When Houzz first shared the story of Peter Cohen in 2014, people were astounded by the lengths he went to for his 15 rescue cats. He built a veritable wonderland in his home that would constantly keep them occupied and stimulated.
That video got over 20 million views, so they revisited his home in 2019, and over a quarter of a million people have seen his progress since then.
How many cats?!
In 2019, Cohen had accumulated an unbelievable 26 cats! And he acknowledged that this might make people suspicious of him.
“When people hear that I have this many cats, they literally think I’m crazy,” he told Yahoo Lifestyle. “And I believe they imagine a very dirty, crowded, smelly house and when they come to visit, they’re always surprised that’s not what they see.”
Instead of a hoarding situation, his home is more like a feline theme park. But more importantly, it’s still a human home. The cat “furniture” is cleverly tucked into the home’s architecture.
Cohen isn’t afraid to admit he prefers cats to humans. So “catifying” his house was his main consideration. Now, his Santa Barbara, California abode contains impressive spiral ramps, 300 linear feet of catwalk, 15 tunnels, and 8 bridges, and a “cat wheel.”
“I liken it to living in an aquarium of cats,” said Cohen. “Because they’re above you, they’re at your eye level and they’re below you.”
His background in construction made it easy to transform the home, which he purchased with his brother in 1988 with the intention of flipping it. It even came with two stray cats, which he’s since adopted.
The cost of “catifying”
The home and its cats all have some Japanese flair. “Nekko” means cat in Japanese, and Cohen calls his purr palace “House of Nekko.” the cats also have Japanese names.
And as you might imagine, the cost of making the house into a cat-friendly playground was significant. He told Yahoo Lifestyle that he estimates that he’s spent roughly $100k – $150k over the years. And then there’s the $3k – $4k a month he spends on food and vet visits.
How much food do 26 cats eat? Around 800 cans of wet food and 50 pounds of dry food!
Cohen relates to cats a lot better than he does to humans, and he expressed his disbelief that the outside world is so cruel. Comparatively, cats are perfect companions.
Cats patiently waiting for new Cat Cave to be done
“Cats don’t plot against you. If a cat’s mad at you, it will scratch you, and two seconds later it will expect to cuddle with you. They don’t hold grudges.”
In addition to housing over 2 dozen adopted cats, he’s also involved in Zen By Cat, a non-profit that raises awareness and money to find a cure for Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), which kills roughly 2% of felines every year (including big cats in zoos).
Cat stop, won’t stop
If you’re curious to know more about Cohen’s lifestyle or even take a more thorough peek inside his little cat village, sometimes he’ll set up a livestream in the “kitten room” of his home.
Who could possibly resist that?!
But first, be sure to scroll down and take a tour of all the home’s cat-friendly rooms.
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