Homes of the pet-obsessed

pet obsessedPet-lovers these days aren’t just modi­fy­ing their homes to house their pets; some aren’t happy until their entire home is a pet heven.

The good news is that being a bark­ing mad bloke or a crazy cat lady is get­ting a lot more stylish.

Archi­tects, interior design­ers and fur­niture makers are increas­ingly mov­ing into the luc­rat­ive mar­ket of the pet-crazed.

If you’d like to build a dog-house with air­con­di­tion­ing, heat­ing and hot-and-cold run­ning water, Amer­ican web­sites are a gold­mine for pet-pampering tips.

There are also some bril­liant examples from Japan.

They may be zany, but these web­sites also offer some styl­ish solu­tions to com­mon pet prob­lems; and with a bit of ingenu­ity, they won’t cost the earth.

Pet fur­niture, for example, no longer needs to be an after­thought or an eye­sore, while pet-friendly fea­tures can be attract­ive and taste­fully integ­rated into your home.

Tak­ing things a little fur­ther, why not try some bespoke fur­niture – and don’t for­get to add pet require­ments into the architect’s design brief for your next reno or build.


Scratch­ing posts and “cat house” hidey holes have moved from kitsch eye­sores to the status of real furniture.

Kitty Washroom Cabinet

Kitty Wash­room Cab­inet for the bathroom

Vis­it­ors to your home won’t imme­di­ately see the dis­turb­ing lengths you have gone to for your cats.

Indoor-cat own­ers will love the idea of fur­niture to hide lit­ter trays.

Clever dis­guises include side tables, bas­kets and even large faux pot­ted plants.

cat box

Dis­creet kitty lit­ter boxes can even sit in the liv­ing room

If you can’t find a purpose-built lit­ter tray dis­guise or an attract­ive cat climber, try the time-honoured “Ikea hack”.

The Ikea Hack­ers web­site is filled with bril­liant ways to coax all man­ner of creature com­forts out of Ikea products.

Modi­fic­a­tions include ideas for wall-mounted perches and fur­niture for climb­ing, scratch­ing and (of course) peeing.

Ikea hacker, Cave Lion's

Ikea hacker, Cave Lion’s “Billy” Cat climb­ing shelf hack in action.

Amer­ican designer Akemi Tanaka has cre­ated a styl­ish way of allow­ing your cat to dis­play itself among your other artworks.

Tanaka’s “Curve” is a wall-mounted, softly-padded dis­play ped­es­tal where your fab feline can pose in com­fort, blend­ing seam­lessly with other wall-mounted artwork.

At $US200 ($185) for the Curve, you would hope so.

The Cats' House seen here under construction. The Walker's cats carefully supervised all building works, from a book by Bob Walker.

The Cats’ House seen here under con­struc­tion. The Walker’s cats dili­gently super­vises all build­ing works.

If you would like to know how he trans­formed his home into pussy­cat para­dise go to

Walker built steps and ramps that wind up and around rooms. He has even cus­tom­ised walk­ways to help one of his cats climb up to the walkway.

It star­ted as a couple of holes con­nect­ing to the lounge room and it just grew to a full scale renov­a­tion. There are holes in many walls now for his fury fam­ily to dip between rooms; they even have access to the roof space.

The cat house

The home has “140 feet of elev­ated walk­way” that cris­scross overhead.

At the most extreme end of cat-friendly accom­mod­a­tion are homes designed from scratch, with ramps, steps, perches, play­rooms, secret spaces and ceiling-high cat­walks all seam­lessly woven into the design.

A ceiling-high catwalk in The Cats' House, Japan by architects Fauna +DeSIGN.

A ceiling-high cat­walk in The Cats’ House, Japan by archi­tects Fauna +DeSIGN.

Two Japan­ese design­ers have delivered sur­pris­ingly inof­fens­ive, even eleg­ant results.

Archi­tects Fauna +DeSIGN were com­mis­sioned to cre­ate a para­dise for 16 cats and a home for their own­ers and five dogs.

Designer Asahi Kasei had fewer “cli­ents” but also cre­ated kitty heaven on earth.

The Cats' House in Japan by architects Fauna +DeSIGN

The Cats’ House in Japan by archi­tects Fauna +DeSIGN

Both homes provide end­less vant­age points for the cats to sur­vey their territory.

There are obstacles to nego­ti­ate, allow­ing the cats to exhibit great feats of agil­ity, perches on which to dis­play them­selves and places for dis­creet super­vi­sion of their human companions.

The Plus-Nyan cat house by Asahi Kasei

The Plus-Nyan cat house by Asahi Kasei


Dog-lovers, your faith­ful friends haven’t been for­got­ten. As dogs tend to be lar­ger and some­what less agile than cats, they don’t get quite the same run of the house.

Much of the focus is on out­door dog houses, but there are plenty of clever options for indoor dogs too.

Clever hide-away dog bowl drawers

Most interior modi­fic­a­tions are lim­ited to ground level; items such as benches, cup­boards and the lower levels of book­cases have become new dog-friendly spaces in today’s homes.

These aren’t neces­sar­ily just indul­gences either. There are some cun­ning ideas, such as low shelves to tuck food bowls away from foot traffic, or even using bot­tom draw­ers to hide bowls when not in use.

Dogs love being part of the action, but their knack of being under­foot can be annoy­ing and even dangerous.


Den­haus dog beds

To counter this, beds are get­ting the same treat­ment as those for cats, becom­ing incor­por­ated into more styl­ish items of fur­niture, such as side tables for small dogs or cof­fee tables for lar­ger ones.

Build­ers and archi­tects are unleash­ing them­selves on homes all over the US.

Kit­chens get bed areas under bench tops, laun­dries have purpose-built dog baths and showers and lounge rooms are being fit­ted with dis­creet dog flaps tucked into book­shelves set against exter­ior walls.

Spoilt Dogs live in a $20,000 Vic­torian Mansion

Victorian Mansion dog

Noth­ing says “I love my dogs to death” like pay up a ton of cash on a dog house like this!

Dog­house man­sions can be highly and costly with con­veni­ences like plumb­ing, chan­deliers, crown mold­ing, built in robes, designer wall­pa­per, deck­ing, yards and white picket fences. For this house, Kassis turned to Alan Mowrer, archi­tect to some of the world’s most Spoilt dogs.

Spoilt Dogs live in a $20,000 Victorian Mansion
ken­nel builder, and owner of La Petite Maison, Alan Mower, was asked to cre­ate a small copy of her own home

This Maison is paw­some! Kassis also added a small plasma TV, because the pampered dogs love to watch Animal Planet.

Ladies and gen­tle­man check this dog­house out, it has its own private dog­gie pool!


doghouse with a private doggie pool


Inside is fully fin­ished with the same con­tent level of atten­tion to detail as the out­side. Floor­boards, doggy decals on the wall paper, a pur­pose built dog bed, and even an Air Con­di­tioner. Everything a dog would want to feel at home.


Rachel Hunter with her two dogs. They live in the “Celebrity Hacienda Dog House” from Beyond The Crate.

Rachel Hunter with her two dogs. They live in the “Celebrity Hacienda Dog House” from Bey­ond The Crate.

Bey­ond The Crate takes pooch pam­per­ing to a whole new level, with their watch­word being “If your home just isn’t good enough… build them their own”.

Two ser­i­ously spoiled dish-lickers have a “Celebrity Hacienda Dog House” which set their owner back $US30,000.

Without the exact specs of this pooch pad, Bey­ond The Crate’s web­site notes that the “extens­ive list of avail­able amen­it­ies includes run­ning water, light­ing, air con­di­tion­ing and heating”.

Rachel Hunter's “Celebrity Hacienda Dog House” from Beyond The Crate

Inside Rachel Hunter’s “Celebrity Hacienda Dog House” from Bey­ond The Crate

As for celebrity extra­vag­ance, the $30,000 Rachel Hunter dropped on her dogs’ “Hacienda” pales into insig­ni­fic­ance after you see – yes, you guessed it – Paris Hilton’s mind-boggling excesses.

Her little darlings have a 28-square-metre, $325,000 man­sion mod­elled on her own Beverly Hills home.

Their two-story dog house not only cost more than a lot of people’s homes, Hilton designed it with the assist­ance of her interior decorator.

Paris Hilton and her dog house. Photo: Life & Style Weekly

Paris Hilton and her dog house. Photo: Life & Style Weekly

This monu­ment to extreme wealth and the lack of even the slight­est grip on real­ity is fit­ted out with chan­deliers, air­con­di­tion­ing, a stair­case, bal­cony, beds, a ward­robe full of out­fits and what looks like a bizarre mini­ature nightclub area set up for pole dancing.


Hanging Fish Aquarium from Opulent Items

Hanging Fish Aquar­ium from Opu­lent Items

The renowned Amer­ican archi­tect and designer of Can­berra, Wal­ter Bur­ley Griffin, was a man before his time in many ways, espe­cially if one con­siders his design of the Fish­wick House in Sydney’s Castlecrag.

This 1929 house had two fish­ponds with glass bot­toms, sus­pen­ded from the ceil­ing of the din­ing room.

But the design must have turned out to be imprac­tical – who would have guessed – and they were replaced by sky­lights in the 1930s.

Aqua Sink High from Opulent Items

Aqua Sink High from Opu­lent Items

For a less rad­ical but only slightly less impress­ive fishy fea­ture, try the sleek Hanging Space Aquar­ium from America.

This design goes way bey­ond any stand­ard tank and could prob­ably put most other mod­ern designs to shame.

These slim-line tanks hang from the ceil­ing giv­ing a full walk-around view of their scaly inhabitants.

Photo of Paris Hilton's dog house from her Twitter account

Photo of Paris Hilton’s dog house from her Twit­ter account

Accord­ing to one dis­trib­utor, Opu­lent Items, the fluor­es­cent light placed on top of the frame makes the whole set-up glow, “thereby embel­lish­ing the ambi­ence” of your home.

The aquarium’s fil­tra­tion sys­tem is neatly con­cealed within the stain­less steel tube frame or loc­ated many metres away in a more con­veni­ent location.

It’s cer­tainly expens­ive – the large model is $US8500 – but for styl­ish fish-lovers it’s an attract­ive option. Singer Jay-Z’s former New York City res­id­ence – a $US31 mil­lion pent­house – fea­tured some.


Paris Hilton’s Pom­er­a­nian, Mar­ilyn, strik­ing a pose on the “pole dan­cing”? stage of the club room in the dog house. Photo: Otis & Lucy Photography

There is no limit to the cre­ativ­ity of tank design, from the eleg­ant wall moun­ted types to a rather unset­tling bath­room van­ity style.

The Aquar­ium Sink is just $US4,500 and the site says they can have one shipped over here in no time. You will need a plumber to install it and the light­ing and pump need elec­tri­city too.

We won­der if the fish become dis­tressed when water gurgles down the plug­hole at the centre of their domain.

Akemi-Tanaka's Curve for cats

Her­it­age Hen Mini Farm


This  Her­it­age Hen Mini Farm is called Versailies-inspired Le Petite Tri­anon house which is described as the most expens­ive hen house ever.


Fantasy Heritage hen house

The Fantasy Her­it­age hen house owned by Neimun Mar­cus. If you buy one of these costly Hen Farms you will be assessed Her­it­age Hen Farm spe­cial­ist, Svet­lana Simon, who will select 3 to 10 heritage-breed hens care­fully selec­ted to suit your area. Fit­ting includes two cus­tom grown veget­able or herb garden beds

Heritage Hen Mini Farm

Influ­enced  by Ver­sailles’ Le Petit Tri­anon, this custom-made multi-story home impress­ively comes fur­nished with an beau­ti­fully clas­sic chan­delier fea­tures a nest­ing area, a broody room, a lib­rary full with chicken and garden­ing books for vis­it­ors of the human kind, an open plan liv­ing room for night-time roosting.

Going to “the dog house” has a new meaning;

Ultimate dog house

the dog house

moden dog house

If you have any other images of cool pet homes drop me a line.


Jhai is an award win­ning Inter­net Mar­ket­ing Real Estate Agent for Eld­ers Toongab­bie and Kings Langley. After run­ning his own inter­net mar­ket­ing busi­ness he has now set his own sites for the real estate industry. He observed that 90% of real estate agents did not know how to mar­ket them­selves online. Jhai is now fixed on one goal. To teach real estate agents that they can mar­ket online so much bet­ter than they cur­rently are.

Since then he has been con­sist­ently quoted in the Sydney Morn­ing Her­ald and Real Estate Busi­ness online. He is a reg­u­lar guest blog­ger on, shar­ing his expert­ise of mar­ket­ing aspects for the Real Estate Industry. His biggest pas­sions are his wife, mar­tial arts, dogs and most of all property.

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Cnr Federal Road Prospect Highway Seven Hills NSW 2147 Australia