Tsavo and Zerah are two Bengal kittens that were saved from the street and are an absolute pleasure to look at. Sadly, Tsavo was born blind, and even after the fundraiser and the subsequent surgery to remove the cataracts from his eyes, he is far-sighted. This means that he won’t be able to enjoy nature as other cats, so his owners decided to help in an imaginative way – they build a garden catio (patio) for Tsavo, and he seems to be liking it pretty much!
The owners wanted their cats to enjoy the outside safely, as there are many dangers looming in the wild, especially for the far-sighted Tsavo. Any enclosure they took a look at costed a small fortune, so eventually they decided to use their own garden and make the enclosure on their own, and the results are stunning.
The catio took about 2 weeks to complete and the cats are absolutely loving it. They made plans for the Garden Pergola Cat Enclosure for people to follow, with all the money going to the local Humane Society. What a great way to keep your cats safe and still allow them to enjoy nature.
Take a look at Tsavo’s story in pictures below:
First, a finished view of the garden and catio, with Tsavo posing:
Here’s Tsavo when the couple took him in. Notice the milky pupils.
Tsavo’s cataracts covered 90% of one eye and 100% of the other. He was essentially blind, and it was all because of a birth defect.
The doctors recommended Tsavo gets the surgery when he’s 10 months old, so the couple waited. Here’s a pic of him post-surgery. The surgery went great, and Tsavo could finally see. However, he is still far-sighted, which is why his owners decided not to let him roam free outside.
Here’s how the enclosure was built. The frame is actually a simple garden pergola, mounted on a foundation of bricks. 2x4s keep the pergola from wobbling and in place.
They bought a window-seated cat door with shelves, which is now used by the cats to enter and exit the enclosure. The wood was painted to match the pergola.
Deer netting was used to enclose the pergola – it was easier to work with than rabbit netting and is more durable as well.
Here’s a view of the roof and the zip ties which keep the netting in place.
At the end, they added perches from precut wood rounds which the cats obviously love.
A cute picture of Tsavo between the final few pics.
Here’s one of the perches before being painted. It was notched in the pergola frame with underside angle brackets.
Installing the door which the cats use to enter and exit. The windows allow light into the enclosure and give a clear view of the cats.
The completed enclosure, with Tsavo and Zerah enjoying the sun 😊
Teaching the cats how to use the door was an interesting experience with a reward system.
After the cats got a few days in the enclosure, they were definitely happier and less stressed.
Here’s another picture of Tsavo enjoying nature 😊