Even your cat wants entertainment and something to do. When they have a catio (aka cat patio) at home, they have a safe space to play or lounge around.
Here’s what you need to know about building a catio for your cat.
What is a catio?
A catio provides a safe, outdoor enclosed space for your cat to get some fresh air. Ideally, you can build it attached to a window or door, so your cat can come and go as it pleases, but that’s not necessary.
Ultimately this is a space where they can experience the outdoors, including all the smells and sights that come with it, without being in danger from predators or running away. They are often enclosed with a mesh screen for safety and maxim airflow.
How to build your own catio
Step 1: Pick a location
The location is critical. If you want the cat to come and go freely from your home, ensure it’s next to an openable window or cat door so they can access it anytime. If not, find a safe place where nothing can fall on it. Catios are most commonly built on a deck or on a sturdy windowsill.
Step 2: Assess accessibility
How will your cat get in and out of the catio? Ensure it’s not blocking any other areas of your yard or close to anything the cat could reach through the mesh.
Step 3: Does it have a view?
Your cat may enjoy having a nice view if possible. Place it where your cat can see you in the yard or has a view of the neighbourhood. Also, ensure it has plenty of shade and sun.
Step 4: Build the frame
Gather some good quality wood to make a frame, bridge (if that’s how your cat will access the catio) and the floor. Depending on the size and number of your cats, you may need a bigger catio. Ensure you have at least 6 feet of floor space and 6 feet of height per cat (minimum).
You can build it as a basic square or rectangle, or if you’ve got some handyman skills, build something with multiple levels. Once you’ve created the frame, apply a sealant or paint to protect it from damage from the elements. Choose a paint safe for pets (read the label or ask your paint specialist).
Step 5: Add the mesh
Now that the frame is complete attach some mesh to the sides and top to protect your cat.
Step 6: Decorate and accessorize
Your next step is to decorate it and accessorize it with your cat’s favourite things.
How to make it comfortable
Accessorizing your catio will be different for each cat. Here are some great ideas for activities and accessories to make your cat comfortable in their new catio:
Different textures: A small rocky riverbed, water features, wooden planks, textiles, fake (or real) grass.
A hammock: Give your cat a small place to chill out.
A tunnel: Cats love exploring small spaces so give them things to crawl through.
Cat toys: place a few weather-proof toys in their catio for entertainment.
A water and food bowl: Your cat should always have access to fresh water and food. Always feed them high-quality cat food like Go! Solutions cat food recipes.
Cat-friendly plants: Talk to your local garden center for their recommendations for cat and pet-friendly plants and add a bit of greenery to your cat's catio.
Building a catio for your cat gives them a quiet space of their own where they are safe to get fresh air and exercise. When your catio is completed, stock up on fresh dry kibble to feed your cat in their new catio oasis. Look for a Go! Solutions cat food recipe based on your cat's needs.