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Catios Are Safe Patios For Cats

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

It’s safer for cats to be indoor only but there are several options for cats to enjoy the best of both worlds. Leash training is one option as our friend Debbie, the blogger at Glogirly is currently trying.

For those who have a secure fenced-in yard, I’d recommend adding a fence topper (pictured below) like from which is used for the cats at Hemingway House since cats are notorious for squeezing under the narrowest spaces and jumping the highest fences.

Most catios are not screened in meaning larger bugs and tiny critters can enter. Protection from the sun is imperative and ideally catios are built facing north in hot sunny climates or south for cooler northern climes. They can be decked out with toys, pots of fresh catnip or grass, cozy cushions, shelves for perching and snoozing, not to mention bird watching. Placing a bird feeder outside will add endless amusement. A small kitty litter is a must and a bowl of water will complete this outdoor haven.

If you’re lucky enough to have a screened-in porch, you have an automatic catio. If not, it’s not difficult to built one. There are ready-made kits but handy DIY types can save cash by creating their own. If you don’t want to the hassle of doing any work yourself, hiring a contractor or handy man will cost extra but may be worth it.

One of our favorite cat blogs Gorogoronikoniko is about two beautiful mancats named Goro Goro and Niko Niko. They recently had their new and improved catio installed, so I sent Tamago, their mom some questions and she kindly gave me the scoop on her experience.


1) LMW: What’s a good size for a catio?
TO: Any size that fits your space and preference. I think kitties will be happy with any size :-).We wanted the enclosure to be large enough for humans to stay inside with kitties. In the first enclosure, one person could fit but a little hard to move around. Many enclosure companies make custom size so we did measuring of our deck and made it as large as possible. We also made it taller and our kitties seem to enjoy the view.
2) LMW: What costs are involved with building a catio?
TO: Ours was around $2000 for custom enclosure, shelves, awning, and hammock (shipping & handling not included)” from Habitat Haven, they have downloadable catalog with detailed pricing by size/design. Enclosure starts at around $600 and window enclosures are from around $300. Any custom work or modification will cost extra.
3) LMW: How difficult is it to install?
TO:The company we ordered enclosure from makes it very easy and simple for us to build it. No special skill needed. My husband built 95% by himself in about 4 hours. If there were two people, it could be done in shorter time.
4) LMW: What kind of tools are needed?
TO: What we needed was only pliers and a adder. The Crimper (tool to put pieces to connect panels) was provided by the company.
*Later we did some additional work and that required other tools; We placed angle aluminum on the end of shelves to prevent the wood from splintering. We also bent washer for a more secure fit. To protect the wood deck, we added channel aluminum footing. (Floor can be purchased from the company as well.)
5) LMW: Any other tips?
TO: For enclosure material, we think metal is better than wood. It seems more durable. Consult your kitty: With our first enclosure, we placed a tunnel from house window to connect to the enclosure. Our younger kitty never got used to it. We placed the new enclosure right outside the door, so now he can just walk out on the deck.

Have you voted for Cat Wisdom 101 today? It’s not just about us. Every time you click to vote, you can vote for other blogs in other categories. All ten winners (one in each category) wins $1000 to donate to the shelter of their choice.

Plus you can nominate someone to win the Unsung Hero Award. Do you know a tireless shelter volunteer and advocate for adoption? They will win $10,000 for the shelter of their choice. If we win, we’d like to divide the prize money between the Annex Cat Rescue which I founded in Canada in 1997 and a small cat rescue near me, Bronx Tails Cat Rescue. The’re located in the Bronx N.Y. where there is NO shelter in the entire borough.

Vote here now and thank-you for loving cats!

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