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House of Nekko: the perfect Cat House doesn’t exis…

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A cat lover in California spent several decades and over $100,000 turning his home into the ultimate house for cats.
The so-called House of Nekko is a 280-square-meter home just north of Santa Barbara.
It looks pretty regular from the outside, so few know that this is probably the world’s most amazing cat house!
Featuring almost 100 meters of catwalks, 4,5 meters of tunnels, 8 bridges, individual feeding spots suspended on the walls and giant scratching posts, among other feline attractions, House of Nekko is unlike any other house you’ve ever seen before.

In 1998, when Peter Cohen, a custom contractor with an artistic flair, decided to buy Santa Barbara house with his brother, he had every intention to fix it up and then flip it for a profit.
What he hadn’t counted on was for the property to come with two feline residents, which he simply named The Black One and The Gray One.
Peter, grew up a dog person and never having a cat, fell in love with them and he went on to constantly “catify” the house over several decades.

After The Black One was hit by a car and died, Peter decided to adopt a bunch more cats to keep The Gray One company, and his feline family grew steadily over the years, to the point where he had 24 cats living in the House of Nekko (Japanese for “cat”).
He usually adopts animals that most people avoid, like black kittens, felines that have been traumatized, or cats extremely shy.

Petter Cohen was inspired to create the House of Nekko by a book he read in 1995, called The Cat’s House, by Bob Walker, about a house full of catwalks for felines.
He followed the same idea, making the catwalks the main element of his home, because cats love them, and also integrating tunnels that connect all the rooms, viewing platforms, scratch posts and all sorts of other things that cats love.

The first cat walks were installed in the upstairs master bedroom, around 1997,” says Peter in an interview. “From then on, it just kind of grew into a hobby. I would often trade tools with some of the finish carpenters who would build the catwalks in their down time. We would figure out something fun to build and they would then have pretty much free license to be creative.

I liken it to living in a cat aquarium—there are always cats around me and above me,” added. “If you put a cat in a room, it will naturally go to the highest point in the room. Catwalks just allow the cats to live in the space three-dimensionally instead of just on the floor.

Cats are very calming and fun to be with; hanging out with cats always relieves the day’s stress; it’s zen by cat. I am a builder and I like art, so I love the fact that catwalks are like living sculptures. The cats definitely enjoy them and I try to build them so I like the look of them as well. In that sense, we both win,” the cat lover also said.

Apart from his amazing cat house, Peter Cohen also runs Zen by Cat, a nonprofit designed to spread awareness about Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) and help animals suffering from this condition.
The often fatal disease is caused by a type of virus which tends to attack the cells of the intestinal wall.

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