What Is a Catio?

A catio is an outdoor cat enclosure that allows cats to enjoy the great outdoors without any potential dangers. It comprises walls that are usually wire or mesh, and a door gives cats easy access. The size can range from small window boxes to large patios with elaborate designs complete with ledges, climbing platforms, plants, and fun cat toys.

Catio Benefits

Catios allow cats fresh air and plenty of exercise while keeping them safe from predators like coyotes or other animals who hunt small prey. The walls also provide shielding from harsh weather and reduce exposure to allergens, insects, hazardous plants, and other potential hazards in the wild. They also protect your kitty from potentially dangerous areas like roads or nearby ponds. With a catio, you can contain your cats without confining them inside all day.


Yarger Catrium

Best Catio Materials

The frame structure of the catio is built with lumber and escape-proof wire, such as chicken wire or nylon netting. Additionally, consider roof options like wire mesh and polycarbonates to keep out predators and provide adequate shade from sunlight. Once the basic components are in place, it’s good to have hanging shelves made of cedar installed on the inside of the structure so cats can hide away if they get too hot or want a comfortable place to resort to after taking a nap outside. With these pieces in place, cats enjoy additional activities like climbing ramps or tunnels. Finally, don’t forget to have fresh water accessible!

Types of Catios

Catio designs are endless. You can choose a catio space that blends in with the design of your home or stand out as a showpiece in your yard. 

Stand-Alone Catios

Stand-alone catios are versatile in their design; they can be placed anywhere in your yard or garden, offering plenty of sun for lounging or shaded spots for cool naps.

Despite its benefits, one potential issue with a stand-alone catio is that the cat’s human guardians must take their feline friends in and out of it each time they want to venture outdoors; some cats may not be keen about having their freedom constrained like this. Many people opt for above-ground tunnels between the house and the catio to overcome this challenge, allowing the kitty to come and go without human intervention – much to his delight! With so many design possibilities available today, you’re sure to find an option that fits your needs and budget.

Attached Catios

Attached catios provide cats the ultimate in indoor and outdoor security. They offer unrestricted access between the catio and their home. Catio layouts and sizes vary depending on homeowners’ needs and desires. The simplest version has removable boxes that attach securely to windows or balconies in any regular house layout. However, some cat owners convert part of their porches into an attached catio space instead.

Image courtesy of Catio Bob the Catio Builder

Catio Cautions

In addition to using the correct materials, your catio structure must be very sturdy and level with the ground. If your structure is too loose, it could topple over and injure your cat. A gap in the structure could invite unwanted guests into it. At Square Paws, we design and install custom catios. Contact us to learn more.

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