Recently I wrote about this topic and quoted an article which suggested several different ways that you could try to keep cats out of your garden and away from your plants. These were all to do with ways to deter cats from visiting, but today’s article is about a way that your cat can be allowed outdoors in safety. And the suggestion is that you build a catio or an enclosed patio for your pet. The article is by Julie Sheer and comes from the Houzz website.
It?s the dilemma of every cat owner: how to let Kitty enjoy the outdoors without risk of the Great Escape. The outside world can be a dangerous place for a roaming cat, with the threat of predators, cars, poison and diseases. Not to mention the danger to wild birds, which outdoor cats kill in monumental numbers. Catios ? or cat patios ? are safely enclosed playhouses for felines that provide fresh air, mental stimulation and exercise.
Cats confined indoors are at higher risk for stress-related diseases, says Dr. Martine van Boeijen, a cat veterinarian in Perth, Australia. ?An enclosed catio, which safely confines your cat to your property, allows your cat to have the best of both worlds.? Here is a basic guide on custom, kit and DIY options for adding a catio to your home.Catios can be as elaborate as a custom-designed feline jungle gym or as simple as enclosing a patio with screening. Here, Rasputin enjoys one of the perches in a custom catio built in Arcadia, California.
It?s important to make sure catios are escape-proof and include basic feline comforts:
- Entry door or window, or walkway or tunnel from the house
- Perches, ramps, steps, bridges, catwalks
- Post or tree for scratching and climbing
- Hiding places
- Beds, pillows or hammocks for resting
- Fresh drinking water
- Shady areas and fans for cooling; heating pad for cold weather
- Predator-proof screening, especially if the home is near wildlands with coyotes, cougars or bobcats
- Roof or covering to protect from elementsCustom-Built Catios
You can get as creative as you want with a custom-made catio. Some homeowners include ponds, cat-friendly foliage, chandeliers and even lounging areas for the humans. Unless you choose to design and build it yourself, the best pros to include are architects to design the space (unless you use a predesigned kit) and carpenters to build it.
Room to climb. Above, Boris and Gabriel lounge on one of the many perches in a Santa Fe, New Mexico, catio custom-built by architect Greg Reid of Plan A Architecture at his own house.
The tree is for scratching and climbing. The screening is two-by-two kennel fencing from Lowe?s. Reid used eight four-by-four cedar posts set into concrete-filled holes for the structure, with two-by-two fir beams and rafters. The roof is corrugated steel panels left over from the house construction.