Why Have a Catio?
Are you worried about your outdoor cat’s safety?
Is your cat a predator of birds and wildlife?
“Providing cats with outdoor access in enclosures ensures we are good cat owners and good neighbors. It means being responsible for wildlife, responsible for community space, and responsible for the safety of our cats.”
TOP 10 REASONS TO HAVE A CATIO
from vehicles, predators, poisons, diseases from other animals or getting lost
from cat fights or injuries
Over 2.4 billion birds are killed by free roaming cats each year
HELP REDUCE THE FREE ROAMING CAT POPULATION
in your community
with fresh air, exercise, bird watching and sunbathing!
by adding more territory
in an outdoor space — nature and fresh air are good for humans too!
with an additional outdoor litter box
by keeping your cat out of their garden beds and yard
knowing your cat is always in a safe and protected environment
Are Cats Happy in a Catio?
“Life is good in a catio” is my mantra at Catio Spaces, but how exactly does a simple, sturdy cat enclosure transform the life of both cats and cat parents? Are cats really happy in their own secure outdoor catio kingdom? My answer is a resounding “Yes!”
Here are the many reasons the catio lifestyle can be a happy one for you and your cat.
1. Fresh air and nature enrich your cat’s wellbeing
A busy cat is a happy cat. While you can certainly make your cat’s indoor home more inviting with interactive toys and cat furniture to climb, nothing compares to the ever-moving cinema of the outdoors to fascinate a feline. A catio opens a safe door to nature, where cats can safely enjoy the sights, sounds, and scents of the natural world without exposing themselves to the risks of traffic, predators and illness. It’s a near-magical portal that allows your cat to fully immerse themselves in the stimulation of natural sunlight and fresh air.
Science says nature helps make people happy, too. A catio can encourage you to spend more time outside, enjoying your garden while watching your cat in a safe and natural environment. You can sit quietly together in the sun and lounge together in the same chair if you’ve chosen to build a larger feline-friendly outdoor catio space.
2. The ultimate happy: A safe and worry-free outdoor space.
One of the life-changing benefits of building a cat enclosure is being able to delight in your cat’s enjoyment of the outdoors while being free from the constant worry that your cat might dash out the door on risky free-roaming adventures. A cat is far less likely to door dash when they can enjoy their very own outdoor space any time they like. By redirecting your cat’s energy from testing window screens (bad) to pushing through their cat door into their new catio (good!), you can give up that nagging anxiety that your cat might escape from the house and fall victim to a car, illness, or another animal.
There’s really no way to describe this freedom from worry until it has been lifted from your shoulders. Guardians of door-dashing cats assure us – a catio changed their life!
3. Exercise and birdwatching engage a cat’s natural instincts.
Birdwatching together in a catio encourages your cat’s natural curiosity and also provides a purrfect pastime that you can both enjoy. By exploring every corner and shelf of your catio — following the movement of birds, chipmunks, neighbors, and you and your family — catio life prompts your cat to exercise instead of just napping the day away.
Catio shelves and ramps provide a safe cat playground to engage in natural behaviors, like climbing, jumping, and hunting, surrounded by natural features like the rustle of falling rain, the sound of wind through leaves, and the dance of songbirds at a nearby bird feeder. The changing sensory beauty of the seasons keeps them continually engaged with nature. You can learn more about birdwatching and even listen to the birds you and your cat are likely to encounter in your backyard, here.
4. Catios increase harmony and reduce stress in multi-cat households
Multi-cat households can experience stress and conflict due to competition for food and water bowls, hiding places, litter boxes, and human attention. Even cats who enjoy each other’s company like some time and space to themselves. A catio provides additional square footage for sleeping spots, perching shelves, hiding places, and water bowls, reducing competition and minimizing stress.
A catio also encourages cats to engage in natural behaviors, like climbing and exploring, that help release pent up energy. It’s far more fun to leap around a catio or enjoy birdwatching than it is to poke another napping feline who just wants to be left alone. Additionally, a cat enclosure provides a special space for cats to retreat if they need a change of scenery or a break from other cats.
5. A catio boundary builds happy neighbor relations
Being a conscientious neighbor is one of the top ten benefits of owning a catio. Good neighbors count on one another to create a safe and welcoming community for everyone. A catio keeps your cat from digging in your neighbor’s garden or tempting their dog into loud barking, and cat-loving neighbors no longer need to keep an eye out for your door-dashing cat.
Chances are your neighbors will also enjoy checking out your new catio – and saying “hi” to your contented cat – when they stop by to chat during an evening stroll.
6. A litter box in the catio reduces competition and indoor odors
When you add a catio to your cat’s life, they get even more space for everything essential to their happy, fulfilled life – including room for an extra litter box. Whether you have one cat or many, cats are far less stressed when they have a choice of where to get their ‘business’ done, especially if other cats or human visitors are blocking access to their usual indoor litter box area. And by adding an additional litter box option, you’ll have the added benefit of fewer odors inside your home, too.
You’ll want a sturdy litter box that is protected from the elements, and we have two Litter Box DIY Plans to meet that need – the Catio Litter Box and Litter Box Bench. You can learn about all things “litter box” here!
7. A catio can complement your home, garden, décor, and lifestyle
There’s a catio concept to fit every space, large or small, and every architectural style, from rustic to elegant. While some people want the color of their catio structure to blend harmoniously with their home’s siding or trim, others see it as an opportunity to create colorful and livable art within their garden. With DIY plans for five different catio structures, from the compact Window Box to the spacious Oasis, you’ll easily find the ideal design to grace your yard, deck, porch, or balcony. Plus, you can paint or stain the wood framing as desired.
A cat enclosure is also the perfect canvas for beautiful décor, comfortable seating, and lush cat-safe plants that both people and cats can enjoy. If you’d like to explore the simple luxury of decorating a catio and how cats enjoy it, too, you can find catio décor guidance here.
8. By protecting birds and wildlife, you gain peace of mind.
A safe outdoor cat enclosure lets cats engage their inner hunter without endangering the birds and chipmunks you both love to watch. That makes everyone happy! Catio shelves and ramps provide climbing opportunities where cats can practice balance and coordination and get a bird’s eye view of their surroundings. You can even create hunting scenarios by hiding treats or toys for your cat to joyfully stalk, chase and pounce. Natural elements like potted grass, cat-safe plants, and a large water bowl to drink from and dab a paw in, provide additional enrichment and mimic a feline hunter’s natural habitat without endangering wildlife.
With a cat enclosure as part of your outdoor lifestyle, cats and birds can live in harmony. Check out our articles on how catios aid bird conservation and how catios, cats and birds can happily coexist.
9. A catio provides space to enjoy bonding with your cat outdoors
It must be puzzling for an indoor cat to be left to watch through a window while their family plays or works in the yard. The humans who hold, feed, play and often sleep with them have a second life that an indoor cat doesn’t get to participate in!
The catio lifestyle brings cats and their people together to enjoy both their cozy indoor home and the fresh outdoor air of the yard and garden. A DIY Catio Plan like the compact Haven or spacious Sanctuary or Oasis is also roomy enough for you and your cat to enjoy, with a comfy chair or bench for reading or birdwatching. Instead of being banished indoors, your cat can zip out their own cat door, happy to join you on both sides of the walls of your home.
10. Happy cats = Happy cat parents!
The most enjoyable part of sharing your life with a cat is watching them play and sleep in utter joy and relaxation while knowing they are safe and happy. And then there is the added benefit of sitting with them, feeling the softness of their fur, and hearing their contented purr. A catio keeps nature-loving cats safe and close beside you, where you can bask in each other’s company. There’s no greater happiness than that.
Need more proof that the catio lifestyle can be truly rewarding for a cat? Watch this joyful video of happy cats in catios, and then jump over to our DIY Catio Plans to choose a design that will make you and your cat truly happy!
After all, life is good in a catio!
We take the guesswork out of building a catio! Do you want to build catio…or hire a local carpenter to build it for you? Check out our award winning catio plans!
Catios are the latest trend in cat wellbeing. From simple to sublime, we design and build catios to complement your home and suit a feline’s fancy.
Meet some happy catio cats including before and after photos! See a variety of client projects for a window, porch, patio, deck or yard. Check out our Video Showcase too!
I’m passionate about design, nature and cats. As a Feng Shui Consultant and catio designer, I understand the importance of creating environments for...
Meet some happy Catio cats!
See our before and after catio transformations!
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