Walkways and tunnels custom built to the tune of about $35,000 keep a homeowner’s 18 cats on cloud nine
After a home remodel in the 1990s, Cohen began constructing catwalks and tunnels for his feline companions. The intricate and artistic platforms and walkways allow the cats to climb, jump and crawl through the house, and they even connect to various litter boxes — 24 of them — which are concealed in closets with fans and the garage. “The house is designed not to smell, and it doesn’t,” he says.
In Cohen’s home office (shown here), a spiral walkway wraps around a floor-to-ceiling scratching post. His cats, all mutts, climb up the pole and walk down the spiral. “I thought maybe the cats would just look at it, but they use it all,” he says. “It’s like a freeway sometimes with them all over the place.”
Catwalks crisscross the main bathroom. The shark’s mouth is the opening of a tunnel. The yellow platform beneath the skylight is a favorite spot for naps.
“Cats are very calming,” he says. “It’s hard to stay mad when a cat sits in your lap and purrs.”
The cats now have two ways to get in and out of each location. In places where he originally had just a single tunnel, Cohen found that one cat would sit in the tunnel and not let the others pass. He also designed the tunnels so the cats are never more than an arm’s length away in the tunnels, and so he can clean the spaces out easily by hand.
All told, Cohen says he spent about $30,000 to $40,000 since 1995 to build the catwalks. “Way more expensive than a sane person would build, but I didn’t care,” he says. “I love my cats, my house and art, so I designed it to be beautiful to me.”
While Cohen says he’s done adopting cats for now, the catwalk project is ongoing. “We’ll never stop,” he says.