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How to Design a Home For Your Pets: 9 Nifty Ideas With Examples

Dream home inspo for you and your furry/feathery friends.

A comfortable abode with pet-friendly features isn’t a novel idea – homeowners have already been building them for some time with the help of everything from cat bridges to doggy doors.

Hence, what makes these 9 picture-purrfect houses special in our eyes is how well they make everything work for both man and pet. Keep scrolling for some truly paw-some ideas that you and your furry friends will love.


1. A Buangkok Crescent home that takes a walk on the wild side

Buangkok Crescent by Free Space Intent
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View this project by Free Space Intent

Designed after the idea of a Balinese holiday resort, this Buangkok flat has both a charming tropical look and rustic atmosphere going for it.

Buangkok Crescent by Free Space Intent
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Buangkok Crescent by Free Space Intent
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However, the main highlight (for a pair of feline occupants) remains the overhead catwalk. Extending from the dining area into the kitchen, this add-on grants them the freedom to strut their stuff.

Buangkok Crescent by Free Space Intent
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2. Have your fish tank built INTO your cabinets

pet-friendly home singapore
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View this project by Ovon Design

Fish tanks – especially the bigger variants – are definitely an eye-catching feature, but they can also look bulky and out of place.

Neptune Court by Ovon Design
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View this project by Ovon Design

One way to avoid this? Creating a built-in fish tank instead of using a standalone aquarium. As seen in this Bedok condo, a large fish tank built into a series of cabinets allows it to integrate smoothly into the space without taking up additional floor space.


3. Carve out a niche for your fish tank

aquarium hdb flat
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View this project by Carpenters 匠

On the topic of fish tanks, here’s another way you can display them without needing a separate stand to hold them up.

Ubi Grove by Carpenters 匠
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View this project by Carpenters 匠

Carving a niche along their bar counter’s edge, the homeowners of this 4-room flat in Ubi created a unique storage area specifically for their fish tank. Unlike a regular stand that can topple over, this niche is sturdier and also helps the fish tank blend into the overall space.


4. Build a shower ‘spa’ for your pets

dog wash station singapore
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View this project by The Interior Lab

With all the walking, playing, and rolling around they do, dogs will get dirty very easily. And if you don’t want your pup leaving trails of dirt and mud in your home after a walk, perhaps you should consider installing a dog wash station.

For this Woodlands condo, a dog wash station built close to the floor allows their Collie to get in and out with ease. Design-wise, it’s built with the same tiles used to furnish the wall behind for a more cohesive look.


5. Install cabinets with cut-outs that can serve as hiding spots

cat cabinets
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Projects by Fifth Avenue Interior and Versaform

As any cat lover will tell you, cats simply love their small spaces – which is why these homeowners had cabinets with cut-outs built within the dining area of their home.

Aside from serving as great curl up spots, these playful fixtures can be used to conceal bulky litter boxes, as well as double as additional storage space when needed.


6. Keep your home safe but fun for your pets

pet-friendly interior design
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Geylang East Avenue by Insight.Out Studio
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View this project by Insight.Out Studio

There’s a reason why the phrase ‘curiosity kills the cat’ exists, and that’s because cats are naturally inquisitive animals. While this very trait is what makes them absolutely adorable, it can be a source of trouble too.

Hence, if you’re living with one cat – or three, like the homeowners of this colourful cat-friendly home – pet-proof features such as concealed wiring and cat flaps that can be locked are a must.

cat flap singapore
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View this project by Insight.Out Studio

Due to safety hazards, certain areas like the kitchen and studio are also out-of-bounds for the kitties – something you can also consider doing in your own home.


7. Consider furnishings that let your pets sleep in the same room as you

Lim Liak Street by The Makers Design Studio
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View this project by The Makers Design Studio

Closing your doors is essential for privacy and containing the air-conditioning, but it does leave your furry friend stuck on one side of the door.

That’s where cat doors or doggy panels come in. Typically installed at the bottom of the door, these little flaps allow you to keep your doors closed whenever you want, while still allowing your cat/dog to come and go as they please.

cat furniture singapore
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View this project by Zenith Arc

But don’t just stop there! If you want your furry friends to feel even more comfortable in your bedroom, consider also having some pet furniture (like beds and wall-mounted shelves) inside your room.


8. Turn your TV feature wall into your cat’s playground

cat climber
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View this project by ChengYi Interior Design

TV consoles are essential to almost every living room, but why get boring, old-fashioned cabinets when you can have one that’s also a playground for your cats?

In this Serangoon resale flat, a custom-made entertainment unit with built-in steps makes for a fun and practical piece of living room furniture. Aside from that, there’s also a dedicated play area with even more cat climbers to keep its furry occupants healthy and active.


9. Take advantage of awkward corners to create pet-specific features

Old HDB flats tend to have awkward corners and niches that may leave homeowners stuck for ways to properly utilise them. But that doesn’t mean they’re entirely unusable, as you’ll see in this pet-friendly and practical HDB flat!

cat-friendly bedroom
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View this project by Weiken.com

Being owners of 2 cats and 2 parrots, the homeowners decided to have specific features carved out for them. For the cats, they created nooks and counters that provide additional resting and hiding spots, which also double up as a way to conceal the aircon piping.

bird cage singapore
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View this project by Weiken.com

For the birds, they decided on a custom-made bird cage that fits into an odd niche in the living room. The result: a one-of-a-kind feature that not only has ample space for the parrots to fly around, but also captures your attention upon walking into the space!

This article was first published on 31 July 2019 and last updated on 29 February 2024.


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