Metro Pets

By Sharon Gomes Thomas

When I first moved to New York City, I was one of the fortunate ones who found an affordable and fabulous place to stay within my first week in the city. I moved in with a real estate agent and shared a huge two bedroom, two bath apartment on the Upper East Side. There was a grand piano in the dining room. I was the envy of all my friends, who were constantly begging me to throw parties every week. Even with all that space, my roommate’s three cats would stay in her bedroom most of the time, essentially turning her big bedroom into a studio apartment. She was constantly tripping over toys, litter boxes and cat bowls.

If you are a pet parent and live in a shoebox, there are a few things you may want do to make your apartment more spacious.

Prevent your kitties from shredding your furniture with the Cat Scratch Wall Art from Uncommon Goods ( The coolest of cats file their nails on this scratching pad. And even you will take to its modern design, which will fit into your decor. The steel frame – with hidden keyhole wall mounts – holds the refillable corrugated cardboard insert. And the cat’s scratching post standing in the middle of the floor will be a thing of the past.

Uncommon Goods
Tel: 212.660.1400
Or toll-free 888.365.0056

In a small space, it’s likely every surface has double duty — your dining table is also your work space, or your dresser top displays family photos as well as your cosmetics. So the last thing you need is for Scruffy to be perched on your surface taking a nap. The solution is a Katwallks shelf ( so that your pet can keep an eye on you but stay out of your way. And yes, Katwallks is spelt with double L’s.

Toll-free: 877.644.1615

Disguise that ugly cat litter box and keep it out of the way with a Litterbox Cabinet from Cats Play ( The alder wood Litterbox Cabinet features a solid wood drawer for feline treats and the two stylish Saguaro Rib doors provide easy access for cleaning. The inside is big enough for any Garfield type fat cats.

Cats Play
Tel: 412.366.7545

A common piece of furniture in many small apartments is the Murphy Bed. It instantly transforms the studio living room into a bedroom. Or the office den into a guest room. Your dog can enjoy the same space saving transformation with the Pet Murphy Bed by Midnight Pass ( Handcrafted in Thailand, this is a comfy fold down bed alternative to traditional pet beds.

Midnight Pass
Toll-free: 877.897.7700

Whatever the size of your abode, you’ll always have space for a wonderful book by Traer Scott. While volunteering at shelters, photographer Scott was asked to take photos of the dogs she was working with for records and Internet adoption sites. The 96-page book Shelter Dogs features 50 dogs, their souls and spirits revealed through Scott’s images. The author included notes on each dog and what eventually happened to him or her. Pick it up at the ASPCA ( online store.

Originally published March 2007
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