Despite the fact that cats are one of the most popular pets and generally develop a strong bond with their owners, their behavior can sometimes be challenging to understand and deal with.
But, as cat behavioral experts say, there is always a reason behind a cat’s unusual behavior.
And in case of domestic cats, the issues generally arise due to the indoor-outdoor dilemma.
Cats that are kept indoors can become bored easily due to the lack of physical activity and environmental enrichment.
Hence, they often demand to go outside and when their demands are not fulfilled, they start displaying behavioral issues.
But, how do you know if this is what your cat really wants and it’s not suffering from any medical issue?
Here are some of the signs that tell it’s time for you to get a catio for your kitty (also see our article Top 20 Catio Benefits):
1) Your Cat is Gaining Weight
Obesity is one of the most common health issues among the cats that are restricted indoors.
The easy availability of food (without having to hunt or make any effort) and a lack of physical activity are the key reasons for it.
Outdoor cat runs and catio enclosures provide both space and stimulation to pet cats to move around and be more active, which then helps them shed those extra pounds they gained due to living a sedentary lifestyle.
To maximize the benefits of a catio, make sure it has multiple activities for your feline friend, such as a cat tree with multiple perches, high platforms, cat play tunnel, and some interesting toys.
2) Your Cat is Developing Behavioral Issues
Cats are naturally playful and inquisitive animals. They also regularly need stimulation from their surroundings to stay active and occupied.
When kept limited to environments where they do not have much to do or cannot satisfy their natural desires, they often take up activities that annoy their owners and/or develop behavioral problems.
These may include destructive or compulsive behaviors, jumping onto kitchen counters, excessive scratching, doing weird or annoying things to seek the owner’s attention, excessive meowing, becoming active at night, or becoming aggressive.
They will also start urine marking, attacking other pets or cats in the house, and may also try to go outdoors. These all are signs that your cat is bored and needs more (outdoor) exposure and activities.
The best way to deal with all these behavioral problems is to provide your cat with an outdoor space where it can enjoy fresh air, sunlight, watch birds, and catch a bug occasionally without being exposed to any potential dangers.
A catio can help them do all these things.
Don’t have enough space in your house to build a large outdoor cat enclosure? No need to worry; a window catio or a balcony catio will provide similar benefits.
3) Your Cat is Harming Your Plants
Urinating and defecating outside the litter box is another very common issue among pet cats.
Cats that develop this problem often make houseplants their new litterboxes. This not only ruins your plants, but also put the cat’s health at risk, in case they nibble on some toxic plant and fall sick.
Some cats just love playing with plants, especially when they don’t have much to do.
A catio decorated with cat-friendly plants will not only protect your indoor plants, but also eliminate the chances of your kitty getting poisoned as it will have its own plants to play with.
4) Your Free-Roaming Cat Is Displaying Predatory Aggression
Unlike common perception, catios are not only needed by indoor cats. Sometimes, they are also required to limit a free-roaming cat to a particular area.
While there can be many reasons for it, predatory aggression is one of the most important.
While cats do like to hunt and prey, as it is their natural instinct, if it is happening too often and your cat is becoming a threat to the local wildlife, it’s time you limit it to a specific area.
However, this doesn’t mean that you restrict your best friend indoors. This will only make the situation worse and may lead to certain behavioral and medical issues.
The best way to do this is to either install a catio kit or build a DIY cat enclosure for your feline friend.
A catio will ensure that your cat is limited to a certain area, but won’t be deprived of outdoor fun.
Decorate the catio with different toys to keep things interesting for your pet (check out our post on the best toys for outdoor catios to keep your kitty happy and entertained for ideas).
Cat enclosures help cats, birds and other wildlife live together in peace.
You can also install bird feeders in your backyard to attract birds, which will also keep your pet cat busy and entertained for hours.
5) Your Cat Loves Climbing Trees
Is your free-roaming cat’s favorite pastime to climb on trees, chasing squirrels and then getting stuck there, waiting for you to rescue it?
Cats’ love for vertical spaces is no secret; we all know that they really enjoy climbing up high.
But, this habit can get them in trouble if they have a habit of climbing trees in your backyard.
The Solution: Get A Catio!
The best solution to solve all the issues listed above is to build a catio for your cat.
Outdoor cat condos or enclosures serve a variety of purposes and also offer many benefits to both cats and their owners.
On the one hand, they provide cats with a safe territory of their own and keep them active and busy, which in turn improves their physical and mental health.
On the other hand, it gives the cat owners the peace of mind that their kitty is safe, healthy, and having a great time.
Check out our favorite catio kits here or make your own DIY catio following our guide here.