Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
Keep Your Feline Friend Happy With a Catio
If you’re a cat fancier who loves to keep up with trends in the world of pets, you might have heard about the “catio.” Like a patio, catios provide access to the outdoors for our meow pals, but in a way that’s safe.
Keep reading to learn more about why a catio is so cool and how you can provide your loveable friend with hours of entertainment and fresh air.
What is a Catio?
A catio is an outdoor structure that is either “stand-alone” or built into a porch, window, or door (using an access point similar to a dog door). The enclosure is designed to allow your cat access to the outdoors without compromising safety. The design ensures your cat cannot escape and that other animals cannot get into the enclosure and endanger your pet.
Catios can be made as large or as small as you want. Some offer just a short runway suitable for your cat, while others may be large enough to accommodate a few chairs for family members. Unlike a screened in patio, catios are designed with access points for your kitty. The materials these enclosures are made of are often sturdier than regular porch screening.
Catios are typically made of wood, galvanized wire, mesh, and other types of escape-proof materials. Floors can be simple grass/sod or made out of pavers, deck material, or whatever else suits you and your kitty. Most pet owners also choose to add an array of cat-friendly activities, including perches, cat trees, and lots of toys.
Catios Benefit Cats (and Other Animals)
One of the chief benefits of a catio is that it allows your cat to experience nature without all the risks. Indoor cats are known to live longer, healthier lives. It’s estimated that an indoor cat will often reach 17 years of age or older while most outdoor cats live only 2-7 years.
However, we recognize that cats also enjoy an increase in exercise and mental enrichment when they can experience forms of outdoor play. This is why catios are the purr-fect solution.
Some of the other benefits include:
- Keeping your pet safe from wild animals, including predators like coyotes who often prey on outdoor cats
- Providing fresh air and sunshine
- Keeping your cat mentally occupied with all the sights, sounds, and smells of nature
- Reducing the number of birds killed each year by domestic cats
- Keeping your cat safe from automobile accidents, poisoning, and other injuries that commonly occur when allowed to roam
- Increasing your pet’s daily exercise (especially when you add places to climb)
A Word to the Wise
Even though catios are a great way to allow your cat outdoors, they do not protect your cat from contagious disease or parasites. Even indoor kitties require core vaccinations and parasite control since they can become exposed through any interaction with an animal (such as through the screen). Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes carrying heartworm also have no problem getting inside our homes.
To assess your pet’s vaccine and parasite prevention needs, please call the team at Rocklin Ranch for an appointment. If you happen to build a catio, we’d love to see pictures!