Building a catio for your pet can be a wonderful way to give your indoor cat a glimpse of the outside world, without all the dangers. Catios can come in many forms, they can be huge, complicated structures with multiple levels and tunnels, or they can be smaller structures that are an extension of your home that your cat has access to from a window or pet door.
Alternatively, your catio could be a simple window box or a space for both you and your cat to share on an apartment balcony. Whatever kind of catio you have in mind, a catio is a great way to let your cat enjoy the great outdoors, all from the safety of your home. Take a look at this guide to help you make the most of your catio.
Plan your structure
The first step to building your very own catio is to work out what kind of catio you want to make. Are you going to make it fancy with lots of extra attachments and gadgets, or is it going to be a simple box to let your cat get some fresh air? Will it be attached to your home or freestanding somewhere nearby? Will it be a big structure, or simply a window box? Depending on what you decide will determine if you need to hire a professional builder or simply purchase a plan and some materials and get stuck in.
The next part of your catio journey is to make sure that the location you’ve chosen will support the structure, and clear any shrubs or plants that will be in the way. Make sure the area is clear and level, ready for building. Also Read – Calico Cat Personality: Fact or Fiction?
Time to Start Building a Catio
The materials you choose to build your catio with should be sturdy and weather-proof. It is also important to make sure they are resistant to pests. Refer to your plan to work out how much of each material you will need, and gather all the materials in advance of starting to build. It is also a good idea to prime, paint, or stain the pieces before you start to build for the best results.
The next step is to actually build your structure, and follow your plan, but usually, this will start with the frame, move onto the floor and roof and then add the side frames, screening, and any doors. It is worth working out before you assemble the whole structure whether there are any bigger items that need to be moved inside the structure before everything is put together.
Put together any accessories like shelves, a litter box, perches, and places to hide and sleep and attach them securely so that your cat can climb, play and explore without any worry. Add enriching details for your cats such as high up shelves for them to climb on and make sure to include scratching posts as they are essential for your cat’s development and wellbeing. As an additional protection for your pet, make sure to have a good cat insurance policy to protect both you and them from any potential accidents or injuries.
Make sure to finish every element in a catio properly. Don’t leave sharp edges or nails poking out that could injure your cat, and make sure everything is strongly secured in place as cats like to jump around and explore. Also, make sure your cat has the space to discover and explore their new area in their own time. Forcing a cat into any new space can be stressful, so let them enjoy it as and when they’re ready.