Like plenty of other anxious millennials, I too had a pandemic love affair. Mine was far from a frivolous fling, much deeper than a giddy girl’s crush. His name was Sigmund, as in the wacky Austrian psychoanalyst, with a personality just as animated and curious. From the first day we met, I called him Siggy for short, because our bond was so friendly and familiar.
I told Siggy I’d do anything for him, and I remained true to my word. Each morning we met on my porch for our special sunrise rendezvous, and I’d bring him his favored breakfast blend, which had always been prepared with love. And though his appreciation was ever-apparent in his gaze, occasionally his taste would become more fickle, and I’d toil for new flavors that tickled his fancy.
As his palate became more exquisite, I quickly obliged to please him; never did I utter a complaint. One day, I surprised him with a gift almost larger-than-life: a personal picnic table on my patio, where he could stretch out in the sprawl of his buffet, a symbolic claim to my territory. Siggy delighted in many a mound of mixed nuts and fresh avocado, though he once shunned a slice of gourmet pizza I deigned to share, basil and fontina and all.
Siggy, of course, was a squirrel. Is a squirrel, still, I’m sure. Our love affair came to an abrupt halt when my neighbor, in her preoccupation with her pristine lawn, complained about my squirrel-spoiling to apartment management. She insisted that Siggy and his clan were vermin, destroying her backyard with their walnut-burying play. I, of course, was devastated — my ritual with the rodents was often the very impetus for my getting up in the morning.
Some, like my ornery neighbor, would find it silly that I spent so much money and effort on a squirrel. But, as I learned during my love story, I’m not the only one with an affinity for my backyard buddies. After all, the squirrel-feeder business is booming — you, too, can buy a handmade picnic table feeder and nurture your next fur-ever friendship (if nosy neighbors are not a concern).
If you’re not prepared to love a squirrel, but feel inspired to pamper your own pets, then read on! The latest and greatest trend among pet owners — especially in honor of January’s Change a Pet’s Life Day — is to upgrade your home to accommodate your cute critters. From simple paw-protective grip mats to full-on backyard “catios,” these additions are the purr-fect way to keep your housemates happy.
(Emily here!) I don’t know about y’all, but my cats are basically my kids. And if you’re a cat owner, you know that your home is basically their home — they just let you live with them. If you want to give your feline friend a space that’s all their own, building a cat nursery is a great idea (and maybe they’ll give you some of your space back in return!).
Here’s everything I’d stock in my dream bougie cat nursery:
This interactive scratcher playground with condo and toys.
This sunflower scratching post/lounge that is purr-fect for sleep and play.
This fuzzy cat tree for the cat that looks down at you.
This wall-mounted bridge to enlarge your cat’s empire.
This wall-mounted set for pouncing and perching.
This faux-fur cat tree in leopard print for the extra-fancy feline.
This multi-platform cat tree for all your cats to share…if they dare!
This hexagonal climbing wall for the extra-curious (and acrobatic!) cat.
Cat Beds & Loungers
This catnip-infused cushion that makes a great place to hang.
This cone-shaped tent for the cat that loves to hide.
This curvy catnip scratcher for the cat with an itch to scratch!
This wooden cat bed for easy Sunday snoozin’.
This ball-shaped cat bed made out of coated yarn.
This elevated hangout for your elitist feline.
Feeders & Water Fountains
This food tree feeder that’s the purr-fect place to forage.
This pet water fountain that’s definitely fancier than what you drink out of…
This automatic feeder so your pet never misses a meal.
This high-tech dispenser with a built-in voice recorder.
This ceramic fountain for the cat that forgets to hydrate.
Litter Boxes & Supplies
This Litter Robot that we absolutely loved (and get $25 off your order with our link!)
This Pretty Litter formula that works pretty darn well.
This peaceful purr pillow designed like a snoozin’ sloth.
This adjustable cat tunnel with windows.
This peek-a-boo cat toy that’s literally cheesy.
This grass garden kit for your kitty to do some grazing.
This floppy fish toy that’ll make your cat flip out.
This non-toxic Boston fern to brighten up the abode.
This creative cat-pose wallpaper that’s simple and stylish.
This painting of an impudent cat taking a nap.
This private-access cat corridor.
This entryway for your cat to poop in private.
This cozy cats’ den wallpaper.
This floral removable wallpaper that features the most fun felines.
This curious cat lamp to light up your living room.
This colorful print of a cat in a jungle.
DIY Cat Patio
A catio isn’t just a luxury lair for your fickle feline. Cynthia Chomos founded Catio Spaces™ to address the need for safe and visually appealing outdoor enclosures to enhance a cat’s life, and to help protect birds and wildlife. She says, “Catios are a popular trend in feline enrichment and safety. A catio is a cat enclosure, or ‘cat patio’ for a window, porch, patio, deck, or yard that is available in a variety of sizes. Cats can access a catio through a cat door installed in a window, wall, or door. From small and simple, to large and luxurious, catios offer many benefits for feline family members,” including protection from predators and other dangers, reduced illness and injury, protection of wildlife like birds and small animals, and reduced free-roaming cat population.
If you’re intrigued by the idea but doubt your own dexterity, not to worry! Catio Spaces offers multiple DIY catio plans that don’t require you to be an expert carpenter. From the humble catio haven to the sprawling outdoor oasis, these enclosures are easy to build yourself, or you can hire a carpenter to build the plan for you. Your cat will thank you for it!
Do you have a pooch that deserves pampering? Then give them a dog nursery! If you lack a spare room, try converting an under-the-stairs nook.
This handmade dog bed in a basket.
This plush dog sofa for your pooped out pup.
This hand-woven igloo pet bed with a cushion to curl up.
This pink velvet pet bed for your classiest of canines.
This modern dog bed that matches your decor.
This stain-resistant pet bed (with a French bulldog print!) for your accident-prone pooch.
For Floors & Doors
This soft sherpa throw to protect your pet and your furniture.
This Moroccan Diamond rug that’s welcoming and washable.
This foam playmat with puppy pawprints.
This waterproof pet throw that protects from dirt and damage.
This barn door pet door that you can personalize for your pets.
This palatial pet door for your fancier felines and pups.
Bowls & Feeders
This elevated pet bowl for your most elegant pets.
This set of ceramic dog bowls with an engravable wooden stand.
This automatic feeder to keep your pets on schedule.
This delightful dog treat jar with basset hound ears.
This automatic feeder with Wi-Fi and an HD camera.
This pet water fountain with an advanced purification system.
This ceramic fountain that circulates filtered water.
This BarkBox toy set with customizable chews and treats.
This squeaky dog toy that’s durable and adorable.
This bundle of toys for tugging, tossing, and biting.
This twisted rope toy designed for your teething pups.
This bouncy fetch toy that holds treats and snacks.
This bundle dog toy with peanut butter biscuits (yum!).
This funny dog wallpaper full of cackling canines.
This simple wallpaper with a dog’s life design.
This custom pet portrait to preserve your pet in time.
This minimalist portrait of your pet drawn with one line.
This dashing table lamp with a steel dachshund base.
This playful table lamp with a bad-ass bulldog in shades.
Have you built a DIY castle for your critters? Tell us about it in the comments!
For More Of Our Favorite Pet Products, Check Out These Articles: