you just flip it to a perfectly clean side.
Don’t have that much space to spare? The Boots and Barkley Tunnel Cat Scratcher ($20) from Target is really interesting to look at. I haven’t used this particular one, but I have bought my cats tons of Boots and Barkley products over the years, including its Wave Scratcher ($15). It’s not as cute, but my cats love it.
A Couch with Scratch Pads or a Cushion
The Work in Progress Cat Couch ($225) is adorable and can be used as a scratcher, a bed, or both. The base price includes a cardboard scratcher that can be flipped over and then replaced (then you can recycle the old one). Or you can get a really pretty cushion for an additional $110. One of my cats immediately scratched and lounged on it—cats often lounge directly on cardboard scratchers, so you don’t have to get the pillow right away.
Like some of the other products on this list, I think it’s expensive given its simplicity. However, Work in Progress (WIP) is a small business. If you can afford it, it’s nice to support small businesses like this, rather than a major company like Petco or Walmart. The Cat Couch is manufactured from Baltic Birch wood in Arizona. It’s finished and sealed, meeting the Greenguard low-emissions certification, so it should be safe for pets. The cushion is filled with polyester and the cover is a linen-cotton blend.
I’ve been saving pet beds made from vintage TVs on Pinterest for years, hoping I’ll come across the perfect one at a garage sale or antique store. Iheartcats.com has an easy-to-follow tutorial, but it can be dangerous to take a TV apart so you should consider asking a professional for help if you want to go the DIY route. If you want a home made version that doesn’t involve an actual TV, the Etsy store MakerWorksLLC sells an $8 instruction manual with printable plans.
A safer and easier option is to get a scratcher crafted to look like a TV. For example, Wayfair has a pricey bed option ($60) that’s really pretty, but we haven’t tried it.
Litter Boxes and Enclosures
A Great Basic Litter Box
My cats are perfectly fine using plain old storage bins that I’ve cut an entry out of and sanded down the sharp edge—it cost me maybe $10 and took just a few minutes to alter. There are litter boxes disguised as plants or hidden inside side tables, but Tuft and Paw’s Cove litter box ($110) takes a simple litter pan and elevates it.
It’s hefty, so it won’t move around if your cats like to kick. Speaking of kicking, the detachable shelter keeps litter and pee inside—just in case your cat has a high stream. The box has a dedicated space for the included scoop and dustpan, the latter of which you can buy separately if you need to replace it. However, I wish you could purchase the shelter separately. Weirdly, this box doesn’t fit into either of the brand’s litter box enclosures. If you want to enclose your a la carte litter box in what looks like a piece of retro furniture in your living room, the Rifiuti Litter Box Enclosure ($699) does the trick. The Haven Encloser ($699) does include a plastic litter box.
The Best Litter Box Enclosure
Putting a litter box inside a piece of furniture meant to conceal it can give your cats some privacy, conceal odors, and hide little turds from your guests.
Tuft and Paw’s litter box enclosures are some of the most beautiful pieces of furniture I’ve seen, but they’re pricier than a lot of us can afford. WIRED writer Louryn Strampe has tried this Rena Litter Box Enclosure ($167) from Wayfair though, and you can often find it for around $150ish. It simply isn’t as pretty as Tuft and Paw, but it doesn’t look like a poop receptacle either, and there’s ample space on top for some decorations to further blend it in with your house.