Just like people, our cats like to enjoy all of the fun and wonder that the outdoors can offer.
While some cats are primarily indoor pets, it’s important to allow them to experience an outdoor entertainment area to keep them feeling both active and relaxed, day or night.
So, what exactly is a catio and what can it provide for our feline friends?
Catio is a term that’s used to describe a patio, but for cats; a cat patio.
Catios can be as simple or as extravagant as you wish to create them and, although cats can be lazy and simple creatures at times, they also enjoy a variety of entertaining products to keep them intrigued when they need to burn off some energy from all of that napping.
Below are some ideas of some accessories to include in your catio.
Accessories to Include in Your New or Existing Catio
Are you thinking the idea of a catio might sound like something you’d want to try?
First, consider all of the accessory options that can be included to create the best space possible for your cat (or cats!).
Here, we’ve broken down a list of some of the best accessories to consider that will leave your pet both entertained and relaxed.
1) Cat Toys
There are a wide range of different cat toys that can be incorporated inside your catio.
For example, you could add hanging toys, cat tunnels, playful feeders, fake mice or puzzles.
See our list of the best cat toys for catios here.
2) Catio Furniture
Catios can be created with a variety of furniture pieces that are suitable for multiple cats at once.
Consider starting with a wooden enclosure that contains different platforms and rooms and can be placed anywhere outside or in a backyard, as long as there is flat ground.
These enclosures are usually closed off with a screen or cage so the cat(s) can be outdoors with no worry of them running away or having access to unwanted guests.
If you don’t have enough space for such a large outdoor enclosure, consider trying a catio window box. These are exactly what they sound like.
They are installed into any window and provide a screened-in area for any cat to safely enjoy the outdoors.
Cats typically take to them very quickly and can enjoy the outdoor breeze and sunshine while still remaining in the safety of their own home.
Window boxes are much smaller accessories than enclosures and have limited space for much else but can still be a great option for people with limited room.
3) Catio Fountains
It’s no secret that cats are instinctively drawn to the sight and sound of running water, whether it be for drinking or simply out of curiosity.
Incorporating a fountain into your catio can provide a tranquil atmosphere for your pet as well as a great place to take a drink.
Many cat fountains come with a built-in filtration system that makes it safe for them to drink the running water, but always be sure to check for this feature.
It’s also important to make sure you have a power source readily available for the fountain as most are electrically run.
If your catio is going to be used by multiple cats, consider a large fountain. If not, you may want to purchase more than one.
4) Catio Perches
It’s no secret that our feline friends love to climb! Incorporating levels into a catio will allow for your cat to jump, climb, and explore. There are a number of perch options to try depending on the size and location of your catio.
If you have room, cat tree perches are a popular and well-received option of many house cats.
They come in a variety of heights and are typically covered in a soft, carpet-like material that can also make them a comfortable place for cats to nap.
These types of perches can also be an excellent DIY project if you’re someone who is crafty and creative.
They’re a rather simple structure and have very little rules. Any type of structure that provides height and levels for a cat to climb on is sufficient entertainment for our feline friends.
You can also use wall perches that screw into the wall or hang from the ceiling.
When using wall perches, be sure to consider two very important components: how much weight can the perch hold and how high will it be?
If the wall perch is not sturdy enough to hold a cat, it can easily become a hazard that may easily fall.
As great of a climber as most cats are, make sure to install it low enough or close enough to a lower level for your cat to reach.
Some wall perches can also be installed onto windows which can be a great alternative for those who don’t have space for a larger catio.
They allow your cat to enjoy the views of outside without them clawing your curtains or furniture to get a peek out the window.
The “Ultimate Cat Perch” – Amazon
5) Catio Litter Boxes
Didn’t think you could spruce up the simplicity and boringness of a litter box?
Think again. Litter boxes are essential for our kitties, but they don’t have to be eyesores.
There is a multitude of litter box options that can allow for a concealed and subtle look that won’t take away from a well-decorated and stylish catio. Remember, the more cats, the more litter boxes necessary.
Here are some of our favorite stylish litter box options you’ll want to check out.
Don’t forget all of the necessary accessories to go along with your little box that will keep it clean and free of odor or mess.
Liners are a great idea to use to ensure that your litter box doesn’t become stained with scent or bacteria.
They also allow for a quick and easy cleanup process which, let’s be honest, is every cat owner’s least favorite part.
Litter mats are also a great idea to include in your catio because they eliminate excessive piles of litter from forming.
These mats catch most litter particles from flying all over the floor when they step out of their box. Litter mats come in a variety of shapes, colors, and materials to match your personal preference and style.
6) Catio Ramps
The inclusion of ramps can be a great way to encourage exercise for your cats. Any cat owner knows that cats will experience random spurts of energy and take off running.
With ramps accessible, cats may be more inclined to burn off their energy by running, jumping, and climbing to different levels.
Ramps help to make your catio as stimulating as possible for your pet(s). Some ramps also come with built-in scratching pads as well.
Not only are ramps great for younger or active cats but they can also provide assistance for older or injured cats that have a harder time running and jumping.
If you have an older cat or injured cat that struggles to remain as active as they once were, ramps may help them explore without causing more pain or impact to their legs.
7) Catio Scratching Posts & Scratching Boards
Cat’s love to scratch and sometimes they end up scratching things they’re not supposed to.
Allow for your cat to scratch freely without destroying the furniture or surrounding environment and, why not ditch the boring, typical scratching posts for a more creative and innovative design?
Not only do more complex products entice your cats better, but they also allow for even more entertainment.
Some of the best cat scratchers are made of yarn or cardboard. Our kitties love the scratch materials that will give them a slight feeling of resistance which yarn and cardboard can easily provide.
Allowing a cat to scratch promotes healthy claws and overall relaxation so ditch the same old, same old, and incorporate a unique scratcher all while saving the walls and furniture of your catio.
8) Catio Cat-Safe Plants
Cat-safe plants can provide a number of benefits for your furry friend’s health including natural remedy benefits, improved relaxation, and overall happiness.
With this being said, not all plants are safe for cats and it’s important to understand what plants have the potential to harm your cat before adding them to your catio.
African violets, air plants, watermelon plants, Christmas cactus, friendship plants, basil, sage, thyme, lace flower vine, orchids, polka dot plants, prayer plants, spider plants, and of course, cat grass
Amaryllis, autumn crocus, azaleas, castor bean, chrysanthemum, most ivies, lilies, oleander, Spanish thyme, tulips, and yew. *Please consult with the ASPCA website for a complete list of plants that are toxic to cats!*
Adding a pop of color with plants or flowers to your catio can add style and also clean the air.
Some plants can also act as natural herb remedies for your cat whether they help anxiety, stomach aches, or overall well-being.
Before adding a plant to your catio, be sure to research it fully to ensure it isn’t toxic.
Well, with all of the mentioned suggestions and ideas, hopefully designing your future catio shouldn’t feel so overwhelming.
A fun and customized outdoor space for our furry feline friends can provide them with entertainment, exercise, mental stimulation, and happiness.
Do your cat a favor and provide them with an enjoyable outside space to keep them feeling content and excited. Keep your design as simple or as extravagant as you please! Either way, your cat will surely thank you for it.