Last weekend, I attended a panel at The Humane Society of the United States’ Take Action for Animals Conference, which was titled “Humane Begins at Home.” The speakers were KC Theisen, director, pet care issues, The HSUS, Nancy Lawson, Vice President Content, The HSUS, and our friend, Kate Benjamin, cat style expert, founder of Hauspanther and co-author, with Jackson Galaxy, of the upcoming book, Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You)which is now available for pre-order ($1 for each pre-order goes to help homeless cats.)

Wanting to help animals can get overwhelming. There’s always more to do, and sometimes, it seems like nothing you do really makes a difference. However, every small thing does help. And it begins in your own home. “Humane means a safe home, and animals who are well cared for,” said KC Theisen. Making your home safe ranges from cat proofing your home (and as those of you with curious kittens know, that can be far more challenging than child proofing!) to providing a challenging, stimulating environment for your indoor cats. “A humane home cares about every  being’s well-being,” added Theisen.

Kate Benjamin stressed how essential catification is for happy healthy cats. From vertical space to hiding places, catifying your house does not need to take a lot of money. Kate specializes in offering solutions that not only make the cats happy, they also blend into the humans’ living space in a way that’s pleasing to our human eye. From high end functional cat furniture that looks more like a sculpture than a cat tree to simple DIY projects, Kate had lots of clever suggestions. If you’re not already subscribed to updates from Hauspanther, you’ll want to do so just for the ideas Kate provides in her daily updates.

Nancy Lawson talked about extending the humane lifestyle into our backyards. A humane backyard is a habitat that provides food, water and cover for wildlife. It’s free from harmful chemicals and inhumane practices. Most of all, it’s a safe place for wildlife ranging from bees, insects and butterflies to ground hogs, rabbits and foxes to call home.

And what begins at home can easily extend into our communities and out into the greater world. From educating other cat guardians about what cats need to be happy and healthy to talking to local businesses about making them more pet-friendly, every little thing you do makes a difference. “Every pet in a community deserves a happy, healthy life,” said Theisen. Why not start with your own cats, in your own home?


On a side note, the girls and I were thrilled that Kate stayed with us during her brief visit to the Washington DC area. Allegra, who is the more social of my girls, was totally smitten with Kate. Ruby took a little while to warm up to Kate, as she does with any visitor, but Kate’s cat energy won her over in no time.

Photo at top of post by Kate Benjamin

8 Comments on Sunday Purrs: Humane Begins at Home

  1. Ingrid thank you so much for these kind words, it was a pleasure meeting you at TAFA! Keep up the amazing work for cats.

  2. I’ll bet your girls had some advice and suggestions for Kate! Sounds like we all had regrets we couldn’t make it there–I certainly did. Still, we can all do things every day for our cats and for other cats to not only make their lives better, but to make lives better for all cats in our society.

  3. My human was so envious that you got to go to this event – and host Kate! The good animal conferences never seem to happen in our area.

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