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Monday, January 9, 2017

Cats influencing architecture in Taiwan.

Cats are gaining popularity in Taiwan and other parts of Asia, with Taiwanese cat owners spending $598.4 million on pet products and services yearly since 2011, a portion of which has gone toward cat-friendly apartment design. Companies provide design and architecture services that make homes a haven for cats, including special doors, shelves, walkways and passages just for cats. The cat business is booming. I don't remember it being like this three years ago," says Szuti Tsai, founder of Taipei-based ST Studio Design and the interior designer behind Mei Mei's flat. Since 2011 pet cat popularity has increased by 91% in Taiwan, with owners shelling out $598.4 million on pet-related products and services a year, according to the Council of Agriculture. "People who love their cats really do go a bit crazy for them," admits Tsai. Tsai, who had just adopted a cat, met her client in an online pet forum, where owners post questions and share advice. One user left an unusual message: he was looking for someone to design a minimalist apartment tailored to the needs of his two cats. Tsai made contact to offer her services."(The client) said his cats hated it when he closed the DOORS. They went crazy," says Tsai. "Cats actually need a lot more attention than people think. They want to know what you're doing at every moment." In order to solve that issue, Tsai knocked down the internal walls, and turned the apartment into an open-plan space, bar the bathroom. Furthermore, she opened up the WINDOWS to let in more natural light, offering the cats several spots for sunbathing,and on various walls Tsai built an elaborate system of ledges to serve as a cat playground, the layout of which can be adjusted to keep the pets interested. continue