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Catio: The Patio for Cats

Catio: The Patio for Cats

What do you do when you live in a big city but want to give your kitty some outdoor time? Create a catio, of course!

What’s a catio, you ask? The New York Times had a great article on the phenomenon, which involves screening-in an outdoor area so that cats can enjoy some fresh air.

Many of the featured cat owners came up with their own creative methods for creating these outdoor spaces on porches and patios. And, there are several companies (and even a catio blog!) that specialize in outdoor pet enclosures, which range from do-it-yourself kits to elaborate, maze-like structures. Catios aren’t just limited to city folk, either. People with backyards have unlimited options for outdoor kitty playgrounds.

As a former cat-owning city dweller, I know all too well that cats can get stir crazy when they don’t get to go outside. So I’m intrigued by the catio concept. I think I’d still be a bit nervous having my kitty out on a high balcony, but some of the closer-to-the-ground options seem fun.

What do you think? Do you want a catio? Have you created one for your cat(s)?

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Samantha Shook

Samantha is an editor and writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an animal lover who is also passionate about beauty, psychology, spirituality, and art.

147 comments

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5:19PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

GREAT!!

11:42PM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

Great info and for dogs also, thank you! :)

3:26PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

This is a wonderful idea, even in the country. Our ferals are housed with a nice shelter and a nice cat-proof fenced yard (no more awful accidents and they remain how they are happiest).

3:08PM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Wonderful idea especially when the cats might be at harms way, and the way people behave now they are, or when you rescue an abused cat (claws being removed).

12:36AM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Is a dogio a patio for dogs?

1:50PM PDT on Mar 14, 2011

If I ever move,I'm goona get one because my cat loves his territory and guards it fiercely.......he would miss his territory if I ever moved and might try to run away back to it.

1:20PM PST on Mar 9, 2011

We made a lovely "catio" by enclosing a courtyard in front of our home some years ago. Now, we can leave the front door open and the cats can join us in the sunshine. There are some palm trees for shade and a small fountain with some fish to watch. Some of the cats love it, some watch from the doorway and don't want anything to do with it.

Every cat is different. Some love the outdoors, others would rather be on your bed all day. If you don't have the room or money to build a "catio" - there are other, very easy, thoughtful ways to keep your cat happy. Put a folded towel or blanket in a sunny spot. Make a soft comfy place at a window your cat likes to look out of. Hang a birdfeeder or place a birdbath nearby for them to watch. Grow a pot of catnip and give them a tiny bit to chew on as a treat.

I recently had a ratty old overstuffed rocking chair I was about to get rid of. Instead I covered it with several throws and afgans and placed it by a sunny sliding glass door. I was growing some pretty flowering vines on trellises outside the door and cleaned up an old birdbath to sit alongside them. After a couple days, the birds found the birdbath. Now that old rocker is my cats' favorite place to sun and watch the birds splashing around.

Anyway, think it's worth doing what you can to make your sweet feline companions happy. It doesn't need to cost alot. Thanks for the article.

8:12PM PST on Mar 1, 2011

I have created a nice outdoor area at my home, where my cats are able to go outside, but are kept safe from harm and from getting run over by cars, dogs and neighbors that hate cats. I feel for those who are not able to do this as I do know what it is like, but I also fear the dangers of them going completely loose outside as there are people in my neighborhood who detest cats, and other animals. They would think nothing of poisoning or trapping them if they were to get out.

11:27AM PST on Feb 28, 2011

fantastic idea!

6:01AM PST on Feb 28, 2011

Good idea! Every cat needs sun, fresh air and good view.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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