IN THE cats-versus-dogs debate, feline fans invariably cite kitties’ low-maintenance needs in their arguments. So you’d think that, when it comes to accessories, these uncomplicated companions would be content with a ball of yarn, a paper bag or a catnip-stuffed mouse at most. But such clutter simply doesn’t go with that Eames chair and Noguchi coffee table. And that’s to say nothing of the ugliest accoutrement of all: the litter box.
Fortunately, two Portland companies have found a way to merge pet accessories with high-end home décor. The bamboo scratching posts ($50-$170) from Square Cat Habitat, come with removable carpet pieces, making it easy to convert the cat’s distraction into decoration. And last year, Compressed Pattern debuted the sleek Kattbank, a bench with cat-sized openings and a hidden litter box platform that keeps the unpleasantness out of sight (and purportedly out of scent). Of course, like all high fashion, the Kattbank is not for the budget-minded: It costs $2,200.
“You’re not spending money on your cat; you’re spending it on yourself,” says Travis Weedman, Compressed Pattern’s co-owner, who hopes to offer a thriftier version—under $1,000—next year. In the meantime, owners will just have to keep the standard plastic box tucked away in the bathroom. Or teach their tabbies how to flush.