WHAT iS A CATIO?

A catio – or “cat patio” – is an outdoor enclosure that keeps pet cats and wildlife safe. Catios offer cats healthy exercise time as well as safety from outdoor hazards like cars, predators and poisons. It’s a win-win!

Cat enclosures come in many forms. DIY, store bought or custom built, window size to yard size, frugal and fun to fancy with flair! Furnish it creatively with old tree stumps and perches for climbing and scratching. Put your green thumb to work by adding cat-friendly plants. The possibilities are endless!

Need some ideas for your own catio? Support our mission by getting a guidebook! We now have the Catio Tour guidebooks from each of the past five years available for five bucks each! Get yours!

More resources can be found on our Catio Construction Resources page,  we're always posting catio ideas and all things cat on Facebook, and be sure to attend Portland's Annual Catio Tour!

“I’ve had cats for twenty years and I’ve lost at least two to coyotes. I can’t stand it when I see them bring in birds so I figure a catio is a win/win. They can’t get eaten up by coyotes and they can’t kill other little animals. I feel like they are really safe.”  ~ Carol

Cat + Patio = Catio!

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

Disease

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.

Traffic

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!


Catios can be simple or elaborate; inexpensive or extreme.

They have the common goal of keeping a cat safe while allowing outside time, but otherwise come in many different forms. Consider these design ideas then see below for a list of links to resources. We do not recommend any particular style or brand but hope to make it easier to keep Cats Safe at Home™!

  1. Cat-only catios can be fairly inexpensive to build, can be small, and can be built in an otherwise unused space.
  2. Cat and human shared catios can be transformed from an existing patio just by enclosing it with screen or wire or can be a new addition to your home. This option can also provide a great shaded, bug-free setting for people.
  3. Construction can be pre-made kits or fencing, DIY, or built by a hired handyman or contractor.
  4. Catio access can be through a window, door, or wall cut, and either direct or through a tunnel to another location (or add the tunnel just for fun!). You can also carry kitty to a free-standing feature.
  5. Cool features are limited only by space, weather, safety concerns, and creativity! Consider ramps, cat trees, and boulders for climbing; driftwood and posts for scratching; cat-safe plants for shade and catnip for enjoyment; and fountains and perches for relaxation. Some designs incorporate a litterbox to reduce odors indoors. And of course, if space allows, lounge chairs for humans to relax with their favorite felines!

Catio Construction Resources

A starter kit for your Catio building adventure!

We're doing as much research as possible to get you started on the right foot.

Below you'll find local builders to make your catio dream come true, DIY plans for the handy folks among us, materials, 

Catio Tour Guidebooks, images, videos and vision boards to help you pick your dream design.

We're always adding to this page!

 

Portland Area Catio Builders

Neil Kelly
Neil Kelly has Handyman Services providing skilled expertise & craftsmanship, including building catios! 
Contact: Jenn Harbick, (503) 335-9222
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We're grateful that Neil Kelly supports our mission with your purchase.  Use PromoCode: PDXCATIOTOUR

 Catio built by staff of Neil Kelly

Catio built by staff of Neil Kelly

ConstructionReConstruction
Contact: Jim Petrov, (503) 680-3681
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 Catio built by Jim Petrov, ConstructionReConstruction

Catio built by Jim Petrov, ConstructionReConstruction

Custom Catios
Contact: Michael Woltersdorf, (503) 819-1592
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 Catio built by Michael Woltersdorf, Custom Catios

Catio built by Michael Woltersdorf, Custom Catios


DIY Catio Plans

Catio SpacesBased in Seattle, Catio Spaces provides plans for custom and DIY catios. Their four DIY catio plans with step-by-step instructions range from $40-$70.

We're grateful that CatioSpaces supports our mission with your purchase. Use PromoCode: PDXCATIOTOUR

My Outdoor Plans: Free step-by-step, totally DIY, catio plans. Includes tools and supply lists.

This Old House: Free how-to guide from an old, familiar TV Show to create a screened-in window catio space that gives cats a breath of fresh air while keeping them close to home. Includes tools and supply lists. Recommended skill level: Moderate. Time to build: 2 days. Estimated cost: $490


Cat Fencing & Doors

Easy Pet Fence:  Choose among Kitty Corral Cat Fence System options which include a top to safeguard the cat from birds and other wildlife; starting at $719.

We're grateful that EasyPetFence supports our mission with your purchase. Use PromoCode: PDXCATIO

Purr...fect Fence: Purr...fect Cat Fence is the only fence for cats with a pivoting arched top (patented) to ensure your cats won't escape.

Pet Doors.com: Because cat-specific doors and flaps for your cat offer better protection and security for you and your cat. 

We're grateful that PetDoors supports our mission with your purchase. Use PromoCode: Cats Safe at Home


Catio Tour Brochure, Vision Boards, Videos & Images

 

Support us & get your digital copy of any previous year Catio Tour Brochure!

Check out this album of photos and this video from OPB from the 2016 Catio Tour. 

View our Flickr photo album of Portland catios

Create your Catio Vision Board with example catios on Pinterest: here, here and here!

 

 

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Note! We're currently researching products, builders, design idea sources and kits to add here. Stay Tuned!