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貓咪無障礙空間設計|Accessible Home Design for Elderly Cats

更新日期:2019年10月22日


『我家老貓最近老愛尿在砂盆外,還會尿床,之前明明都不會亂尿或噴尿。』



有的飼主會因為貓咪突然尿在砂盆外,而要求要找醫生看「行為門診」,但很多突然的行為改變其實是疾病的徵兆。通常這樣的狀況,我們會先了解貓咪的年紀,並詢問飼主是否有定期為貓咪做健康檢查,尤其是影像的部分。


很多都是十二歲以上的老貓,一直健健康康的,也從沒做過健康檢查,或是血檢一切正常,沒有拍過X光。在我們討論下,做了X光的結果就是關節老化了,而且家裡的貓砂盆還是屋頂開口設計,關節疼痛的貓咪要跳上去就是一種挑戰;最後憋不住,又跳不上去,當然是便溺在砂盆外。有的關節炎嚴重、光抬腿就很吃力的貓咪,市售一般的無罩式砂盆或大型公文林的門檻都還是太高。


這不是行為問題,是居家環境需因應貓咪的年紀做一些調整。牠只是需要一個無障礙空間,就能繼續當一隻乾淨乖巧的好貓咪。問題是市售寵物階梯動輒上千,講究一點的還可以量身定制。集三千寵愛於一身的貓咪我們就不提了,如果是多貓家庭的話,平時開銷都要精打細算,為了一隻貓咪,要花幾千塊錢買好幾座樓梯嗎?


其實現在很多廠商有出斜角的貓抓板,拿來作為砂盆口的緩降坡高度就很剛好;一坡兩用,很多貓咪便溺完也喜歡抓上幾爪。但清理那些縫隙中的貓砂是個大工程,而且如果家中空間不夠大,會突然橫出一座斜板在路中間。我可是為了我家「老人家」,忍受了N年擁擠的陽台,而且我用的是原木款,每次不小心踢到它都痛不欲生。


最近整理雜物時發現了一個漂亮厚實的鞋盒,看到那高度我靈機一動,覺得可以把它改造成一個砂盆專用的穩固小階梯。而且鞋盒的表面平整,還有一層霧膜,即使有貓砂也不用怕不好清理。


心動不如行動,傢伙拿出來馬上就開始一個十點的睡前勞作。時間緊迫,趕緊跑去問問老爺,雜誌都看完了可以給我吧?得到肯定的答案,馬上搬過來比看看夠不夠用。



再來塞塞看雜誌,看目測的尺寸適不適合。



鞋盒的短邊比雜誌短了幾公分,實際測量後雜誌是21公分,鞋盒是18.5公分左右。



切割墊上剛好有刻度,因為要裝在盒子裡,也不用切的很精準,只要在18到18.5公分內都可以;因此大概對齊後,我就直接開始裁切。



使用美工刀裁切時要小心尺不能滑動,必須壓好,也要注意不要切到手,刀片持續穩定的輸出,就可以切得很漂亮。


第一本切了18公分,很容易就放進去了,邊邊只有一點點縫隙。



接下來就是工廠作業流程,持續裁切N本雜誌。如果沒有雜誌的資源,可以使用紙箱,但要注意紙箱踩久了可能會凹陷要再補填,不然盒子容易被踩壞。


因為書背的部分一定比較厚實,我採用書背左右交替疊放的方式,最後疊好後才會比較平衡。



結果後來中間是凹下去的,所以裁了幾片紙箱來補中間的凹陷處,要補到跟盒子邊緣對齊。因為是主要承重的地方,不補滿的話那堆雜誌都白疊了;還要黏一下,才不會因為受力而亂跑。



拿個膠帶就被攻擊,請讓我認真工作啊!



排除萬難,終於貼好啦!蓋上蓋子就完工囉!



最後秤一下,居然有4.4公斤,絕對不會隨便被踢飛或移動,很適合放在固定位置使用。



高度真的很剛好!



家中其他更高的地方,我是使用 I 家的兒童踮腳凳。



不到600大洋,只要鎖8顆螺絲,平常要拿高處的東西拿來墊一下都夠用,不用特地去搬樓梯;有人來家裡作客時看電視嗑瓜子椅子不夠還能充當凳子坐;顏色亮麗,擺在家中還有畫龍點睛的感覺!真的很划算,是CP值超高的萬用傢俱。


希望更多人能注意到家中老貓的需求,高價格的貓房設計或裝潢不一定適合每個人,有時便宜貨也有他自己的一片天,自製還能製造許多美好的回憶,就算貓咪走了,也能多一個念想。


你也不用怕自己付出的心血或金錢會白費,動物的天性就是要把力氣省下來求生存,所以貓是真的懶,而且懶得理直氣壯。I 家樓梯買了後,從來沒有教過他們使用,但不只老貓愛用,能躺著就不坐著的年輕貓都愛走樓梯。


用紙箱捕獲貓咪不稀奇了,快用樓梯來擄獲貓咪的心吧!



Accessible Home Design for Elderly Cats


"My cat has recently been doing his/her business on the couch or right next to the litter box," is a common concern of many owners who come in to request a behavioural consultation. However, if the cat in question is elderly, we usually ask if the cat has had any recent x-ray exam.


When you are suffering from arthritis, and your owner chooses a top-entry litter box for you, you would probably seek an alternative, easier to reach location to do your business... Sudden changes of behaviour usually indicate possible illness, either mental or physical, and in the case of an elderly cat, usually it's the latter.


It's time to renovate your home to an accessible environment for your elderly cat, but what can you do? Pet stairs does not come cheap. 


If you have one cat who gets all the attention that's another story, but if you have too many cats and everything has to be "rationed"? Every penny counts and it already costs a fortune to feed all of them.


Scratching ramps are a great alternative to pet stairs, and many cats do enjoy a scratch after unloading. The problem is, litter are often caught in the crease and grooves. It is painful to look at and a challenge to clean.


The litter box in our home is located in an enclosed balcony, a tight place where I often bump my toe into the hardwood scratching ramp, so I have been seeking alternatives.


One night I was clearing out some cardboard boxes and when I found a sturdy shoe box with a matte finish, I knew right away I had to give it a go as a pet ramp. I started to gather up some old magazines to fill the box, so that when the cats step on it, the box will not be crushed. The box lines up perfectly with our litter box.


For our couch or other higher places my elderly cat likes to visit, I use Ikea's Children's Step Stool. It's barely half the price of regular pet stairs, easy to assemble, and both you and your cats can use it safely. It is designed to serve multiple functions, an easy-clean surface, and attractive in your living room. 


Whether a high end purchase or a D.I.Y. creation, you don't have to worry that your money and effort will go to waste, because cats are naturally lazy. It's nature's instinct for animals to conserve energy for a better survival chance in the wild, so if there’s a stair to climb that tree, they'd use it.


My older cat loves all the stepping installations in our home, and my younger cats uses them too! I think their life motto would be something like: "Don't stand when you can sit; don't sit when you can lie down."


We hope this helped you learn about creating an accessible environment for elderly cats. They do need some extra work, but in the end, you are creating more memorable memories with your life's companion.

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