We all have indoor cats that are just begging to go outside every day. They sit at the door just longing to feel the wind through their fur and the grass on their paws, waiting for the prime opportunity to sneak out of the crack of the door to go and explore. As an indoor cat owner, it is hard to not want to let your cat out to explore. It is every cat’s instinct whether inside or outdoor to explore and to be curious about all their surroundings.
My daughter, who has 4 cats who are all indoor, has explored many options to get her cats out and about. She has tried everything from a cat leash to letting them sit out on their second story balcony to free roam. After 3 successful escape attempts off the balcony from one of her four and finding him sunbathing on her neighbor’s patio furniture, a new solution was needed. After some research, the catio became a reoccurring theme and has gained some popularity within the last couple years. What is a catio? A catio (also known as a cat patio) is an outdoor structure that keeps your cats inside, and wildlife and birds safe from your cats.
Catios come in all forms and sizes. They range from home made to store bought attachments to your patio or a simple pop-up tent that can be placed in your yard. They can be attached to your deck, patio, window, or a free structure that is housed in your yard. There are catios that fit almost every cat living situation.
You might ask why a catio is needed. Why can’t I let my cat run around outside to their own accord? Whether we like it or not, cats (even our indoor cats) are very proficient at hunting birds. Cats are the number one threat to birds, killing over 2.4 billion of them a year in the US alone. Catios offer protection to wildlife and birds from your little killer. On the other side of things, the great outdoors can be damaging to indoor cats.
Cats can encounter a variety of threats when roaming around outside. The roads and cars are one of the biggest culprits we see around here. No one wants to see their family pet on the side of the road. A catio prevents them from running off to the areas we don’t want to. Another big issue that is seen with free roaming cats are injuries, diseases, and illness. Cats tend to act tougher than they are and pick fights with all animals including dogs, racoons, other cats, or their shadows. Giving them a safe space reduces risk of injury and illness, not to mention cats that have a familiar space reduces their stress levels. Cats can contract a variety of illnesses and parasites when roaming with include FIV (Feline Leukemia Virus Infection), pin worms, ticks, and rabies. The benefits not only include keeping your pet safe (which is the biggest thing) but your vet bill, which we all love keeping low.
All in all catios provide the best of both words for your furry feline friend. They get the stimulation and excitement of being outdoors, with the safety of being inside. They have the option of exploring a new space, the sun, the smells, the bird noises, without the risk of hurting themselves or other wildlife roaming around. If you have an indoor cat, I strongly recommend getting them a catio of some kind. My daughter has transformed her balcony from a cat escape free for all, to a safe space that all of her cats can enjoy throughout the day. Catios a purrfect for both you and your indoor cat!
The Beatrice Humane Society is hosting our first annual Weston Awards Event on July 15th. Get your tickets and join us for a night filled with fun, food, friends and furry good times! https://bit.ly/3tzer2y
First Published in Beatrice Daily Sun: https://beatricedailysun.com/opinion/columnists/getting-cats-out-and-about/article_e234e1a5-2bdd-5fe6-a3a7-630b791e9d19.html