There is a popular trend among many cat owners that allows the best of both indoor and outdoor world for their feline friends.
Catios — also known as cat patios or cat enclosures — are enclosed spaces that provide your cat with a safe place to explore the great outdoors.
There are many different types, shapes and designs, but all have the same aim to enrich your cat’s life by creating a fun and safe place to play and hang out.
But you might be wondering: are catios good for cats? And why should I invest in a catio?
There are several benefits to installing a catio, which I’ll outline for you in this article.
Top 20 Benefits Of A Catio:
1) Catios provide a place for physical exercise
Just like humans, cats can be negatively impacted by a sedentary lifestyle. Obesity causes the accumulation of excessive energy stored by fatty tissue that is enough to cause to the disease.
It is also the most common form of malnutrition in pets. Many veterinarians say the numbers keep increasing because of the highly palatable, energy-dense food diet.
Being obese can also lead to the risk of various diseases, such as diabetes, that could shorten the life expectancy of cats.
A catio can be the place to monitor your cat’s health and well-being and to encourage a more active lifestyle.
Experts say that an ideal exercise program depends on several factors, including age, environment and any concurrent disease diagnoses.
An exercise wheel in a catio could also be a great way for your cat to get some exercise.
2) Catios can be a place for enrichment
Incorporating environmental enrichment into your cat’s life is valuable because it keeps boredom at bay by giving her more things to explore.
An enriched environment, like the one built with a catio, can provide the mental stimulation and daily entertainment needed to keep your kitty happy and healthy.
You can decorate your catio with a cat bed, scratching post, several high perches or hiding spots for example.
Other items like cat trees and shelves or bookcases can expand the territory by giving your cats a place to climb.
You can also add a whole range of different cat toys to bring some fun and play to the space.
Installing a catio can nurture physical and mental well-being, and thus prevent unwanted behaviors that may be caused by a lack of stimulation.
3) Catios can help reduce the local feral cat population
A female cat can give birth to as many as five litters in one year, and those litters can range anywhere between one and six babies at a time.
The litter size varies on the mother’s experience and age, and some breeds can also mature faster than others.
By preventing a tomcat to roam freely, you are reducing the number of cats that are wandering around the neighborhood.
If the cat is not neutered, he is adding to the unwanted litters that are then left to fend for themselves after they are born.
The cat population can add up quickly, which could lead to overcrowding in animal shelters and an increase in the number of animals euthanized at the shelters.
With a catio, you are helping to control the local pet population and ensuring that a fewer number are sent to the pound.
4. Catios can help keep your cat from contracting disease
In addition to helping keep the feral population under control, catios could help prevent the spread of disease from other animals, such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), Feline Leukemia Virus Infection (FeLV) and rabies that could be transferred to your cat from other cats and wildlife that are infected with the disease.
These diseases can be spread through infected cats in the area through injuries sustained in fighting or through direct contact, like shared feeding areas or litter boxes.
A catio keeps those types of diseases outside and away from your beloved feline.
5. Catios can prevent cats from getting lost
Once a cat has exited the house, it is not always a guarantee that he will come back.
Un-neutered male tomcats have a tendency to roam, and the instinct to find a mate can be why many cats disappear for several days or weeks at a time.
Some female cats that have not been spayed had also been known to search for a male if they are given the opportunity.
While cats can get lost at any time, more cats are likely to go missing during the summer months while the weather is warm and they can spend more time outdoors chasing prey.
6. Catios can protect other wildlife
It is estimated that more than 2.4 billion birds are killed every year by free-roaming cats. Domesticated cats can also add to the number of wildlife killed.
Cats are natural predators, and many outdoor cats take the opportunity to hunt birds, rabbits, chipmunk and other potential prey when they are out in the elements.
If you have a kitty who is interested in feathered friends, consider adding a bird feeder outside your catio so it can watch with interest.
7. Catios can cut down on neighborhood cat fights
Cats are territorial creatures, and many free-roaming cats can be exposed to injury or disease from other cats passing by the neighborhood.
Tomcats are especially vulnerable to violence from other perspective mates. By keeping your cats enclosed in a catio, you can make sure that your kitty is safe at home.
8. Catios can protect from outdoor predators
Because cats are naturally curious, there is an increased risk that their inquiries may lead to potential danger when they wander into other habitats.
Dogs, coyotes, raccoons, eagles and other animals could seriously injure or even kill cats that have crossed their paths. A safe outdoor enclosure or cat patio allows cats to keep their safe distance from harm and other potential threats.
9. Catios can protect your cats from traffic vehicles
Whether you are residing in the country or living in the city, you cannot always control the number of cars that are frequenting where you live.
Traffic statistics estimate that millions of dogs and cats are killed in the US every year. A catio keeps your cat contained and away from the dangers of the nearby road.
10. Catios can protect from poisons in the area
Outdoor cats are susceptible to any number of poisonous materials, including antifreeze and pesticides that might be around the area.
Antifreeze can be often found in neighbor garages and other car work areas, and it is one of the most common forms of poisoning because of its sweet taste. It can be fatal if not treated.
Catios can help corral your cats from the potential dangers lurking in the neighborhood homes that may cause serious harm to your kitty.
11. Catios can reduce personality problems in a multi-cat home
Cats are solitary hunters and territorial by nature. While your cat may learn to share indoor space with another cat, they likely still enjoy some time to themselves.
A catio may help reduce conflicts and behavioral problems with other pets in your household when they arise at the home. It can also be used as additional space if two cats aren’t cooperating and are in need of a separation.
12. Catios can help eliminate indoor litter box odors
A catio may also provide another option for pet owners to place a litter box.
This could help reduce the amount of odor- producing waste around the home, or another place to put a box if it is a multiple cat home. Cat owners should often follow the rule to keep one litter box per cat plus one.
13. Catios can help improve relationships with neighbors
Not everyone is a cat person, and sometimes even the most peacekeeping neighbors may not enjoy a free-roaming kitty using their garden or yard as its own personal litter box.
A catio can be a considerable option to improving neighborly relationships by ensuring that your cat does not become an unwelcome guest on another person’s property.
14. Catios can provide peace of mind to worried kitty parents
If your cat has the tendency to dart out the door, then a catio could be just the ticket to keep those worries at bay.
An enclosed space eliminates the worry of wondering if the outdoor cat is safe, and those indoor cat guardians can rest easy knowing that they are accommodating a cat’s natural desire for fresh air and the great outdoors.
For more info on Catio safety, check out our article which answers the question: Are Catios Safe?
15. Catios can be customized to fit different feline needs
There is no hard or fast rule when it comes to catios. Whether they are pre-built or handmade, the size and location can be adjusted to fit the individualized needs of the pet owner.
Many different kinds of catios are available in a variety of designs to compliment your outdoor spaces. There are also do-it-yourself plans for the crafty cat lovers who are willing to get the plans in motion.
Cost can range from about $100 to thousands, depending on whether it is pre-designed or custom-built. If you are on a budget, you can always add more objects at a later date.
Check out the wide range of catios that you can buy here or see our favorite off the shelf catio kits here.
16. Catios can provide a fun bonding experience
A catio can be built with the idea in mind as a space for both you and your cat. Catios can also provide a bonding experience for both you and your feline friend.
Imagine curling up with a nice book or magazine in a recliner while your cat engages in exercise or is able to watch the neighborhood safely from the inside.
Consider it a shared space where you can both work on exercise, relaxation and other activities you can enjoy together.
17. Catios can be easily accessible for the kitty on the go
Anyone who has had an indoor-outdoor cat can attest to persistent requests at the door.
It can feel like you are her own personal doorman! Many catios spaces are equipped with a
18. Catios can house cat friendly herbs
In addition to putting your own herbs, a catio can become a place where you can grow your own herbs for your cat. Herbs tend to be easy to grow and require minimal effort to be successful.
Some cat owners have been known to include cat friendly herbs and plants inside their catios. For example, catnip can relieve and stress, and for many cats, it makes them very happy.
Other herbs to consider are cat thyme, valerian, licorice root, cat’s claw, dandelion root and goldenseal. Since each cat is different, it is important to talk with your veterinarian before the use of any herbs on your cat.
19. Catios can be a conversation starter
You are additional space can be the talk of the neighborhood when other cat lovers come to visit.
Whether they pop in for a short stay or are coming over for a party, your friends and relatives are sure to get a kick out of the lengths you will go to make sure your cat is safe and protected from all the dangers that lie outside the confines of your catio.
20. Catios can help lead to a better quality of life
A cat who is in good health can live up to 20 years, while cats who are allowed to roam outdoors often do not live past five years old.
Because a catio protects your cat from the elements outside, your kitty has a chance to live a long and healthy life with you.
Just like their humans, cats need a place of their own, daily stimulation, and a place to expand their energy. A catio provides a space where play and relaxation can be encouraged and grow.
A well-built, well-kept structure provides the safety and comfort of the indoors with the excitement and thrill of the outdoors. It can be the perfect way to show your cats how much you care about them and want them to be around for a long time.