Long-Lasting Cat Furniture: Say Goodbye to Throwaway Culture
The High-Cost of Low-Cost Cat Furniture
While low-cost cat furniture offers temporary solutions, buying complete replacements every few years affects your finances and the environment.(1) We discuss the High-cost of Low-cost Cat Furniture and highlight luxury cat furniture designs you won't need to replace! As a well known proverb says:
“Good quality is cheap; it's poor quality that is expensive.”
Joe L Griffith
Built-in obsolescence, and the prevention of repairs in cat furniture are commonplace. For example with most cat trees, there is no way to replace the scratch posts. So once worn, the WHOLE cat tree is discarded. Therefore, the life-cycle of a typical cat tree lasts just 1-3 years(2).
This ‘throw-away’ nature of consumerist culture is adding to the modern-day environmental crisis. Deforestation, water consumption, chemical pollution, carbon emission, non-biodegradable waste, and finally the labour abuses of vulnerable workers are all, very much "Fast Furniture" issues. Behind throw-away furniture's small price tag, is an enormous cost. A cost to environmental preservation and to human rights.
In 2021 Australia generated 75.8 mega tonnes (Mt) of total waste including furniture. Which is roughly the equivalent weight of 471 Sydney Opera Houses!(6).
Long-Lasting, Sustainable Cat Furniture
Prior to the idea of planned obsolescence, furniture was designed and made to last, beyond a lifetime. Which is why we have antiques. Beauty and sturdiness ensured this furniture was passed down to future generations.
"Slow-made goods"; products with stories, with heritage and meaning, connect with people the same way an artefact of sentiment does. These are not items that are easily replaced! People hang on to them.
We wholeheartedly support cat product companies who have this ethos in mind. Cat companies like...
RINN Luxury Cat Furniture
One cat furniture company not scrimping on build quality, performance or longevity is RINN. RINN designed what we call, the 'Lotto Cat Tree', shown below. Surely every cat parent dreams of owning one! This functional work of art, constructed of solid wood and marble definitely has a long lifespan for its lucky cat parents and cats.
Above: Neko Modern Cat Tree by RINN
The craftsmanship is traditional and the idea, innovative. No nails are used, and the structure opens up for easy maintenance. Limiting the number of parts where things can go wrong, is a sure path to longevity and was traditionally practised by master craftsmen to make furniture last.
Karimoku Cat Luxury Cat Furniture
Karimoku Cat is a luxury cat furniture brand that resulted from the collaboration between RINN and Karimoku, a wood furniture maker in Japan with a history dating back to the 1940s. The Karimoku Cat collection reflects the timeless and minimalist style of both furniture designers, offering a range of luxury cat furniture pieces that are both functional and visually appealing.
Feature image & above: Karimoku Cat Tree & Cat Table. Available at Made Moggie
The Karimoku Cat Tree, available in Australia through Made Moggie, is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also highly durable and easy to maintain. The scratch posts are replaceable, which means that cat owners can easily repair and prolong the life of their cat tree. The same is true for their cat bed and cat feeder, which are designed to be accessible and long-lasting.
Brandodesign Luxury Cat Furniture
Another pet company building for longevity is Brandodesign in Italy, who also specialise in solid-wood cat furniture.
Brandodesign was founded as a sister company to Brandolisio architecture studio, with a focus on designing pet furniture that seamlessly integrates into home decor. They aim to blur the line between "our furniture" and pet furniture, creating products that are aesthetically pleasing to humans while also providing a comfortable space for pets. By designing furniture that is both functional and visually appealing, their products can have a long life in the home.
Above: Brandodesign's Scratch Posts are repairable by its owner, with cord and other parts being separable.
Plyus Design Luxury Furniture
Plyus Design is another interior designer who creates designs for cats. Roman Plyus is known for his functional art pieces that come with a unique story. One of his cat beds is part of a series of works that were inspired by the need for comfort and connection during the COVID-19 pandemic. His designs explore various themes such as nature, the environment, human emotions, and relationships, creating a truly unique and meaningful piece of cat furniture.
Above: Cat Bed by Roman Plyus. Available through Plyus Design
References (accessed June 30, 2021) & Other Interesting Articles
1. CustomMade. “Green From the Inside Out - How to Make Sustainable Furniture Choices” 2014.
2. Staff Editorial. "Planned Obsolescence: An Unknown Crisis." Norse News. 2021.
3. Rohra, Hitesh. "Cat Tree - Raw Materials". Design Life-cycle 2019.
4. Sustainability Made Easier. "Action 15: Repair, Don't Replace!" 2020.
5. Resource Furniture. "How to Find Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Furniture in the Modern World" 2017.
6. Planet Ark. "How Much Waste Does Australia Generate And Where Does It Go?", 2023.
7. The Eco Hub. "Why Do We Need To Worry About Fast Furniture?" 2022