Cats are pampered animals. They have love and attention lavished on them from their owners and the general public. There are indoor cats, outdoor cats and cats who enjoy both ways of life. For cats who are better kept indoors, but who need to get some much-needed Vitamin D in their system, you can remedy this by building them a catio.
A catio is a structure that is usually made from wooden poles and diamond mesh fencing, and it is attached to a part of your house, such as a back door or window. It allows indoor cats to go outside in a safe and secure environment, and can be especially useful for animal lovers if you live in a dangerous neighbourhood, where your cats cannot easily leave the yard. Below are some tips on how to build your own catio.
Consider where you want to build it
The first step in building your purrfect catio is to decide where you want to build it. This is because catios are extensions of your living space, so you will need to be sure about how much living space you have available for the structure.
You could decide to make a small window-box catio for your cats, or you could choose to make a large enclosure that is connected to a door or window of your house. You will also need to decide on whether you will be placing the catio in your backyard or your front yard. This will have an impact on how large or small the structure can be. Remember that your catio should have a “natural” floor of grass or soil, rather than one made of concrete. This is better for your cat’s health.
How will your cat get in and out?
Once you have decided on where you want to build your catio, you will need to think of how your cat will get in and out of the catio. This could be through a window, door or even a cat door, but it should be easily accessible and large enough for your cat to fit through without struggling.
You will need to think about whether or not you want the entrance and exit to lock, and what works best for your household situation. If there are certain times you want your cat to remain indoors only (such as Guy Fawkes night when there are fireworks) you will need to find an entrance and exit that lock. A window might be your best option, as it is easy to open and close, and is the perfect size for a cat to use.
Make your measurements
Measuring the space that you are planning to use is one of the most important first steps to take when building a catio. You will need to measure the height of the wall that it will be built against, as well as how far across this wall the catio will stretch.
You will also need to measure the ground space you are planning on using, as this will help you choose the right amount of diamond mesh for the walls. You will need to decide on how big you would like to make the catio, as this will help you see how much timber you will need for the poles. Be sure to go to buy the materials with these measurements to save you from having to “guesstimate” and buy the incorrect amount.
Prime and place the parts
Once you have measured the space and bought the diamond mesh and timber for your catio, you will need to prime and cut the parts. This means sanding down the timber and painting them with a non-toxic paint so they last outdoors and cutting the mesh to the correct lengths for each side of the structure.
You will need to make sure that you have all of the necessary tools too, such as hammers, nails, drills, screws and so on. Priming the parts is important because it ensures that the catio will not be too damaged by weather and that your furbabies will not get splinters in their paws if they scratch the poles. You will need to ensure that there are no sharp edges of the diamond mesh sticking out so your cat cannot be injured by it.
Add some panache
We all know that cats enjoy the finer things in life. This means that once you have constructed your catio, you will need to fill it with items that your cats will enjoy. You can place shelves, steps, cat trees and even hammocks inside for you cat to lounge on and play with. You should base your decorating choices on your cat’s personality so that they have the perfect environment to suit their needs, as well as a few extra things to excite and delight them.