Cat owners are often faced with many considerations as they fill their homes with toys and cat trees to appease the kings and queens of the household. One such consideration is how to best use the space. Adding a catio to your home will help keep your cat entertained and safe and can be easily customized to fit the needs of any living space.
The Benefits of Adding a Catio to Your Home
A catio can offer a wide range of benefits for you and your cat, including daily enrichment opportunities. Catios provide easy access to the outdoors where they can stimulate their senses. By providing this connection to the outside world, cats can independently spend their days as they please with a wide variety of options to choose from.
Catios also keep your feline friends safe from the dangers that lurk outside. While they’re able to enjoy the outdoors, the enclosed space keeps them nearby while keeping predators out. This prevents accidents with cars on a busy street and run-ins with potentially harmful animals found in residential areas such as raccoons, and in certain areas, coyotes. It also keeps out other cats, preventing exposure to diseases and accidental pregnancies.
In addition to the benefits catios provide for your furry friend, you will also improve the livability of your home by reducing the damage to your furniture and rugs or carpet. When your cats can enjoy that space, they are less likely to exert their pent-up energy on your carpeted and upholstered pieces.
For those cats who act on their hunting instincts, a catio is also a great way to keep local wildlife out of your home. From their perch in their enclosure, they will get to smell and watch birds, mice, and rabbits, but they won’t have the opportunity to hunt them. Saving these lives helps your neighborhood’s ecosystem and saves you from having to clean up the mess afterwards.
Providing a litter box outside can also improve your indoor air quality by reducing smells, chemicals, and bacteria associated with cat litter. Of course, it’s not wise to replace an indoor litter box with an outdoor one, but by adding another one that’s nearby, your cat will use the indoor box less.
What Can You Do with a Catio?
The simple answer: anything you want. Catios are customizable for your space and your cat’s interests. Answering these two questions will help you start the process of designing or choosing a design to build.
- How much space can you offer to the enclosure?
- How will the cat(s) enter the enclosure from the house?
You may also want to consider what kind of exposure to the elements you’re comfortable with, whether it’s open air or if you need a little more protection from the elements with a solid exterior. While in some areas wire fencing might be all that’s needed, regions with harsher climates may require a more robust setup, such as insulated windows.
If you have a smaller space, you may consider a catio attached to a window, which won’t take up any additional square footage. Much like a garden box, you can attach a small shelf-like enclosure just outside your window and stretch it as far out as desired. The entry point can be the window, making it easy to open and close.
If you have a yard, you can give your cat a tunnel. A simple addition to the home, attach an elongated box that juts out into the yard for your cat to explore and get a 360-degree view of the elements. You can attach this to an existing cat door or add a cat door on an exterior wall.
For those with a larger space, or if you already have a patio set up, you can build out a catio like an extension on your home. Attach the large enclosure to the exterior and use either a window or cat door for entry. Use the structure to offer a multitude of options on the outermost walls, like shelves, ramps, and hammocks. Customize it with your cat’s favorite things, like scratching posts and pet-safe plants. You can even add a chair for yourself in there if you want!
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Featured Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Moyo Studio