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In Lublin, homeless cats overwinter in "cat houses"

04 of November '22

Simple "cat houses" will appear on Lublin's housing estates, which is a good example that even in times of energy crisis and high inflation it is not worth forgetting about animals, which constitute a certain spectrum of the excluded in our space. Small cat houses can also fire the imagination, provoking more interesting new solutions.

Twenty-two cat houses will be erected on the grounds of nine housing cooperatives in Lublin. The purchase of the necessary "cat infrastructure" is the result of the winning project in the eighth edition of the Lublin City Civic Budget. The "Animal Friendly Lublin" project also involves the purchase of hedgehog and insect houses, nesting boxes, feeders or a more efficient system for trapping wild boars. "Cat houses", which will provide a total of places for about 136 cats, which is a proxy of the needed solutions for about two thousand free-living Lublin cats. The local government is also paying attention to the problem.

On the other hand, housing estate managers who have not reported a need for houses are encouraged to open a window in the basement so that animals can hide there from the cold. It is enough to put a cardboard box inside and pad it with a blanket, for example," points out Blanka Rdest-Dudak, Director of the Department of Greenery and Communal Management of the Lublin City Hall.

Lublin's cat houses are also worth looking at through the prism of exclusion. Wild as well as domesticated animal species are part of urban life. Forgetting the need to provide adequate conditions for animals also falls on the spectrum of exclusion, especially in the case of domesticated, homeless animals such as cats and dogs. Cat houses are, of course, only a partial solution, but it's hard not to pay attention to them. Purchased in the civic budget, the structures are simple, and the theme itself gives room for designers.

Kocie domki zrealizowane zostały w ramach budżetu obywatelskiego

The cat houses are the result of an initiative by residents within the civic budget

© Lublin City Hall

design challenge

Initiating the purchase of simple houses as part of the project is the right initiative, and in the case of the scale of the problem needed for the proverbial "yesterday". Nevertheless, in the future, the "cat house" could become a topic of consideration for designers, who could become creators of infrastructure ideas for animals. The cat house could be an interesting solution in the form of an urban sculpture, a modular design, which, while optimizing costs, would not become another bench for one hundred and fifty thousand zlotys. Valuable infrastructure for animals could have a positive impact on urban space.

Dom dla owadów kolektywu Traffic Design pokazują, że infrastruktura dla natury może być praktyczna i ciekawa.

The insect house of the Traffic Design collective shows that infrastructure for nature can be practical and interesting

© Traffic Design

Infrastructure for animals should appear on the spectrum of interest of designers and architects more broadly than before - not only in awards such as the Barkitecture awarded as part of the Single Kennel Design Award, but inside art and technical universities or urban festivals and projects. Let's hope for more such solutions to fill our cities until they are not needed.

compiled by Wiktor Bochenek

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