What some people don’t realize is the positive impact catios can have and how simply they can be made!
The benefits of catios are nearly endless and run the gamut from prevention to enrichment. Let’s start with prevention and welfare. Kitty is vulnerable to many hazards when unsupervised outdoors.
The scary stuff: Disease, traffic, predators and poisons
Cat fights can lead to diseases. These include feline leukemia, feline AIDS, IP (feline infectious peritonitis), feline distemper, and upper respiratory infections. Save yourself the vet bills and ensure your cat's health.
It goes without saying that cars are a great danger in and of themselves. Add in ‘distracted driving’ and the fact that indoor/outdoor cats have an average range of several city blocks and you have an unpredictable, dangerous, and easily preventable mix.
Predators & Poison
Injury or worse can come from fighting with raccoons, hawks, and of course, our flourishing coyote community! Mice & rats are often the target of pest control. Our kitties are likely smart enough to not digest the poisons set in traps in alleyways, however, the poisons are often designed to ensure the rodent brings their fate back to the nest. This is where the danger for our kitties persists.
Let’s get to the good stuff!
Enrichment & Exercise
Fresh air! Nature’s beauty! A kitty hike or, more likely, a catnap in the sun! We relish the opportunity to relax outside and so do our cats. Catios allow for the expansion of an indoor cat’s world to include experiencing the full spectrum of the change of seasons: sights, smells, feels! Kitty will love you forever. For an indoor/outdoor cat or former feral, the catio is a happy middle ground in providing the outdoor living they may desire in a worry free environment.
Birds & Wildlife
More than 40% of the 3,000 animals brought to the Audubon Society of Portland’s Wildlife Care Center receive their wounds from cats and of those wounded, 16% survive. Portland is a natural habitat for a menagerie of rodents & birds – migratory and resident. We have endangered species, threatened species, and a steep decline in general bird population. When a safe outdoor enclosure is provided, you’re doing *so* much more than letting kitty get some fresh air! Not only are you spoiling kitty a little, but you’re providing them with a safer life and doing your part for the welfare of our remarkable local wildlife.
What kind of Cats Would Benefit from a Catio?
Fussy, happy, fat, skinny, skittish, confident, old, young, sassy, funny, spunky, snarky, and lovey (all!)
Any other reasons I should want one?
You’re not convinced yet?
What if I’m not very handy at building things?
There are many online videos demonstrating DIY catios, but if you're the kind of person that doesn't own a hammer there are options! Pre-built, store-bought window units and portable structures are available in stores and online through various outlets. There are several handymen and builders in the Portland area who have been building catios, too!