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13 cat shelters for homeless cats designed by architects

For the event Architects for Animals, several Los Angeles-based architectural firms designed cat shelters for homeless cats, which were auctioned to raise money for the non-profit FixNation, which provides free spray and neuter services for homeless cats.

Los Angeles is home to one of the largest populations of homeless felines of the United States. FixNation stands for humane colony management, releasing the cats after they have been sprayed or neutered.

Two of the shelters were designed by Abramson Teiger Architects. The first consists of three large white tubes, which intersect in the middle, designed to be a bigger version of the pronged toys known as Jacks. The idea is that cats can walk into the tubes and tip the shelter over. The second design resembles a hollowed out, large ball of string, which cats can enter through an opening. The ball lies on a base of rolled up twine, which the cats can play with.

Architectural firm CallisonRTKL took inspiration from the cat behaviour of seeking out nooks to hide. Their structure is based on the safe haven of cathedrals. The shelter is triangular shaped, with geometric patterned colourful glass on two sides.

d3architects used a discarded metallic air-conditioning duct, which is twisted and looped to create a wild array of tunnels. In the middle, a cat bed is suspended. The frame is constructed of steel and wood.

ES-EN-EM designed an origami-inspired cat shelter made for indoor and outdoor use that provides a protective space for one or multiple cats. It is constructed using exterior grade plywood with a custom tinted exterior grade spar urethane finish and aluminium piano hinges attached with 3m VHB tape. The shelter is assembled flat and folded into shape.

A shelter made by Formation Association, Terremoto Landscape and Arktura takes inspiration from the shape of a pouf or ottoman. Its exoskeleton is comprised of recycled and fiberised plastic, formed into ribs that are water-absorptive. The space between the ribs is packed with Spanish moss and Korean grass to provide shading and thermal regulation.

HKS designed a shelter shaped like a fish tail made of plywood. The tail is hollowed out so that cats can enter, and is equipped with birdfeeders as well.

HOK’s shelter consists of stacked pipes lined with felt to create cosy sleeping chambers for cats. The pipes are held together by “a warm faux wood finish that can handle any weather condition.”

Knowhow Shop created an angular structure, clad with tiny shingles. The design is placed on a feather-clad base

The shelter by Kollin Altomare Architects depicts a giant W. The letter consists of two halves, with between them a circular wooden structure, which includes a scratching pole.

Perkins+Will designed a coil-shaped shelter, consisting of a series of wooden grids. The structure comes as part of a kit and can be assembled in different ways.

The design by Stantec consists of two wooden arches, with red string suspended between them. Below the arches are a plywood bed and faux fur.

The last design, by Standard Architecture, are two halves of a concrete orb, suspended on brass legs. In between, there are louvres made of reclaimed wood, which can be opened or closed depending on the weather.

Photos: Meghan Bob Photography