Catios are a newer development on the cat-owner front. If you’ve never heard of catios before, be ready to have your mind blown.
According to Catiospaces.com, “A Catio is a cat enclosure or ‘cat patio’ that provides feline safety and enrichment outdoors. Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, a catio can be the purrfect solution while you enjoy peace of mind knowing your cat is always safe.”
Essentially, a catio is the cat owner’s answer to the dog house. There are many custom catio kits, and catio plans to help you find the perfect one for your favorite feline. They help create a safe outdoor environment for cats who want to explore the outdoors without becoming official outdoor cats.
They range in size from a full-blown patio enclosure, complete with surfaces on which to leap and scratch, to smaller window box sets. Whether you have a huge yard or a tiny patio, there is a catio option that can work for you.
Catios are designed to help cats get fresh air while meeting the need for owners to keep track of their cats and keep them safe. Cat owners can get just as much enjoyment from a catio as their feline friends. Allowing your cat to relax and have an outlet can have many other benefits, like reducing anxiety and may reduce other unpleasant behaviors.
Etsy has a selection of homemade catio designs to keep your cat happy. If you want a window catio, you should also consider installing a small door to not lose air by having the window open. Here is another assortment of window catios for the curious cat owner.
If you have a tree nearby, you can even make a cat treehouse. Allowing your cats to egress down from the tree could be easier than chasing them down with a ladder.
Catios offer cats healthy places to jump and exercise while keeping them safe from outdoor hazards like predators and cars. They provide a safe playground for their natural curiosity and instincts, all while keeping them safe.
If a catio isn’t really for you, you might want to consider an outdoor cat run. This can be as simple as an outdoor coop or an outdoor cat obstacle course with layers of shelves and jumping points.
If you are going to build your catio:
- Consider buying a blueprint, so you don’t have to start from scratch
- Make sure there is adequate shade for your cat(s). Remember, your cat needs both the sun and the shade
- Provide resting areas in high places
- Provide hiding places
- Consider building ramps to help older cats enjoy the space