Catios have become one of the most popular inventions amongst cat owners who live in a city or a busy neighborhood.
Cats need to be able to explore and have freedom, but when there are so many risks that can negatively affect your cat when they are left outside, it is often too daunting as an owner to allow your cat that freedom.
To keep their cats safe and happy, cat owners have started turning their garden space and/or windowsills into Catios.
Catios are good for your cats in every way. They give your cat a way to be outdoors and explore, all the while getting some good fresh air and sunshine without the risks that are involved with your cats leaving your property.
Most cat owners want to allow their cats to explore the outdoors and to have a way to get rid of all of their energy.
However, the reason that most cats remain exclusively indoor pets is that their owners are worried about their safety outside of their homes.
For this reason, many cat owners are delighted when they discover catios and all of their many benefits to their beloved felines.
Let’s take a look at what makes catios a good choice for many cats and their owners.
What Is A Catio?
A catio is a caged or fenced off enclosure that is directly attached to an outside part of your house.
Catios are generally made of a wooden frame and a wire mesh of your choosing. Some people have chosen to use metal or steel framing as well.
Your cats can go in and out of this enclosure as they please, allowing them to step outside for as long as they want to without actually leaving the safety of your property.
Think of it as the play area of a restaurant. Parents will let their kids go play freely in the designated play area because they are in a small, safe, and contained environment where they can see their kids, and the kids can not escape from that designated area and get in any kind of danger.
A catio can be seen as an environmental enrichment cat’s play area where they can go play freely without their owners needing to worry about their safety.
- Read the full guide of Everything You Need To Know About Catios
What Is So Dangerous About A Cat Exploring Outdoors?
When you live out in the rural countryside, there are not many risks to letting your cat be an outdoor pet who can go exploring to their little heart’s content.
They will be able to chase and hunt mice, lizards, and snakes, and then come back home and relax without much risk or danger.
However, for cats that live in the city, there are many dangers that they can face on a daily basis if they leave their owner’s house and/or garden.
Cats are quick and agile creatures when in their natural environment. They know how to stay out of harm’s way when it comes to their natural enemies, and they know what their boundaries are.
However, in the city and/or a busy neighborhood, there are many risks that they have no natural instincts to protect them from, such as a fast-moving vehicle or rat traps and poison that have been laid out in alleyways.
Not only do cats stand the chance of being hit by fast-moving vehicles in traffic and stumbling across traps that have been laid out for vermin, but they also have to protect themselves against things such as avoiding being attacked by dogs if they wander into the wrong yard or around the wrong corner, or getting caught on and hurt by spiked and barbed gates, walls and fences while trying to make their way around an unknown area.
They also have a fair amount of diseases to worry about in all of their exploring, which could cause them a significant amount of harm.
Some of the diseases that are common and easy for cats to come into contact with are the feline immunodeficiency virus, which is also known as feline AIDS, which can happen quite easily if they are involved in a fight with another cat and get cut or end up with an abscess as a result from being hurt.
They are more likely to be bitten by mosquitos while out and about, putting them at a higher risk of getting heartworm disease.
Cats may also come into contact with foxtails that can become stuck in their fur, eyes, nose, or ears, which can cause infection and may even be fatal.
Not to mention all the parasites that can be picked up, some of which can be spread to their owners.
There are many things that have the potential to harm your cat in an area that they would not naturally have an instinctual knowledge about.
For that reason, many owners have chosen to rather build their beloved cats a catio for them to enjoy themselves in safety.
Why Are Catios Good For Cats?
Catios provide cat owners a way to let their cats be outdoors without any of the above-mentioned risks. The outdoors can indeed be dangerous for cats.
However, they do still need to be let outside regularly – they are outdoor creatures after all.
Catios are good for cats because cats are very curious animals. They need to explore and smell and jump and stick their paws into things.
They like to learn and figure out how things work and need a stimulating situation that sitting on the couch all day just can not bring them.
Catios are so good for your cat’s physical and mental health.
If you are thinking about Does Your Cat Need A Catio? Here we explain in the signs that tell it’s time for you to get a catio for your kitty.
Having a way to be outside in a safe space gives your cat the freedom to play, explore, and use their minds in the stimulating way that they so desperately need and can often be deprived of when exclusively kept indoors.
Even though cat owners usually only keep their cats inside out of care and concern for their pets, it is still keeping them from living their life to the fullest.
Catios help cats live their life to the fullest without putting any of the nine of them in trouble.
Cats are naturally outside animals, and even though they can be perfectly happy kept inside, it is really good for a cat to have the chance to explore their curiosity and adventurous side in the great outdoors.
Catios could be seen as a win-win for cats and cat owners alike. Catios have given cat owners the peace of mind they need when it comes to the safety of their beloved pets while also allowing their cats to be able to step outside and get their feet on the earth.
Do Cats Like Being In A Catio?
As anyone who has ever met a cat can confirm, every cat is completely unique and has its own attitude, will, and personality; therefore, there is no guarantee that your cat will love having, and make use of, a catio.
With that being said, most cats really do love their catios, especially the kind where they have the opportunity to climb up levels and explore their environment.
Cats are very curious by nature, so even if when they are first introduced to the catio your cat seems hesitant or even as if they are not interested in it at all, leave the door or window leading into the catio open throughout the day, which will give your cat the opportunity to go in and explore the area when they are ready and at their own pace.
If you force your cat into the catio when they are resisting it, they may likely see it as a punishment and will not go back in out of their own will.
If all else fails, go ahead and purchase yourself something nice online and when it arrives, throw the box inside the catio.
No cat can resist getting inside an empty that box they come across, and your cat will go in the catio even if it is just to play in the free box that you got, not the expensive sanctuary you have just built for them.
In general, cats do enjoy having their own catio, especially during winter and the colder months of the year, when they can go stretch themselves out in the sun and spend a few hours warming up.
If you keep a few of their favorite toys in there for them, they can even enjoy some playtime in their own little space.
How Does A Catio Benefit Your Cat?
There are many ways and reasons why the catio will benefit your cat or cats.
Here are a few reasons why having a catio can be good for your feline best friend.
1. Physical Activity
Many house cats do not get the opportunity to get as much exercise as they should because there is nowhere for them to leap, jump, and run without knocking over picture frames and vases and ending up stuck behind the couch or rubbish bin.
Having a catio gives your little furry friend that space to be able to get out all of their crazy energy and get that well-needed exercise without worrying about your Christmas tree being taken down by a flying ball of fluff.
2. Vet Bills
Having a cat that is out and about, exploring all around town frequently, means that you will most likely end up needing to take your cat to the vet for a cut paw, puffy eye, or an upset tummy as a result.
Cats are crazy animals, and when left to their own devices, caution is often thrown to the wind, and when they come home, they may require a lot of mending.
Keeping your cat in their own private enclosure where they can get just as crazy significantly lessens the risk of them hurting themselves on sharp or dangerous objects, eating things that they should not be eating, which will reduce or even eliminate your yearly vet bills.
3. Reducing The Feral Cat Population
Even if your cat does not come back hurt, they may come back having spread the love a little too much.
Feral cat numbers are increasing more and more every year, leaving more homeless cats out on the street fending for themselves and getting hurt along the way.
Keeping your cat inside your property and in their own enclosure will give them the space and freedom they need without contributing to the ever-growing feral cat population.
4. Preventing Your Cat From Getting Lost
The last thing that you want, and what every cat owner dreads, is to realize that their kitty went exploring and never came back home.
Cats get lost from their homes on a daily basis due to many different obstacles and/or events.
Keeping your cat in their catio helps to ensure they will not be out on the streets and realize that they can not find their way back home.
The catio gives your precious kitty the outside stimulation they need, without the risk of them getting lost.
5. Protecting Your Cat From Disease Carrying Wildlife.
As most cat owners will be able to tell you, cats love to hunt. They will hunt living things or laser pointers, and even sometimes the occasional foot under a blanket.
Whatever is moving around them, they will likely go after it full steam ahead.
As fun as it may be to play hunting games with your cat inside of your home with a toy mouse or a feather, it is not so fun in real outdoor situations where your furry friend comes home one night with a bird or bunny in their mouth and have now had the risk of being exposed to diseases such as rabies or salmonella from animals infected with, or carriers of, these diseases.
The catio helps prevent your cat from catching wildlife that may end up infecting them with harmful, or even fatal, diseases.
As exciting as it may be for your cat to have the thrill of the chase when hunting, it may be best if they stick to that laser pointer and the odd leaf blowing in the wind.
Catios are amazing. Not only are they good for your cat’s health and physical activity, but they also help provide a safe space for them to have fun in.
Investing in a catio for your cat has many benefits for you as the owner as well, giving you that peace of mind when it comes to your cat’s protection and the concerns that may have been constantly at the back of your mind, about whether they are getting enough exercise and stimulation.
Your cat can now enjoy bird watching, hunting little lizards and bugs that are crawling around in their catio.
They can see other cats and animals around the neighborhood from their perches and can jump onto things that were made for them to jump onto, unlike your lamp or TV.
They can actually be a somewhat outside cat without any worries about their safety at all.
Cats are still essentially animals at the end of the day, and they do need to have some form of regular exercise and a way to explore and use all that curiosity, so they do not end up using it in ways like climbing up your brand new curtains or getting stuck in your roof.
A catio gives them a safe way of letting your favorite feline live their best outdoor life while still remaining completely safe.
The wonderful thing is, there are so many different kinds of catios out there that there is a catio available for every cat, home, and budget.
As long as you select the appropriate materials and get help from someone who has some experience when it comes to building, having a catio does not have to be an expensive thing you have to purchase, but you could build it yourself.