Summer is here in the Northern Hemisphere, which means your indoor cat might begin to crave a little fresh air and freedom. But what if you live near a busy road? If the outdoors around your area just isn't suited for roaming? Well, the solution is clear. You need to build a cat patio.
'Catios' are all the rage at the moment, with Seattle-based business Catio Spaces leading the way. They have created downloadable designs that are easy to build using basic materials and can be installed next to a window, on a deck, or in a backyard.
The way that some people have built their catios are as impressive as they are inspiring. These cat owners have taken a simple concept and turned it into a super cozy space for their feline friend, and for some designs at least, themselves too!
Do you have an indoor cat? Would you consider building a catio, to give your kitty a bit of the outdoors in safety, and the chance to dream of the life of a hunter? Scroll down below to check out Bored Panda's favorite examples, and let us know what you think in the comments!
Catio Spaces was founded by passionate cat lover Cynthia Chomos, who started the company to address the need for safe and visually appealing outdoor enclosures to enhance the lives of cats.
"The inspiration behind Catio Spaces is my tabby cat, Serena, who I adopted after the loss of my beloved 22-year-old cat, Cynthia told Bored Panda. "Being a nature lover, I wanted her to enjoy the stimulation of the outdoors while protected from a variety of outdoor hazards. I transformed my backyard patio into a catio and created a space we could both enjoy with a water fountain, seating, shelves and cat safe plants."
"While lounging in it one day with Serena curled up on my lap, I had a flash of inspiration to start Catio Spaces and combine my feng shui expertise and love of design, nature and cats. One thing led to another (Serena has 4 catios and is my “quality assurance” expert), and I design custom catios, DIY catio plans and help cat parents from all over the world solve their indoor/outdoor dilemma."
Check out “Serena’s Garden Getaways” and follow her happy tail on a video tour of her 4 catios!
My dad made my indoor cats a tower/bridge/treehouse so they could safely enjoy the outdoors.
"Thousands of our award-winning DIY Catio Plans have been built by cat parents seeking outdoor safety and enrichment for their cats," Cynthia continued "We offer a variety of designs and sizes for a window, deck, patio or yard that are easy to follow and fun to build. From small and simple to large and luxurious, there’s a catio to fit any home and garden. Our most popular plans are the Sanctuary and Haven that allow easy access through a cat door installed in a window, wall or door. Catio Spaces donates 10% of plan purchases to animal and bird welfare organizations."
Cynthia loves seeing cats enjoying their new space, who wouldn't love spending time with happy cats for a living? "The most rewarding part of my work is witnessing my 4-legged clients step into a catio for the first time, breathing fresh air, feel the wind in their whiskers and see their happy tails exploring their new territory - and of course, receiving a headbutt or sandpaper lick on the nose by a grateful feline," she told us. "I also feel good knowing my work helps protect birds and other wildlife."
Catio Spaces has been in business for 6 years. "In the future I envision continuing to create DIY Plans, design custom catios, speaking engagements and expand my relationships with animal welfare organizations, veterinarians, and cat behaviorists to educate cat parents on the many benefits of catios, Cynthia said. "As one of the founding organizers of Catio Tour Seattle, I will continue to support catio tours in other cities as catios are becoming a popular trend throughout the U.S. and Canada."
So it looks like the catio is here to stay! What do you think? Scroll down to check out some more cool examples below, and let us know in the comments!
Our second Catio. Hanging Bridge, Sky Boxes, Center Cat tree.
Guys, I think my cats might be spoiled...They’re not allowed to be outdoor cats, but this is the next best thing! The reason why our cats aren't allowed outside is because we live in an area with foxes and coyotes, so predators are a real concern. We're also by a semi-busy road, so cars pose a problem, too. We only set up the tent/tunnel system when we're around and can keep an eye on things; the cats are never left out there unattended.
Our gazebo is one of the popular places the cats like to hang out. C3PO is the one in the hammock. You can find him there almost every day. He knows how to make the most of his relaxation times
This appropriately named Gold Star Grotto was built for their 6 previously-feral kitties.
The cats access the catio via the open window from our utility room (on the right). We bought a cat door installed in plexiglass that sits permanently in the window, so the cats can access the patio themselves in the Winter too. The wild grape vine grew to cover the top of the catio so that it blends in more with the rest of our gardens. Hopefully, we'll also get grapes from it some day.
Mark built really long tunnels along the fence that are leading to his two cat jungle gym structures. I absolutely love how high up the cats can sit in their cat jungle gym structure that even has a roof on it! Cats love sitting up high and being able to look down on things.
We built a catio for our cats cause we love them. Our cats love the outdoors, but we don't want to harm the songbird population.
Feliz in the jungle.
We’ve advanced to next level crazy!
The catio I built. They are very adventurous, otherwise indoor only felines and this is my way of letting them enjoy the outdoors without my wife having a heart attack.
I spent almost nothing. Most of my money went into screws. All the wood is repurposed pallets and old wood I’ve scavenged from construction dumpsters. All the chicken wire and metal sheets comes from a chicken coop my parents built a couple years ago. So all in all I probably bought a few boxes of screws, some door hardware, and insulation for the houses. $40 total maybe.
Building this catio was the best decision. Kylo and Dexter love this so much and that makes my heart happy.
Just another Gorgeous Day on the Catio.
Look close the hummingbird feeder is just a few feet away, close enough for entertainment yet far enough to keep the birds safe.
My night goblins and their custom catio that I built them.
Our new catio. Designed and built by us. PVC pipe and steel mesh.
Our catio features tiered platforms, tunnels and lots of plants.