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Building the Perfect Catio

Catios on any budget
Image Credit: Catioguy on Instagram

If you own a cat, you probably already know that veterinarians recommend keeping your feline indoors to help protect it from predators and other dangers. The problem, however, is that indoor cats may not get enough fresh air or exercise, which negatively impacts their weight and overall health. To help this issue, many cat owners are looking into catios. Catios are enclosures that give felines an opportunity for outdoor play, exercise and stimulation. Here’s a closer look at some of the styles of catios and what an ideal catio may include.

Sizes and styles of catios

The beauty of a catio is that they come in different sizes and styles and can be designed to fit your needs and those of your cat. A window box is the simplest and least expensive option. It’s a great choice if your space or budget is limited, and it works for less active cats who simply want to lounge outside in a protected area and enjoy fresh air.

Another option is a treehouse catio. A treehouse may be the same width as a window box but extends all the way to the ground. Because it’s larger than a window box, it can include multiple shelves and play equipment (such as a cat tree, for which it is named). It’s often a good fit for active, younger cats.

Image credit: Catioguy on Instagram
Image credit: Catioguy on Instagram

Catios for larger budgets and spaces

Do you have more room and a larger budget? Consider a screened-in porch designed just for your feline friend. This is a great choice is you have multiple cats, active cats, and more outdoor space. A screened-in porch is large enough to include a number of play structures such as a cat tree, perches and shelves.

Want an even larger, more luxurious space that you can enjoy as well? Consider building a structure that includes not only a screened-in area for your pet, but also a chair or two for you. This ultimate catio may require a larger budget but could be a worth the investment if you want to enjoy more time outside with your cat in a safe, protected environment.

Accessorize your catio

To add visual interest, your catio can include cat-safe plants for color and natural shade. That could also increase the play factor with cat trees, catwalks, cat hammocks, shelves and ramps. Regardless of design, a catio can give your cat a place to play and relax. Sturdy toys that can survive the elements are another consideration, as well as seating for you if you have the room. The accompanying resource,by Metro Screenworks,describes more about these unique play places.


This infographic was created by Metro Screenworks, a provider of custom screen doors

Thanks to Metro Screenworks for this great article and inspiration for building catios for our kitties!

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