Catios and the great outdoors
If you love your kitties like I do, you want to keep them safe. When Fluffy lives indoors, she stays safe, but she can be bored. Although cats prefer to be outdoors, many dangers lurk—and, not to mention, cats can prey on birds. Well, I am a friend of the birds and don’t want to see my bird friends made into a toy or dinner. The answer is: Build a catio.
What is a catio? Essentially, a catio is an enclosed patio – a screened in enclosure that will allow Fluffy to frolic around in the outdoors, sniffing and catching bugs in complete safety. Add a comfy bed and a scratch post and kitty will think she is at a vacation resort.
A catio can be as simple as a small enclosure accessed through a window or a screened-in patio. Others have created outside garden rooms with cat-safe plants and lounging areas for both kitties and humans. These enclosures are growing in popularity. You can create your kitty nirvana with a theme such as a jungle or forest retreat, or decorate it to suit your style with your favorite sports team or other paraphernalia. These enclosures can be quite beautiful, and they certainly don’t have to have an ugly old cage look.
If you are handy at do-it-yourself jobs, creating a catio will be a walk in the park. Look online for assorted plans. Animal Planet has a selection of great catio plans. You can get very creative if you do it yourself. If you are not quite as handy, there are kits available. Again search ‘catios’ online and you will find an abundance of options.
If you have a kitty with behavior issues, having a catio may be the ticket to her happiness. Cats that are ‘door dashers’ or ones that tend to squabble with other feline family members, tend to relax a little when they spend time in the great outdoors.
At the Furry Friends Halfway House, we have several catios for our feline guests. It makes such a difference to them. The kitties that are waiting to be adopted are going through transitions, and being outside in a safe environment has improved their well-being.
If you want to do something nice for your kitties, give them the gift of the great outdoors in safety.