A few design principles for cat furniture
Mjau's Design Principles
We want to build cat furniture that cats love to use and humans love to look at, and have identified four core "design principles" that help shape and constrain and guide everything from the aesthetic to the materials to the finish on the wood.
Cat furniture doesn’t have to look like cat furniture
Mjau pieces should be aesthetically pleasing, have a contemporary look and feel, and be unobtrusive. On that note, they should either have a small footprint, be multi-use for humans and cats, or both. We like to say they should be "living room friendly."
Cat behavioral psychology should be "built-in" and tested for
There are tree cats, bush cats, hidey cats -- and we want to make sure all of the above are appeased and pleased with what we build. We test with real cats and incorporate their "feedback" as best we can.
We also believe that a strong corollary of this is adaptable, adjustable, and modular design. If your cat prefers to sleep on top of a Hutch rather than inside, the furniture should be able to adapt elegantly to that preference. In short -- cat owner's shouldn't have to be cat psychologists too.
Design responsibly and build well
That means constructing furniture that is durable and dependable, and doing so in a way that minimizes waste. Areas that are likely to be scratched and stressed (and we expect there to be!) should be replaceable at low cost, with recycled and/or recyclable materials.
Our general mantra here is simple: don't add to the landfill.
Easy to clean
Last but definitely not least. We expect and hope and design for Mjau furniture to get a lot of use. That's how we know we've done well. But we want to make sure these pieces look good for a lifetime of potential spills, scratches, smears and smells.
That means using removable, washer-friendly fabrics. And protecting wood with simple, easy, and non-toxic finishes that look good and are safe for your cat and your family.