Keeping Your Cats Safe While Outdoors

What is a Catio?

A catio is a pet enclosure, also known as a “cat patio,” that provides outdoor protection and enrichment for cats. If you have an indoor or outdoor pet, a catio may be the purrfect remedy while providing you with the peace of mind that your cat remains protected. Catios have many advantages, including the protection of birds and mammals.  A catio can provide cats with healthy activity as well as protection from natural threats such as vehicles, predators, and poisons. It’s a win-win situation!  Catios come in all shapes a sizes to suit your needs, big or small.

A catio can be as large or as small as your living room, budget, and creativity allow. It may be as simple as a small enclosure jutting out of an apartment or as complex as a bigger building constructed from the ground up. Your cat will adore you no matter how you create it.


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Many cats like being outside, but allowing cats to roam is dangerous for them as well as birds and other small animals. Catios (cat patios) provide cats with a breath of fresh air, a ray of light, and a nice view, all from the shelter of an enclosed building. It’s like giving your feline mates a holiday home, and you know they deserve it.

Domestic cats, like their wild ancestors, have a natural instinct for jumping, climbing and playing.  Although kitty can love the occasional wrestling with their person, there is no doubt that they value having their own place to escape to.  An enclosed cat enclosure or cat run allows the felines to enjoy the fresh air while still providing plenty of room for frolicking. Keep the enclosure stocked with cat toys and allow for vertical space to make it the best present your feline pal could ask for.

There’s no denying that a free roaming outdoor cat can come into a dangerous situation at any given time.  Some of these risks can include:

  • Traffic collisions are the leading cause of unanticipated mortality in outdoor cats.
  • Fights with other animals, including dogs and other cats
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), fleas, and other parasites
  • Poisonous substances such as fertilizer, lures, and wild plants
  • Thievery

Giving your cat room to play will keep it safe and fit, but an outdoor enclosure is more than just exercise. A well-placed cat enclosure will allow your kitty to bask in the sun, providing it with vital Vitamin D. Shine brightly, you wild diamonds. Keeping your cat in a controlled area and away from your neighbor’s garbage or vegetable garden would keep its coat looking clean and pretty – and your neighbor can enjoy it as well!

Also, keep in mind that even the most polite cat is introverted, even protective, and needs to be in charge of its own home. They may experience needless fear if they do not have a private place to hide. An outdoor enclosure is an outlet for your cat’s reclusive moods, allowing it to bask in comfort without those irritating humans watching its every breath.

Wildlife is protected by an outdoor cat enclosure

Those razor-sharp teeth and razor-sharp claws weren’t designed to shred furniture, valuable mail, or your favorite sneakers. It may be difficult to imagine, but your cuddly little buddy is a purrfect predator. Every year, cats kill 83 million native snakes and 80 million native birds in Australia. Though your domesticated companion may seem to be sweet, critters are far more likely to see their wild side.  Our local wildlife can be found nowhere else on the planet, so if you love Aussie cats, keep them safe from kitty’s teeth with a comfortable outdoor cat enclosure.

They are suitable for cats of all ages

Most cats are perfectly happy to live inside the confines of their home and enclosure. If you don’t tempt them with wandering, the thrill of the hunt will lose its appeal. However, older cats who have become accustomed to complete independence may find it more difficult to adapt. If they are confined to the house, they can become agitated, moody, and even depressed. An outdoor enclosure or run is an excellent compromise. Even the most stubborn cat can be swayed by a friendly, private room.

What Materials Can Be Used to build a Catio?

Cat enclosures are able to be built with wood framing, escape-proof galvanized metal, a transparent polycarbonate or wire mesh roof, numerous cedar shelves, lounging perches, and decorating space.  Many suppliers have premade modular components for secure pet enclosures which is sturdy and safe. To compliment your house, the structure may be left raw, polished, or painted. Grass, decking, pavers, and other flooring options are available.


What Type Catio is Best for You?

Catios come in a range of styles and sizes to fit a doorway, porch, balcony, lawn, greenhouse, or yard. Catios, which range in size from tiny and basic to massive and spacious, can be an appealing addition to your home for the well-being of your furry family. Large catios provide room for human seating and recreation as well.  Cats will access a catio through a pet door installed into a door, window or wall to enjoy the outdoors safely all year!

What Can You Put Inside A Catio?

You can set up anything inside the catio that you think your kitty may love.  Remember to give them a nice shady spot, perhaps you could build your catio around a tree in the back yard, or you could plant one if there isn’t one close to the house.  And they will of course need a water source.  You are actually able to get small water troughs for smaller animals like cats and dogs that attach the outdoor house or tap.  As a side-note, please don’t leave your cat outside in extreme heat or cold.  Other toys and objects you can install could include:

  • Scratching Posts
  • Hidey Holes
  • Climbing planks
  • Play tunnels
  • Hanging toys
  • Cat grass or Catnip plants