Catios are safe patios for cats, and they are growing in popularity. Also called cat tunnels, outdoor enclosures, porches, or cat patches, catios are excellent alternatives to occasionally letting your cat roam the neighborhood. While we want our cats to receive the natural stimulation that nature and fresh air provide, we don't want them harming birds. We also don't want them subjected to dangers from other animals or cat-hating people.
If you'd like to provide your kitty with a catio, consider where to place it. According to Catio Spaces, cited below, it should be somewhere easy for your cat to enter.
"The ideal location for a catio is near an exterior window or door with easy access for your cat to enter directly into a catio. Cat doors, available in various sizes and styles, can be installed in a window, door, or wall. If you prefer a catio located further away from your home, consider a cat tunnel to carry your cat to the catio."
You'll also need to decide how much room you can dedicate to your catio. From a sizeable greenhouse-type addition to your house to a small window box, catios can be designed in all sizes and shapes. If your cat loves climbing, you can have a vertical catio with shelves and perches, which will take up less space. Catio Spaces notes, "above-ground window box catios can be supported by angle braces that attach to the house."
While DIY is awesome, hiring a professional builder has advantages, including leveling out foundation issues and dealing with local licensing requirements. If cost isn't an issue, consider buying a prefabricated catio.
No matter the desired size of your catio, try to ensure it offers plenty of sunshine for the sunbathing kitty. Shade can be provided with any cat shelter or shade cloth. Remember, the purpose of a catio is to provide your feline with enrichment and stimulation in the fresh air. Ideally, a catio should offer easy views of a garden or wildlife.
Once you have an idea of your dream catio, do some research. Several online how-to videos can give you an idea of what you want and what you'll need to complete the project. In addition, some websites offer construction plans for all kinds of catios.
The cost of a catio will depend on how much you can do yourself. While you must buy the materials, you can save money on installation if you or someone you know has some construction know-how. But don't despair if you don't know a hammer from a wrench. Plenty of handy people can probably whip one up in a day or two.
Some cat parents may wonder if a catio can protect their kitty from predators like coyotes. According to Catio Spaces, catios should be constructed with fencing wire. Plastic mesh or regular window screen material won't be strong enough to repel a determined - and hungry - villain. A motion sensor water sprinkler can also deter an unwelcome guest.
Since the primary purpose of a catio is entertainment, top off your version with some of your cat's toys, a scratching post, and maybe some cat nip. Just remember the water!
Quote to remember: "Those who teach us the most about humanity aren't always humans." - Anonymous
"It's Easy To Build A DIY Catio For Your Cat!"