Catios are all the rage right now - and we’re so thankful!
With the overwhelming obesity rate for domestic cats, we say “Hooray!” to anything that gets our furry friends active and moving.
No idea what we’re talking about?
Here’s the scoop on everything you need to know about catios, whether or not your cat needs one, and how to DIY your own fabulous feline playground.
What Is A Catio?
A catio is a cat patio! And they’re the coolest hangouts for the coolest cats.
Catios are ideal for pet-parents who want to keep their fur babies safe as indoor cats while also letting their feline friends enjoy all the wonders of the outside world that cats crave.
Many people position their catios just outside a door or window that their cats like to frequent. The idea is that your cat can go outside, get some fresh air, and watch the birds all while being protected from predators – or her own curiosity.
You can get creative with your catio and customize it to fit your cat and your home. Give your cat a small but safe window box mounted just outside a favorite window, or build an enclosure big enough for you to explore, too!
Does My Cat Need a Catio?
Not only are catios hip and happenin’ right now, but also they’re a great way to keep your feline friend happy and healthy. Cats get fresh air, mental stimulation, and a chance to daydream about being a hunter in the wild all while you get to snap the most Instagram-worthy shots of your cat enjoying the great outdoors.
Bottom line: Catios keep your little one safe and confined while offering countless health benefits.
If you have the space, there’s a catio options for any budget.
DIY Catio Projects
Interested in building your cat a catio? We thought so.
There are many ways to do it, depending on your unique home. Here are our favorite options for giving your fur babies a fun, exciting playhouse without having to call in a contractor.
The Covered Catio
If you already have a covered patio, you have a leg up. Simply attach chicken wire to the eaves of your covered patio and any vertical support beams with a staple gun to close off the area from unwanted outdoor guests.
Chicken wire has smaller holes, is lighter, and is often cheaper than other options like chain-link fencing. Make sure your chicken wire goes all the way to the ground and all the way to the ceiling of your covered patio before letting your little ones roam around.
For their first day out, keep an eye on them and limit their time to about an hour. This will give them a good taste of what they get to enjoy, without overstimulating them. You can gradually increase their time on the catio as you see fit.
Pay special attention to any gaps or weak spots in your workmanship that your fur babies might find and be sure to secure them right away.
In no time, you’ll have a great catio that your cats can enjoy.
The Window Box
If your cat prefers to hang out in your kitchen window or if you have an apartment, a catio window box may be just the thing.
Start by measuring your cat’s height at standing and sitting. Make sure you build a box that will be comfortable for her in either position.
Then measure your window. Your catio will need to fully cover the window opening so your cat can’t escape through any gaps and get herself into trouble.
How much do you love your cat? If your answer is anything other than, “More than anything in the world!” then a mansion catio may not be for you.
The mansion catio is a structure big enough for you and a few friends to hang out in when your cat hasn’t claimed the space.
The easiest way to create a mansion catio is to repurpose a pre-built greenhouse or chicken coop from a local home improvement or specialty animal store.
As if you needed more convincing that catios are a thing, many mainstream stores are beginning to sell pre-made catios that are stunning additions to any yard.
All around, catios are a great idea. They’re gorgeous to look at, make your cat insanely happy, and can help your cat maintain a healthy weight.
Other crafty cat-parents have transformed inexpensive Ikea bookcases into catios or constructed their own from two-by-fours. Whichever way you decide to go, just know that you’ll win Cat-Parent of the Year.
For more ideas or to purchase blueprints for building your own cat patio, check out Catio Spaces