What is a catio? A catio is a patio for your cat. Why would you need one? Why not? Your furry feline would enjoy some outside time. For many cat owners, the idea of letting their cat out of the house to explore is terrifying. So many things could happen. That is where a catio or outside enclosure would come in handy. Cats need fresh air and some stimulation where they can explore behaviors that can get them in trouble inside. Having a place where you can let them out safely is a great idea. It takes the worry from allowing them outside.
Benefits of Letting Your Cat Outside
- Outdoor cats have more opportunities to do physical activities, like climbing, running, and exploring. Your cat has less chance of gaining weight if they are free to roam or explore a chosen outdoor space.
- Your cat can engage in natural behavior like scratching. These actions are something we don’t appreciate in the house as cats can and will scratch furniture, curtains, door frames, etc.
- Your cat can explore more expansive spaces and encounter new sights, smells, tastes, textures, and experiences.
Risks of Letting Your Cat Outside
- Busy roads and cars are one of the most significant outside risks to your cat.
- Cats can hide under the hood of a car.
- Your cat can wander and get lost.
- Exposure to infectious diseases. Fighting with other cats. They can contract Feline Leukemia, Feline AIDS, abscesses, and upper respiratory infections, among others.
- Toxic substances. Slug pellets, anti-freeze, rat poison.
- Parasites such as ticks, fleas, and worms.
- Poisonous garden plants and flowers. Lilies and poinsettias are two of these.
- Getting trapped somewhere.
Letting your cat outside has many benefits, but also some hazards you would probably like to avoid. These hazards are where a catio or other enclosure could come in handy. They offer a haven for your furry feline and peace of mind for you.
Kinds of Catios and Enclosures
Enclosures for your cat can be anything from a small window box type to huge outside pens with tops to keep your cat safe. Some are DIY made from wood and chicken wire. Others can be purchased. We have one of those chicken coops you can bring home and put together for three of our girls. It’s perfect for them. There is even room for a cat box and their food and water dispensers. The best ready to assemble enclosures I’ve found is from this company, Omlet. They have a UK and a US site. I like the fact that there is a predator barrier you can place at the bottom of these. It flares outward from the pen and keeps anything from digging under to get to your cat.
This model is so that you can open the door and step in. That way, you can spend time outside with your cat in their secure area.
This image shows the shorter version—same space at the tall model, in all but height.
Catio Outdoor Cat Enclosures can provide a large, secure area for your cat to enjoy the outdoors safely. This pen is perfect for those who want to be able to let their cats explore without the dangers lurking out there. These pens available from Omlet are larger than many other enclosures. These enclosures are large enough for you to join your kitties for some playtime. Omlet enclosures are made constructed from strong, durable steel mesh. Perfect for all weather conditions. There are also covers you can buy to keep the sun out, protect from rain, or make a private area that’s less exposed. These enclosures are available in two heights. Tall at 6.76ft or a shorter model at 3.81ft. Runs are also available for your pen. Eglu runs allow you to connect enclosures. With these and other pieces available, you could make your cats a playground.
The door lock on these pens uses gravity, so they drop into a locked position on their own. You don’t have to remember to slide it into the locked place like you would with a traditional lock. You can also lock and unlock the door from inside as well. No having to leave the door unlocked because you went inside the pen. It’s a great safety feature as there’s no worry of escape since the door can’t accidentally swing open.
One great feature I found on the enclosures at Omlet is that they have what they call an anti-tunnel skirt. It flares outward from the kennel, keeping predators from digging into the pen. I love this option as some of us live where predators see our cats as a great menu item.
You can also extend your enclosure with numerous options. Omlet sells sections that you can add to your already existing pen—no having to purchase a bigger enclosure. You can add to the height, width, and length of your pen.
Cat Fence Enclosures
What are cat fence enclosures? They are fencing made to deter your cat from climbing over your already existing garden fence or wall. A cat fence is a section of wire mesh that attaches to your existing fence. The top curves over your garden, leaving it impossible for your cat to climb out and get into trouble. This type of fence may be the way to go if you don’t want to buy a cage-type enclosure, or you have a small space. If a cat can’t find a way through, they will climb over. With a cat fence enclosure, you have an additional piece of mesh that fixes to the top of the fence and this stops the cat scaling the fence. The addition of the cat fence will help you secure your cat in the yard or garden , and they won’t be able to escape.
The balcony pen is made from the same material as the other enclosures from Omlet, except it’s made to fit balconies, providing you with an escape-proof place for your kitty. There is a selection of sizes so that you can make a pen that fits your patio perfectly. The balcony enclosure is perfect for those living in the city or any multi-apartment building.
It is made from the same steel mesh as the other pens. Your cat will love feeling the breeze in its fur and enjoy watching the activity around the neighborhood.
This pen measures 3ft front to back, which makes it narrow enough for most balconies. At its highest point, it measures 6.8ft high, which allows you room to join your kitty to share snacks or snuggles. The pen is extendable in length to 12ft. You can email Omlet if you’d like a more extended enclosure. When you build your cat balcony, be sure to use the appropriate metal fixings found in any DIY store.
You can furnish your enclosure with not only furniture and toys for your cat, but you can place a chair, a bean bag chair, whatever so that you may spend time with your furry friend inside the pen. You can add almost anything you wish.
These pens and all the things that go with them are some of the best I’ve seen for cat enclosures. What I like about them is they are expandable and customizable. You could build your cat or cats a kingdom on your balcony.
Window box enclosures are what you think. You build or purchase a pen that fits against a window in your home. The open window becomes the opening for your cat to gain access to their window box. They can enjoy the outside just by stepping out of the window.
I like the idea of building or purchasing an enclosure set up on a deck or patio so that your cat can exit and enter through a door, window, or cat flap. For a long time, we had an enclosure that our cats accessed through a cat door. They could go from being inside the house to outside in the kennel area on their own. We didn’t have to take them out. If you love building things, a DIY cat enclosure could be a fun project. You can make it as big as you like and customize it. All it takes is some wood for a frame, chicken wire, or what they call hardware cloth in the US or wire mesh in the UK. There are sites with catio plans you can purchase as well to help you if you are unsure where to start.
As you can tell, we are excited about Omlet and its products. They have an awesome thing going. With their cat enclosures, you can start small and add on. You can extend your enclosure height, width, and length. There are tons of accessories from covers that will keep the weather at bay and protect from the hot sun. These covers can be put on the top of your enclosure or attached to the side for shade. You can add other accessories to the pen as well. Things that your cat loves and others that you would enjoy. That way, you can spend time with your cat.
With Persians and other breeds that are kept indoors most of the time it’s great to have the option to let them out in their natural habitat but in a safe and controlled environment, this way you aren’t worrying about your cat escaping the garden.
I hope this guide will help you decide on whether you’d like to allow your cat outside in a safe and secure place and from our research Omlet is the way to go for quality products for your home or apartment.
Do you have a catio or an outdoor cat enclosure? How do you find it? Let me know in the comments below.