Building the Purrfect Outdoor Catio!

With some of us finding that we have some extra time on our hands, you might be looking for some DIY activities to do at home. Building an outdoor cat enclosure could be the perfect way to show your feline friends some extra love and keep your hands busy while staying home!


Catios are the purrfect way to get your cat outdoors to enjoy some fresh air with a space of their own while ensuring they remain safely enclosed and away from the outdoor dangers, as well as keeping them away from harming birds and wildlife. So are you ready to build your catio? Here are some of our tips to help make it the purrfect oasis for your feline friend!


Choosing a Location

Space

It’s important to take into account the space you’re working with when building your catio so you can make the most of the area you’re working with. Cats love vertical spaces and climbing so remember to build with height when possible and add platforms, shelves, and perches. If you’re limited for space, building a window box catio is a great option for a little outdoor sanctuary.



Cat Access

Before you begin building, it’s important to consider how your cat will access the enclosure. Connecting it from the indoors to the outdoors is ideal, because then it allows your cat to freely move in and out as it pleases, possibly even when you’re not home. If you build your enclosure close to a window, you can simply connect the space by opening the window. Otherwise, you can connect it with a cat flap, a tunnel to the catio or you may need to walk your cat to the outdoor space if you can’t connect it.


Sunshine

Cats LOVE basking in the sun, so remember to have a good balance of sunny spots as well as some shady locations for when they need to cool down.


Views

Your cat will love a spot where there are plenty of stimulating views like being able to watch you and the family when you’re outdoors, views of the garden and its wildlife. This gives your cat plenty of stimulation while enjoying some fresh air.



Building The Structure

Walls & Roof

To ensure your cat remains safely enclosed in its new catio and your hard work lasts a lifetime, fencing wire is a great option for the durability and safety of your catio enclosure and still allows your cat to feel like it’s out in the open. Another option is to use cat netting. Make sure your catio has a solid roof to provide your cat shelter from the elements.


Flooring

If you’ve built your catio over an existing deck or pavers, you’ve already got your flooring sorted. If not, grass is perfectly fine as well as popping down some pavers for a dry floor space. Consider whether or not your grass will get muddy because you might not want your cat tracking muddy paws back into your home.


Interior Design & Decorations

Here comes the fun part! Making your catio fun and comfortable for your feline friend.

Ramps

Building ramps vertically to other platforms is a great way to give your cat different viewpoints and elevated spots to view the outside world. This is also a great way to encourage your cat to move around and exercise by climbing around the enclosure.

Carpeted Corner Shelves

Your cat will love a carpeted corner shelf to snooze and laze around on, giving them a great vantage point to enjoy their views while also basking in comfort.


Toys & Entertainment

Remember to include plenty of activities to stimulate your cat and to encourage exercise. This may include scratching posts, toys, tunnels, and possibly a bird feeder outside the enclosure so your cat can watch birds while not harming them.


Comfort

When it comes to cats, comfort and relaxation is number one! Remember to include a comfy bed or space for them to snuggle in when they are in their enclosure. Cats love dark and cozy spaces, so an enclosed bed space could be ideal for some variety in their enclosure when it comes to relaxing.


Plants

Decorating your catio with feline safe plants can bring more nature into the area while also keeping your cat healthy. Remember to avoid plants that are toxic to cats and just add in cat-safe plants such as catnip and some grasses.


Water

Remember to keep a water bowl or fountain in your cat enclosure at all times so they always have access to water whenever it’s needed.


Litter Tray

Keeping a litter tray in your catio as well as inside can help to minimise smells indoors and also gives your cat another space to do their business without a crowd!


We hope this has inspired you to get your DIY on and try your hand at making your very own catio at home. If you already have a catio or you’ve made one after reading this article, we would love to see your photos - you can share them with us on our Facebook Page under the community section.


You can visit https://www.tassiecat.com/containment for more details and ideas.


Happy DIYing Feline Lovers!


Check out this photo for some serious catio INSPO!


© Tasmanian Cat Management Project 2019

TassieCat is a state-wide initiative to promote and facilitate responsible cat ownership and management in Tasmania. The project is supported by Cradle Coast Authority NRM, Kingborough Council, and NRM North through funding from the Tasmanian Government.