Cat Patios and Houses for Outdoor Cats
The debate continues: Should your cat be kept indoors never to be allowed outdoors? The argument can be made that cats need and deserve the chance to enjoy the outdoor atmosphere. Conversely, outdoor cats, whether they be feral or tame, or abandoned and, therefore, homeless, need protective shelter from harsh conditions. Fortunately for both indoor and outdoor scenarios, there are successful solutions.
Enclosures for Indoor Cats
There is no debate about the dangers that exist in the open outdoors for cats. From the weather to road traffic to the risk of predation to the exposure to chemicals and pesticides ubiquitously found all over our lands today, cats are vulnerable. The fact remains, indoor cats outlive their outdoor counterparts by an average of 10 years.
The Catio: A Cat Patio for Your Indoor Cat
While not a new concept, the cat patio, or Catio, is gaining popularity after being spotlighted on the hit show Animal Planet as well as receiving featured focus in The New York Times. Essentially, the Catio ensures a cat's safety within an enclosure either bought or built and extending from the house or apartment dwelling allowing the indoor cat an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors within a controlled environment.
Catios vary in their form and structure while possessing similar features. They must be escape-proof, screened enclosures. They permit an indoor cat the opportunity to venture outside safely whether in the form of a simple window extension, a secured balcony, a deck, a porch or extending outside into the yard resembling a wildlife rehab center. Between the exercise and natural excitement, cats enjoy the mental stimulation being outdoors provides.
Features of the Catio may include:
- Enclosed walkways
- Enclosed spaces for greater protection
- Scratching posts
- A bed
- A place reserved for feeding
- A roof or tarp covering to protect from the rain
Shelters for Outdoor Cats
There are numerous reasons a cat ends up being homeless, and they deserve the same amount of compassion that any homeless creature deserves. Once the warm season subsides, the need for a warm, dry shelter that is also safe from the winds becomes critical.
Consider the Long Term
A default option for outdoor shelter is the cardboard box with a rug, towel or blanket placed inside. In more moderate climates, this structure might suffice. However, in the rain, the construct won't hold up and the fabric is susceptible to mold and mildew. Finally, a box wears out rather quickly just from exposure. Whatever temporary protection a box provides means the cat will soon be exposed and left unprotected.
There are ways to use converted furniture, such as cabinets or enclosed tables with or without doors. The most significant advantage is the material of which they are made that will last longer than cardboard. A good outdoor cat house is constructed of wood.
Qualities of a Good House for Outdoor Cats
Thinking ahead and contemplating the safety of the cat, the outdoor house should have the following elements:
- Elevated base far enough off the round to avoid puddling or pooling water
- An opening big enough for a cat but too small for a dog or predatory animal to be able to get in
- Interior space that is not much larger than the cat to help generate maximum warmth
- Placement away from the onslaught of prevailing winds, which typically emanate from a northeasterly direction
Top 5 Routes for "Cat Patios and Houses for Outdoor Cats"
- Animalplanet.com An original source of information on the Catio with advice for the do-it-yourselfer. These structures are basic and should not scare off the novice woodworker. It comprises a simple frame, some screening and hardware.
- Catiodesigns.com A highly promotional yet very informative site that offers excellent examples and images to explore possible Catio options.
- Boredpanda Boredpanda is a website which is designed around helping people find great projects they can perform both indoors at out. This article shows some glorious displays of cat patios.
- Catiospaces This website is designed around helping people with both do it yourself catio products as well as premade cat enclosures to make sure your furry feline is having a safe and good time outdoors.
- Amazon.com Aside from the price reductions, particularly for Prime members, Amazon is not only a great source of what is out there on the market already built, but the wealth of customer comments are invaluable when assessing the worth of a particular purchase.