Catios: A Cat Friendly Patio

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July 16, 2010
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Recently, the New York Times ran an article about New Yorkers who have turned part or all of their patios into a safe, fun, and secure outdoor space for their cats. There are a ton of reasons why cats shouldn’t be totally free to roam neighborhoods from eating something that is harmful to catching and eating the local birds. In a city, the variables of a cat getting lost, hurt, or picked up by the local humane shelter are greater and owners have been looking for a way to satisfy their cats’ curiosity without exposing them to harm.

Catios can be the answer to everything. You’ll know where you cat is hanging out and not have to worry about her getting into a scuffle with another animal. Your cat can experience the smells, sights, and find a sunny patch to lay in without feeling that she needs to watch her back. There is a website dedicated to showing off catios that people have in their homes called Catio Showcase . It’s a great site and can give you ideas if you’re thinking of transforming part or all of your patio into a kitty paradise.

Some catios are just screened-in porches while other have been transformed into kitty paradises. If you’re handy, you can make your own catio with some chicken wire and wood but if you’re like me, you may want to look at the pre-made outdoor enclosures. A few companies have some cool designs and other companies have other solutions for you and your feline companion such as a kitty stroller. Just be prepared to be stared at if you and your cat go for a walk with the stroller.

Habit Haven has several options for cats and dogs. Their enclosures are made of steel and have shelving units for cats to perch themselves on as they hang out. Some even have tunnels so your cat can walk from one enclosure to another.

Safe Kitty enclosures are made of wood and measure 6x6x6 which is plenty of room for a cat and some of her favorite scratching posts and toys. They also will make a custom enclosure for you if you want something bigger or different than their standard shape.

If you want something that isn’t a permanent structure and portable, try the tunnel enclosure that can be found online and in some pet stores. It’s made of mesh and metal and can fold up when not in use. It opens into a cylinder shape that your cat can move around in and get some fresh air.

If you want to go all out, KittyWalk has several different types of mesh enclosures with shelves, tent tops, and strollers. You can take your cat on a walk around the block or go to your local coffee shop and show her off. Some of their enclosures have hammocks and tunnels and you can buy a cover for the enclosure so rain and snow won’t get inside of it. The strollers have cup holders, shaded parts for your pet to get out of the sun and plenty of ventilation.

If you’re not sure about creating a catio but want to sometimes show your cat the great outdoors, you can always try using a cat harness. Just make sure your cat is up to date on vaccines and isn’t the type that immediately panics at loud noises.

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