An animal lover and devoted cat owner, Amber Schram has spent an impressive £2,415 ($3,000) on extravagant 'catio' furniture for her two feline companions. Rosetted Bengal Jake, six, and Snow Bengal Juneau, two, have been spoiled with new items for the 'catio' at their home in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Amber used a combination of recycled materials and new items to build multiple cat towers of differing sizes, climbing walls, and Jake's favourite thing - an exercise wheel. She also put up wooden shelves and structures for the cats to climb, a wooden bridge, a large scratch pole, a fully-covered roof, two comfy swinging beds and numerous cat-safe plants.
Speaking about her pets, Amber said that nothing was too good for her cats, and she is more than willing to splash the cash on them. She revealed that since building the 'catio', Jake has never 'door dashed' again, saying, "I think it's pretty safe to say they love their spaces. Especially the catio during the warm seasons." Amber added that she used to have to bribe them with treats to come back inside the house most days, but now that they have their 'catio', they are always eager to go outside and play.
Amber, who works in a Legal Cannabis Production Facility, is part of the incredible online 'cat community', where she posts pictures of Jake and Juneau. However, when they hit 50,000 followers, they began receiving harsh feedback about their cats being 'locked up'. Despite this negativity, Amber knows she is keeping her pets safe, saying, "I lost many family cats growing up because they were let outdoors, and now I know that I'm doing everything I can to keep my kitties safe, so I can have them by my side as long as possible."
Amber's husband, who wishes to remain anonymous, also supports her love for cats and her decision to keep them safe. The couple has five pets in total, including three large rescue dogs named Mika, Cooper and Sawyer, who all love visiting the 'catio'. Speaking about her pets, Amber said, "The fact that it fixed Jake's bad habit of squeezing out the door tells me that he is satisfied with going out into the safe backyard instead of free roaming the dangerous city streets."
Amber also revealed that the indoor spaces have been quite expensive, as most of the furniture has to come from the US and overseas. There have been a few items that her cats did not like as much, so she sells them and looks for something they would enjoy more. "Every few months, I add something new for them, so over the past few years, our cat spaces have really started to be something special," Amber added.
Amber believes that if more people gave their cats outdoor enrichment, there would be way fewer problems with stray cats in shelters and living on the street. She said, "Letting your cats be free-roaming outside unsupervised is very dangerous for them, no matter where you live, and kills local bird populations." Amber is aware that she will come across people who have different ways of thinking, but she is not letting the negativity get to her.