10 Features to Include in a Catio - Pet Hub USA

10 Features to Include in a Catio

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A Catio, or cat enclosure, is much more than a zone for keeping felines safe outdoors. It can be an escape for you and your cat, or an architectural element that adds allure to your home. Here are 10 inspiring ideas.

10. Complement Your Home and Its Architecture

Cat Watching from Catio
Cat Watching from Catio” by joncallas is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Your catio can be designed to blend seamlessly with your home’s look and feel. Match your home’s colors and textures. Conversely, you might choose complementary colors (those opposite on the color wheel) to provide energy. You could use a bold color to make your catio “pop.” Earth tones can make your catio blend with natural surroundings.

9. Create Space for You and Your Cat

dashboard in the catio
dashboard in the catio” by Liz Henry is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

You can create a catio that not only establishes a safe zone for your cat but provides enough space for you to hang out and share the outdoors with your furry companion. Add some outdoor furniture to make it homey. Include some artwork and cat-safe plants and you’ve got a garden room.

8. Create a Cat Adventure Land

cats on catio
IMG_8509” by Mr Thinktank is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Create a space where your cat can find many ways to keep itself entertained. Add shelves of varying heights that your cat can jump to and spring from one to another. Include scratching posts, branches to climb or traverse, hanging toys, cat beds, lounges, and hammocks. And don’t forget the litter box.

7. Blur the Lines Between Indoors and Outdoors

catio tunnel
catio tunnel” by Liz Henry is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

You can blur the line between indoors and outdoors by using natural elements that can be placed inside your catio. This includes cat-safe hanging and potted plants, tree branches, and stumps. You can also line one wall with smooth river rock. Placing your catio next to other plants or trees can also help it blend in with its natural surroundings.

6. Go Artsy

The Cats of University Heights: Jester
The Cats of University Heights: Jester” by Joe Wilcox is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

If you feel inspired by an artsy look, there are endless ways to enhance your catio. You can use bright and bold colors, metal sculptures or silhouettes, inspirational messages, and more. Decorate the interior with themed pillows, artwork, rugs, or welcome mats. You can imitate a style of art, architecture, or historical period. Your options are practically unlimited.

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5. Attract Birds to Your Catio

yellow bird on Sakura tree
Photo by Boris Smokrovic on Unsplash

With your cat safely behind a wire screen in your catio, there’s no danger in letting birds get up close and personal with your cat. Your cats will be endlessly entertained! Attract birds by erecting hanging feeders, tube feeders, and platform feeders near your catio. You can even attach a bird box directly to the front of your catio.

4. Create a Shady Catio

Bella's catio
Bella’s catio” by marneejill is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Depending on the environment where you live and the location of your catio, you may want to create a shaded section. Some catio designs feature open wire ceilings or plexiglass tops for maximum viewing. For warm and sunny areas, consider a solid ceiling or a lining under the wire in one section that blocks the sun’s rays.

3. Consider a Theme

Catio” by criticalmas101 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you have a particular interest or hobby, you can show off your passion in your catio design. For example, a jungle theme, your university, or your favorite sports team. You can even go with a cat theme. Your imagination is the only limit. Some people have created elevated catios to give their cat a better vantage point.

Read More: 10 Ways to Attract More Birds to Your Yard

2. Some DON’Ts for Your Catio

Catio” by HackRVA is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Please don’t place anything breakable that could leave tiny glass shards that are difficult to sweep up. Don’t include any decorations that are small or fragile that could become chewing or choking hazards. Don’t put those tiny hanging lights inside the catio (hang them on the outside). And don’t put any cat food in the catio, as it attracts wildlife and insects.

Read More: Tips for Bringing an Outside Cat Inside

1. Some DOs for Your Catio

Catio” by HackRVA is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Consider placing a water bowl or fountain to keep your cat hydrated. Make sure to include a scratching post or scratch mat so your cat doesn’t use your outdoor furniture. Consider a cat door or cat tunnel leading directly from your house to your catio. Do spend time bonding and relaxing with your cat in your catio.

Read More: Why You Should Build a Catio This Summer

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