Repair Over Recycle

While low-cost furniture offers temporary solutions, buying replacements every few years affects your finances and the environment (1). As a well known proverb says:  

“Good quality is cheap; it's poor quality that is expensive.”

Joe L Griffith

Long Lasting Furniture for Cats

The life-cycle of a cat tree usually lasts 1-3 years, depending upon the wear and tear it suffers (2). Built-in obsolescence, and the prevention of repairs in furniture are commonplace. Prior to the idea of planned obsolescence, furniture was designed and made to last, beyond a lifetime. Beauty and sturdiness ensured furniture was passed down to future generations.

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.

RINN Cat Tree
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.

As recently as 2019, RINN joined with Karimoku, a wood furniture maker also in Japan. Karimoku has been making furniture since the 40's in a simple, pared-back style that is timeless. The collaboration is Karimoku Cat, and their suite of cat furniture is strongly representative of the style and ethos of both furniture designers.

Karimoku Cat Tree

Karimoku Cat

Feature image & above: Karimoku Cat. Available at Made Moggie

Beautiful, repairable and accessible in Australia, the Karimoku Cat Tree has replaceable scratch posts, that allow cat parents to easily maintain their cat tree. This is also true of their cat bed and feeder.

Another pet company building for longevity is Brandodesign in Italy, who also specialise in solid-wood furniture for cats.

Brandodesign's Torre Scratch Post 
Above: Brandodesign's Torre Scratch Post. Available at Made Moggie

Originally started as a sister company to Brandolisio architecture studio, Brandodesign are interior designers making pet furniture to be part of home decor. They eliminated the line between 'our furniture' and a pet's. Their products, being furniture that is "cosmetically pleasant for humans", have a long life in the home.

Torre Scratch Post
Above: Brandodesign's Torre Scratch Post is repairable by its owner, with jute and other parts being separable. Available at Made Moggie

Similar to Brandodesign (in being an Interior Designer) and designing for cats is Plyus Design. Roman Plyus designs functional art pieces with a distinct story. For example, the cat bed below is part of a series of work inspired by a need for comfort and connection during covid.

Roman Plyus Cat Bed
Above: Cat Bed by Roman Plyus. Available through Plyus Design

His work explores themes of nature, the environment, human emotions and relationships. 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.

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.

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