Your feline buddy might love lounging around inside your home, however, a small part of her will always be drawn to the great outdoors.
Any problem with that?
Well, dangers lurk on the outside world.
Kitties running away from home might not find their way home, risk of getting attacked by other animals, getting run over on the road or kitty-napped.
They might also hunt wildlife, from squirrels to birds, or get diseases and parasites from wild animals.
With these reasons, you might want to barricade your kitty inside for all her life.
Well, not anymore!
This is the hottest new home building trends which cater to domesticated cats need of the outside world and their very concerned owners.
What is a Catio?
In its simplest term, a catio it is an enclosed patio space that is built in with shelving, litter boxes modules, cat trees, and more. A patio for your cat.
Custom options are almost infinite— you can add catios to your windows which allow your feline buddy to roam outside and watch those birds from a distance or create a more comprehensive catio complete with walkways and maybe a private oasis with climbing trees and plants.
Before Getting Started
Although most cats would love to spend time outside inside a catio, there is some feline that would love lounging inside instead and for which a catio would cause undue stress.
So, before you build a catio, you need to think if an outdoor cat enclosure is a good fit for your feline.
In general, cats who enjoy catios are the ones that are highly playful and curious. How do you know if your cat is playful or curious?
Well, if she gets into your purse all the time, hiding in your grocery bags, or comes up carrying one of your shoes, then that cat would love a catio of her own.
Once you are sure that your cat will love a catio, you want to make sure that you invest in a quality outdoor cat enclosure.
Sturdiness is crucial. You want something that should keep your feline in but will also keep those wild predators out. It is recommended to avoid netting since it is easy to rip through.
Choosing The Location
The ideal location for catios is near an exterior for or window with easy access for your feline to enter directly into the catio. Consider building your catio on a level and flat foundation in order to ensure safety. Uneven ground can be leveled or you can even build your catio on a deck or patio.
In addition, cats love the sun, so the location needs to offer both sun and shade for your feline. Cats also need stimulation, so it is best that your catio location has great views of your garden. Family activities and wildlife in order to provide endless enrichment for your feline buddy.
Catio Features and Accessories
Although there are a broad variety of catios available, there are some essential features that you should watch out for.
The first one is your cat’s ability to come and go as she wants. If your catio is attached to your home, you need to give your cat the means to freely move. Your feline should not be locked outside catio and you always need to be sure that she’s okay. Remember that catios are not a replacement for supervising your cat.
Next, you will have to install a cat door. An uninitiated feline might need to practice getting the hand of going through cat doors so you will need to entice them through an open flap with treats and toys in order to get used to going in and out.
A good catio also needs some shade, particularly if they get the full ray of the sun for several hours. You also need to provide some spots where your cat can hide if they wish to take a nap in a more private and secure place. Hiding spots can be anything from a built-in cube that is made of the same material as your catio to a cat condo.
Catios also need to have vertical surfaces for your feline. It is better than you have small, vertical catio with several shelves than a large, flat catio. This is because of the fact that cats love to go high and that is where they feel safe and secure.
And if you are not able to have an enclosure with multiple shelves, then you can get cat trees of varying heights as well as hanging shelves which do not require any sort of building knowledge.
If your feline is going to spend extended time out on her catio, then it makes sense that you add some of the indoor comfort items as well. It needs to have water, food, and her litter box— all her living necessities.
And if you do not want to go in and out, watching your feline lounge around, then consider getting automatic cat feeder and cat water fountains, so you do not have to worry about feeding time.