Tips for designing pet-friendly interiors

In recent years, pet ownership has increased, and many of us have now welcomed a dog or cat into our homes. And as pets are a firm part of the family, it’s no surprise that we’re searching for ways to make our interiors more animal-friendly. Not content with a simple cat flap and a basket in the corner of the room, we’re now looking to make our homes much more pet-centric to ensure our furry friends are comfortable and well-provided for. If you’re thinking of making your home’s interior more pet-friendly, here’s some top tips.


So, a cat flap is still a handy feature for doors, but did you know that improved technology and design innovation now mean you can upgrade your basic flap to work better and accommodate other pets, including large dogs? Magnetic, infrared, and microchip options boost security and stop other pets and animals from wandering in and out of your home. 

The cost of fitting pet flaps averages around £100, and there are options for most door types, including glass and composites. So, it’s an affordable and useful addition to any home. 

Although pet flaps help your animals get in and out of the home, you can also install internal openings or cat corridors. This means your pets can move around the whole house without nagging you to open doors. 

Non-scratch floors

Of course, if your pets are moving freely around your home, it makes sense to fit non-scratch floors. So, what are the best choices for pet-friendliness? Most porcelain floor tiles are very robust and are great in bathrooms, kitchens and hallways. And used with underfloor heating, they needn’t feel cold on the feet or paws. If you’re looking towards vinyl flooring, LVT is usually a bit more scratch-resistant than sheet vinyl or laminate. However, the quality and ruggedness can vary from brand to brand, so do your research and get samples before you make your decision. 

Looking for a more natural look? Hardwood floors are generally more scratch-proof than softwood floors, but you should also consider bamboo and cork options as these can be just as durable. 

Wipe-clean surfaces

The cleanability of surfaces is just as important as having non-scratch floors. Pet hair, dirt and the odd accident are all part and parcel of owning dogs and cats. Floors need to be easy to brush, mop or hoover and have some stain and water resistance. 

But walls can also get mucky when animals are around as their damp and oily coats often leave marks on skirting boards and walls. So, you really want to use tough or wipeable paint. Gloss is one of the most durable paints for your woodwork, but it can take longer to dry. Alternatively, there are scuff-proof satin paints that are good for high-traffic areas. In terms of wall paint, most brands now have wipeable or scrubbable options. 

Built-in beds

Pets need a safe space to sleep, and most prefer somewhere cosy and comfy for napping, so if you’re designing a pet-friendly interior, it might be a good idea to build a bed. 

If you’ve got a large dog or a pet that likes their own space, you could use the space under the stairs to create their own little room. You can cut a door and even a window out of the wall panels and deck the space out with a bed and their favourite toys. For cats, you could put in a mini mezzanine floor and a scratching post ladder so they have a luxury hideaway. 

A warm kitchen also makes a great place to build a pet bed. You could convert a base unit into a snug bed area so it won’t take up valuable floor space or get in the way while you’re cooking. 

Washing facilities

Pets do tend to get dirty and smelly, especially outdoorsy dogs. So, incorporating some washing facilities into your utility or garage is a great move. 

A large sink at an accessible height with a flexible tap is one way to make pet washing easier to do. But you might want to go for a properly designed pet shower, especially if you’ve got a large dog that’s frequently getting muddy. You may also want to include a grooming table area and plenty of storage for all your pet accessories too. 

If you’re going for a full-on shower area, you’ll need non-slip tiles or a mat to stop any accidents. Alternatively, you could go for all stainless steel, which is durable and easy to clean. A ready-made wash station should set you back between £500 and £800, but remember there are plumbing costs on top.