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Pet owners put together some pretty neat retreats for their furry friends — and might inspire you to build your own pet paradise.

Create Catwalks for ClimbingIt’s in your cat’s nature to climb. The cats in this fun setup at The Cats’ House, left, can’t get enough of their home’s outrageous bridges, platforms, and hidey-holes — all built to make them feel like kings of the jungle. Even if you don’t build a kitty paradise above your head, a lofty, feline-only area will satisfy their territorial and survival instincts. Plus, it’s perfect for escaping the vacuum cleaner and surveying their home.

Disguise the Dog Bed Love your dog, but hate that smelly, hairy dog bed that you can never seem to get clean? There’s hope. Pick up an old end table at a thrift store and enclose it with some extra wood, then paint or stain it to match your living room. (You can also build something similar to hide a stinky litter box.)

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If you’re hammer-and-nail challenged, you can buy eye-friendly, stylish dog beds and little box enclosures that masquerade as end tables and dressers.

Plant a Healthy Kitty Garden Many common plants like azaleas, lilies and aloe can be toxic for your kitty, especially if they become a target of her instinct to chew and mark her territory. Put together a low-lying container garden with cat-friendly plants. Cat grass can help with her digestion, valerian can help motivate her to exercise, and licorice root can calm her respiratory system and soothe her joints if she has arthritis.

Get Your Indoor Cat Outside Is your kitty craving exercise and fresh air? Make an enclosed outdoor play area so she can prowl al fresco. Some owners go wild, making an entire outdoor “room” out of wood and chicken wire, complete with climbing pathways and litterbox. But it doesn’t have to be a mansion. Link together some square wire panels or stretch a rip-resistant net over a wooden frame, then set that right outside her kitty door. She can enjoy fresh air whenever the mood strikes her.


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Every year more than 1 in 3 pets get sick or is injured, and while vets can be miracle workers, a visit to the pet emergency room can drain your wallet. Contact your agency office to learn more about how pet health insurance can help you be prepared to give your furry loved one the best care available.