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In Taipei, Seoul and Hong Kong, apartment owners are designing homes around their cats.
Perched on a ledge in a Taipei apartment, Ge Ge — aka Elder Brother — looks satisfied as he surveys his new territory.
His owner recently overhauled their 484 square foot (45 sqm) home in the Taiwanese capital to make Ge Ge and his sibling, Mei Mei — or Little Sister — feel more comfortable.
Far from unusual, this is just one of many so-called “cat flats” springing up across Asia.
In such properties, cat flaps are passé. Tiny arched doorways connecting rooms, shelves that serve as climbing frames and scratching surfaces doubling as decorative features are the norm.
“The cat business is booming. I don’t remember it being like this three years ago,” says Szuti Tsai, founder of Taipei-based ST Studio Design and the interior designer behind Mei Mei’s flat.
Since 2011 pet cat popularity has increased by 91% in Taiwan, with owners shelling out $598.4 million on pet-related products and services a year, according to the Council of Agriculture.
“People who love their cats really do go a bit crazy for them,” admits Tsai. […]