The Washington Post recently did a piece exploring the rise of the outdoor “catio,” They even put out a call for readers to submit photos of their own. Cat lovers from all over the USA, POUNCED!
Several readers explained they built the screened-in enclosures to protect their cats from predators and other hazards. With many, though, confessed to creating catios purely to give their pets pleasure.
Below are just some of the submissions chosen by the folks at The Washinton Post, as their purr-sonal favorites.
Where: Portsmouth, R.I.
Cats: Daisy and Marigold
“Last year, after I put down the last of a tribe I had for years, I found these two young ones on Craigslist. I can tell you in one word why I built my catio: coyotes. Lost more than one outdoor cat to those creatures but I could never make a cat just an indoor cat.”
Where: Edmonds, Wash.
Cats: Sammy, Tucker, Preston, Grant, Tory, Lenni, Maddi and Jessi
“We had our catio built because we wanted our cats to be able to experience the outdoors, but our area has raccoons, opossums, coyotes and other predators. The catio gives our cat family the opportunity to spend an unlimited time outside without supervision.”
David and Laura W.
Cats: Boo Radley and Scout
“We recently adopted two cats from a local shelter. It was important to us to allow our cats some freedom to enjoy the outdoors while keeping them safe from cars and predators. (Even convicted felons get to walk in the yard.) A cat coop seemed the answer and a catwalk out to a tree seemed a natural extension.”
Where: Pasadena, Calif.
Cats: Kelpie and Finn
“Because of the drought, there are many many coyotes in my neighborhood, at all times of the day. So to keep the cats safe but give them the stimulation of being outside, I had a friend design and build the catio. They love it!”
Where: Los Angeles and Tucson
Cats: Toes-2, Smoky and Pima
“The catio in Los Angeles was built at [our previous home], The Pilot House, in 2014. Our cats learned to scale the chain-link fence we erected to exclude coyotes, and [one cat] became a victim of one before we built the catio. Even after building the Los Angeles catio, we allowed our cats out in the daytime. Tiger-Toes did not come home one afternoon in February 2015, and had been killed by coyotes.
“The catio in Tucson was built in 2016, seven months after we moved here. It was imperative that our cats must be 100 percent indoor because here there are not only coyotes, but bobcats and possibly even mountain lions (though we haven’t seen the latter yet). The catio in Tucson was built for Flynn and Smoky. Flynn died of an osteosarcoma in April 2016, so we adopted two brother kittens in July. The Tucson catio is now accessible 24/7 through a pet door.”
Where: Portland, Ore.
Cats: Zoey, Jingles and Lucy
“Initially I purchased a pre-fabricated chicken coop because I inherited two senior cats from a friend who passed away and needed an immediate home for them. I had already planned on building one for my indoor-only cats, so just built the catio onto the coop. It keeps them all safe…my last cat that went outdoors unenclosed was killed by a dog.”
Where: Portland, Ore.
“Having been a volunteer for Portland Audubon’s Wildlife Care Center since 2004 and seeing that over 40 percent of our bird intakes are cat related (cat-caught injuries, deaths or abandonment because parent killed), I would not dream of having an outdoor cat. Tucked a bird feeder off of the end of the catio and Suki has her own outdoor TV, lots of vitamin D, and a variety of perches from which to choose.”