Hundreds of thousands of stray cats call Beijing home, and while there’s a pressing need to sterilize as many as possible to get the population under control, these feral felines help keep rats and other vermin in check. Six years ago, officials “cleansed” the city of its strays in preparation for the Olympics, but it didn’t take long for the city’s cat residents to flourish again. That leads to some creative attempts to help and house them – like rooftop cat houses.
The ‘MAOer Hutong Project’ by Okamoto Deguchi Design (ODD) is a series of wooden boxes that fit onto the grooves of traditional roofs in Beijing. Debuting during Design Week 2014, the cat shelters have multiple purposes in addition to giving the cats a dry, cozy space to sleep.
The perforated bottom part of the box can be planted with a cat-attracting but roof-damaging weed that grows wild on top of houses throughout the city, providing a way to control its growth. They also help protect the roof tiles from damage, and add a little extra insulation to the home.
While this is a drop in the bucket as far as dealing with the city’s serious stray problem is concerned, it’s a cool way to make some of Beijing’s cats more comfortable.