Let’s talk about catios! Known as catteries to some, it’s basically an outdoor enclosure for your indoor-only cat.
I would love to build a giant catio for our three cats, but I don’t have the space. So instead, they’re stuck with a 4 ft x 8 ft x 6 ft wired, covered dog kennel that at least allows them some outside enjoyment (I purchased this one here). It’s set up in our back patio and pushed up against the house. The hubby cut a hole in our dining room wall (and the kennel) and installed a cat door so they can come and go as they please. I did add flooring to the kennel (constructed by myself!), so the cats would be raised off the ground in the off chance that it ever rains in Southern California.
Sophie, who came to us at the ripe old age of six months, spends the most time in the catio, likely harkening back to her free-roaming days on the streets. She’ll stay out there late into the evening in the summer. Olive and Dexter do venture in (as evidenced above), but they are usually back inside before nightfall. (Scaredy cats!)
Why provide a catio for your cats?
Indoor-only cats still need to enjoy fresh air and sunshine and this is the perfect way to provide it. From the safety of the catio, they can bird watch, bat around a poor bug that’s found its way inside, and soak up all the rays they need. Some cat
slaves owners also provide (safe!) plants and grasses for their cats to enjoy, making it feel much more like the great outdoors.
Build or Buy?
If you’re like me, you might not have the skill to build a wondrous and magical catio for your feline friends. And while you might not want to go with a dog kennel like I did, there are other pre-built catio options available. And when I say pre-built – most of them you still have to assemble, which is actually nice because many come with different configuration options. But many of these are “enclosures” and not the full blown, super fancy catios that I’ve seen built from scratch.
Take our friends at Chirpy Cats, for instance. They built their felines an amazing catio – and they have a wonderful post that talks about building your cat’s dream catio. My cats would be incredibly jealous, so I simply don’t show them the pictures. It’s not so much the structure itself that’s amazing – but it’s how they’ve spruced it up for their kitties. They have provided a garden as well as cute and fitting décor for their kitties to explore and enjoy.
Here are just a few of the pictures from Chirpy Cats that will perhaps inspire you to start thinking about building your own catio. Chirpy Cats has many more pictures on their site, so please go visit and see how cute and happy their lucky kitties are!
You can visit Jackson Galaxy’s site for more information. Best Friends Animal Society also has a good page on catios. If you are looking for general information on keeping indoor cats, you can visit Indoor Paws.
What about you? Do you have a catio? Thinking about building or buying one?
Here’s a video of Dexter and Olive in their catio – I swear, they really do like it!