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 have a 5 Year Anniversary version as well as individual guidebooks from each of the past 6 years. 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!

Catios can be simple or elaborate; inexpensive or extreme. They have the common goal of keeping your cat safe while allowing outside time, but otherwise come in many different forms. We’ve gathered a list of resources for you to get started. We do not recommend any particular style or brand but hope to make it easier to keep Cats Safe at Home™!

Scroll through full list below or jump to your topic on this page using these links:

Portland Area Catio Builders

Cat Fencing, Doors, Screening & Wood

Catio DIY and Custom Plans

Premade and Custom Cat Enclosure Kits

Catio Tour Guidebooks, Vision Boards, Videos & Images

Portland Area Catio Builders

 2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

ConstructionReConstruction: The Petrovs build catios believing every cat's home should express uniqueness and individuality with comfort and safety assured with the goal of you and your cat being perfectly adapted to the structure, character, home style, outdoor area and setting. *Licensed in Oregon, only* . Contact Jim and Anna Petrov, (503) 680-3681 send email  |  see sample

 

Custom Catios: Contact: Michael Woltersdorf, (503) 819-1592 send emailsee sample

Neil Kelly: Neil Kelly has Handyman Services providing skilled expertise & craftsmanship, including building catios. Mention the Catio Tour! We're grateful that Neil Kelly supports our mission with your purchase.  Contact Jenn Harbick, (503) 335-9222 send email  |  see sample

Cedar Creations: Contact 971-208-7060 send email

Brad Vandehey: Contact (503) 260-5849


Cat Fencing, Doors, Screening & Wood

 2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

PetDoors.com: Wide variety of cat-specific doors and flaps for any entry type you can think of: screen, glass, walls, sliding doors - you name it! We're grateful that PetDoors supports our mission through their Flaps for Fido program. With your purchase, when you select Cats Safe at Home you receive a 10% discount, and PetDoors.com will donate 10% to our mission. 
Use PromoCode: Cats Safe at Home

 2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

Easy Pet Fence:  The Kitty Corral Cat Fence from EasyPetFence.com is DIY cat fencing available in heights 6 and 7.5’ and offers superior protection against external predators while providing safe, easy outdoor time. We're grateful that EasyPetFence supports our mission!
Receive a 10% discount when you use PromoCode: PDXCATIO

 

 2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

Purr...fect Fence: Purrfect Fence has protected nearly 40,000 cats for individuals, vet clinics, rescues, and shelters across the globe (on every continent except Antarctica!)  Purrfect Fence offers patented fencing systems, catios, and enclosures to ensure your cat(s) are safe and happy outdoors! We're grateful that PurrfectFence supports our mission. When you use the promo code, you will receive a 5% discount and Purrfect Fence will donate 10% back to our mission. Use PromoCode: CATIOTOUR

 

Habitat for Humanity ReStore: Support the community and shop reclaimed building materials at one of 4 Portland metro locations.

ReBuilding Center: Build the community through reuse and shop reclaimed building materials at the Rebuilding Center.


Catio DIY and Custom Plans

 2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

Catio Spaces offers both custom designs and a variety of DIY Catio Plans that take the guesswork out of building a catio for window, deck, patio or garden.  Do-it-yourself plans start at $39.95 and include a materials list, step-by-step instructions and diagrams for a successful project to complement your home and your feline’s fancy. 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 DIY guide to create a screened-in window catio space. Includes step by step images, a cut list, tools and supply lists.

DIY Portable Catio: Local handyman, Mike Peroni, created, built, and donated the portable catio you see us with at trade shows and posted on our facebook page! Here are the plans for that catio!

Restore Habitat for Humanity, Portland: The Business Relations Manager at Portland's Restore made a catio out of found materials, then a lucky raffle winner took it home! Check it out!


Premade and Custom Cat Enclosure Kits

 2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

2018 Catio Tour Sponsor!

CDE Animal Cages: CDE Animal Cages has been hand making quality catios since 1984. Offering the highest quality in both materials and craftsmanship, they have very happy clients who have enjoyed their catio for 30 years or more. Family owned and operated, they can design, create, install and make all your catio dreams come true. We're grateful that CDE Animal Cages supports our mission with your purchase. Use PromoCode: PDXCATIOTOUR

 

Habitat Haven has pre-designed cat enclosure kits, build your own enclosures, and a fancy RV series for kitty life on the road.

Kittywalk enclosures has a variety of lawn, deck and patio designs to choose from.

Purrfect Catios features 3 DIY kits as well as custom design catios.

Cats with an Altitude has developed window enclsures, called Kitty Peepers, which come in a few different sizes and can be quickly installed and removed.

CD Pets has various enclosure kits to choose from as well as other indoor enrichment products.


Catio Tour Guidebooks, Vision Boards, Videos & Images

  2017 Catio Tour Guidebook

2017 Catio Tour Guidebook

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

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!

 

 

 

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