If you're a cat owner, you know how much enjoyment and stimulation the world outside can offer your kitty. But letting them roam free can be dangerous for them and for local wildlife. That's where a catio comes in - a secure, enclosed outdoor space for your cats to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine without any of the risks.
One cat owner who has gone above and beyond in creating the perfect outdoor space for her cats is Amber from @jake.the.bengal (Instagram). She joined us to share her tips on how she transformed her backyard into a safe outdoor oasis for her cats, complete with shelves, plants, a patio, a swing bridge, and even a pond!
Scroll down for the chat highlights or watch the full episode on our YouTube channel.
Meet Amber and Her Cats, Jake and Juneau
Amber wanted to give her cats a safe and stimulating outdoor environment, so she built a catio in her backyard. When she first started building it, it was just a simple cube with chicken wire and no shelves. But as she saw how much her cats enjoyed being outside, she added shelves and plants, and soon it became an obsession!
Here are some of Amber's tips and ideas for building your own catio…
Observing Your Cats and Designing Your Catio
Before you start building your catio, observe your cats and take note of what they like to do outside. Do they enjoy climbing, lounging in the sun, or watching birds? Use this information to design a catio that will meet their needs and keep them entertained.
Adding Features to Your Catio
As Amber observed her cats, she added shelves, plants, and a swing bridge to the catio. She also made a little pond with robot fish for them to play with. You can add similar features to your catio, depending on what your cats enjoy. Here are some ideas:
- Shelves and platforms for climbing and lounging
- Plants for shade and stimulation
- Hammocks for lounging
- Catwalks or bridges for adventure
Building Your DIY Catio
Once you have a design in mind and have gathered your materials, it's time to start building your catio. Here are some steps to follow:
- Choose a location. Find a spot in your yard that will be suitable for your catio. It should be away from any hazards, such as pools or busy roads.
- Frame your catio. Build a frame for your catio using wood or PVC pipes. Be sure to leave space for doors and windows.
- Cover your catio. Use wire mesh or chicken wire to cover your catio. Be sure to secure it tightly and use staples or zip ties to keep it in place.
- Add doors and windows. Cut holes for doors and windows and attach hinges and latches.
- Add features. Once your catio is built, add shelves, plants, and any other features you have planned.
Enjoying Your Catio with Your Cats
Now that your catio is built, it's time to enjoy it with your cats. Amber spends a lot of time in her catio with Jake and Juneau, and it's become her little oasis. She suggests taking the time to enjoy the experience and document the construction process and how it evolves over time, as there are many people online who love seeing catio ideas and designs.
Building a catio for your cats is a great way to provide them with a safe and stimulating outdoor environment. By observing your cats and designing a catio that meets their needs, adding features they will enjoy, and following some basic steps for building your own DIY catio, you can create a fun and secure space for your feline friends.
Thank you so much to Amber for sharing Jake & Juneau's story and taking us behind the scenes of their extraordinary catio! To follow more of their adventures, check out their Instagram.