As the New Year starts, you may have made some resolutions. Was it to work out more, eat less carbs, or spend more time with family? Or maybe it’s to be a better pet parent! Here we offer you a great way to be a better owner to your precious Miss Kitty and Mr. Fluffyboots.
Kitty definitely needs sunny outdoor time, but we get it – you’re concerned about the environmental impact that your ferocious killer has! You may think that cats simply kill mice, and who needs more mice running around in your cupboards?! However, in all reality, felines are nondiscriminatory killers, or predators that go after more than one animal species. A study was done that looked at 84 different wildlife species that had a negative encounter with a cat. 21 species were mammals that included Eastern Cottontail Rabbits, Grey Squirrels, Southern Flying Squirrels, and more. 62 species were birds that included Robins, Mourning Doves, Blue Jays. Take a further look at that study by clicking here! You may have tried to limit your cat’s ability to hunt by putting a bell on their collar, but your cat’s amazing ability to hunt outweighs the noise of a small bell. Fortunately, there is a creative solution to the problem!
That solution is (drum roll please…) – catios! A catio (patio for cats) is an enclosed outdoor space that indoor cats can get into easily 24/7. They are typically wooden, metal mesh, and PVC, protective (after all, you don’t want your fluffy predator to become prey!) structures that have food, water, litter pans, toys, beds, plants and trees to keep kitty occupied and happy. These enrichment items will allow your cat to still get exercise and bask in the warm sun without being exposed to wildlife that they may want to hunt. Make sure that your house has a door that lets out into the catio so that kitty can come and go as it pleases. Keeping kitty inside at night to hunt any mice that scurry along the floor boards is a great idea! This prevents your house from getting overrun with mice and allows kitty to still be the natural hunter that it is.
You may be wondering just how much work this catio will be and the good news is that it can be a fairly simple project that can be completed in just one weekend! Obviously, the more money that you spend on materials, enriching toys and trees, and space, the better the catio will be, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have something small, simple, and sure to please your feline friend! The best thing about building your own catio is that they are highly customizable. You can change the size, materials used, placement, and your cat will still be happy! They are perfect whether you live in a large house or a smaller apartment (just make sure that you get permission to build one first!).
Not only will this catio allow kitty to bask in the sun, climb around, and still get fresh air, but it will also protect your precious pet from acquiring many diseases, getting hit by cars or becoming prey themselves! Take the money that you would have spent on vet bills and put it towards protecting your feline friend with a catio. Again, it doesn’t just help out your cat; it also protects many wildlife species that might already be struggling due to climate change and habitat destruction from becoming unnecessary victims of your pet.
For some catio inspiration and to learn how to build your first catio, check out these great links!