A catio – or “cat patio” – is an outdoor enclosure that keeps cats safe.
New owners always ask me “is keeping your Chartreux inside cruel?” … I say if you stimulate them regularly, no, and it keeps them safe (see outside dangers below) ……. let’s face it, an average cat enjoys up to 16 hours sleep per day anyway!
I understand not everyone can accommodate a catio in their home, but if you can I would say go for it! It doesn’t have to be grand or expensive either, there are plenty of ideas on the internet from small window balcony types to elaborate looking castles! If you are good at DIY there are many online videos demonstrating DIY catios, but if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t own a hammer there are other options too! There are specialist companies now that just make catios in the UK or you could like us, opt for a carpenter/builder who will make you one to your own specific design.
Here is a video of our newly built catio, enjoy. It took a long time coming!!…. long story short, I got let down back in May (not by the person that finally built this one) and it has taken until October to complete, but we are extremely happy with the final result. I will up-date regularly with new add-ins – we are due to have the roof added all the way across, guttering, water feature and a middle planter for grass, so I will keep you posted!…keep scrolling down after video for more information….
Catios have a huge positive impact on indoor cats and promote healthy exercise time as well as being kept safe from outdoor dangers like traffic, predators, cat theft and poisons. Nothing has given me more pleasure lately than seeing our girls enjoying the outside freely, giving us peace of mind that they secure and safe
Cats are subjectable to many dangers when unsupervised outdoors.
- Disease – Cat fights can lead to diseases. These include feline leukemia, feline AIDS, IP (feline infectious peritonitis), feline distemper, and upper respiratory infections.
- Traffic – The roads are only getting busy these days. Who doesn’t know someone who has sadly lost a cat on the roads ☹?
- Cat theft – I read that 360,000 cats are stolen a year in the UK!! And the main motivator to cat thefts is money! To be sold on, breed from or waiting until the distraught owner offers a reward for the safe return of their pet. Social Media is awash with stolen pets’ adverts including disturbing videos of cats being used for dog baiting.
- Predators & Poison – Predators such as other cats, both feral and tame, urban foxes and dogs can all seriously injure and maim. Mice & rats are often the target of pest control and poisons are often used.
And the positives:
- Enrichment – Fresh air! Catios allow an indoor cat to experiencing the full spectrum of smells, sights and noises with change of seasons. A catnap in the sun, we relish the opportunity to relax outside and so do our cats!
- Exercise – Pixel is continuously up and down the shelf chasing leaves and flies! The weather may not be great now, but I’m sure they will be outside in the warmer months encouraging them to move around more.
- Peace of Mind – The catio is a happy middle ground in providing the outdoor living space they may desire in a worry-free environment for you as an owner, knowing they are safe and secure.
These are just my own personal experience since owing a catio, but I thought I would share – sorry I haven’t been blogging for a while.