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March 15th is National Catio Day! This is one holiday we know our feline patients would approve of. (Granted, Fluffy may show her appreciation in some rather odd ways, but that’s another topic.) As you may know, we always advise keeping kitties inside. Catios are a great way to let your pet enjoy some fresh air and sunshine without the risks. A local vet discusses Fluffy’s outdoor kitty pad in this article.
If you tell your kitty that she is safer indoors, because of the dangers posed by things like cars, weather, traffic, parasites, chemicals, and wild animals, she’ll probably just yawn and lick her paw. Regardless of your pet’s opinion on the matter, she really is better off indoors. Catios can be a great compromise, though. They let your feline pal get some stimulation and enjoy a change of scenery without compromising her safety. The best of both worlds!
An enclosed porch or patio is a great spot for a catio, but those aren’t the only options. You can use a spare room, sun room, or even a bright corner. There are no official rules or laws here: the point is to just give your pet a taste of the great outdoors. Choose a spot that gets a lot of light, preferably one with a good view. For extra purrs, put a birdfeeder up where your kitty can see it.
If there was a single ‘must-have’ for catio spaces, it would be a cat tower. You can buy one, but you can also go the DIY route and upcycle a stepladder or metal storage rack. You may also want to add some pet-safe plants, which will also give your place a nice welcoming look. Some good options are Spider plants, Boston ferns, Rubber tree plants, and Areca palms. You can find a full list of both safe and unsafe plants at the ASPCA website here. Catios can also double as great reading/yoga spaces: add some cute pieces for yourself as well.
If you want to go even further in pleasing your feline overlord, you can opt for an enclosure. You can attach these to existing windows or doors, without having to make any structural changes. Look online for products or, if you’re going the DIY route, plans. For enclosure, we would recommend choosing a level area, one that gets a mix of sun and shade.
As your local animal clinic, we are dedicated to offering ‘purrfect’ veterinary care. Call us anytime!