In the Neko no Ie, a house for cats, designed by the architects Key Operation from Tokio, nobody treads on anyones feet. The architect, Akira Koyama has included the space necessary for a cat´s natural movement within the design of the house. A system of catwalks, cat-stairs and pass-throughs connects the rooms and the floors. The cat can easily move within the house and doesn’t need to use human-pathways or the central staircase, which can double up as a library.

Using its own cat walkways, pass-throughs and cat-shelves the cat can move between the living-room, kitchen and office (on an intermediate level between the floors) and the studio in the attic without using the staircase. As this is also a library and supposed to be a quiet place to relax.

The square shaped pass-throughs in the wall of the living-dining room lead to the staircase-library. From the upper shelf of the library the cat has an overview over the staircase – library and can jump from there to the open study in the attic. There it can enjoy a huge cat-scratcher made of sisal wrapped around a column.
Back in the living-room there is a sliding window over the kitchen which belongs to the office room in an intermediate level between the floors. The last cat shelf is high enough that the cat can go through the window into the office without using the staircase. It can move within the main family rooms on its own catwalks


The townhouse Neko no le is situated in the metropolitan area of Tokio and as plots are small the design is created to be space saving. The different floors of the house are connected by a central staircase which is also a library. This is a place to chill and relax for humans and felines. The alternative cat-pathways are a good solution for cats, they won’t to disturb or be disturbed by any human companions. It has its own system utilising an available climbing path which is cat-friendly, so they can sneak around, hide and jump.

The pathways, cat-stairs and stepping-stones are designed in a decent style to match the interior design of the house. Akira Koyama of KEY OPERATIONS has created an interesting concept of catification which fulfils the needs of the cat and the humans.

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Post de Ami Frearson (


Author Sylvia Lucas

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