Building a Catio: What You Need to Know

If you have cats and live in the city where they have no space or if you live where wild animals may hurt the cats, you may want to add a catio to your home. It is a fairly new idea in the world of real estate that has taken off like gangbusters.

 

Dimensions

The dimensions you choose for your cat’s porch is relative to the size of your home and your budget. Once you carefully analyze those two things you can move ahead with the design.

 

Fancy or Simple

If you choose to make your catio a small playground, you may have to hire a professional. In my case, I simply added to an existing patio. I had a friend who enclosed an area with just screen and a few two by fours. My catio has a faux tree for climbing, which I found at a thrift store. It also has some shelf seats. They are mounted to the pole that joins the patio screens to each other and are about three feet off the ground. I used plywood covered with a soft padding and cotton cloth. It was placed on two bookshelf supports, and I actually super glued the board to the shelf supports.

 

Association Rules

Due to where I live, and the association rules, I was not able to make any new structural changes. I merely changed up what already existed. I have bamboo blinds that provide afternoon shade for cat naps. I had them up before I made my outside area a catio.

 

Screen Choices

Screening comes in different weights with different durability levels. I did not have to add any new screens, but did talk to the man at the hardware store about screen selection. What you pick has to do with the personality of your cats and the depth of your wallet. I have older cats that have passed the clawing and climbing years, so the standard screen on my existing area was sufficient. Before you let the felines onto the porch for the first time, check for tears and open spaces where kitty may be able to escape from when exploring.

 

Tiles and Rugs

My outdoor area has Spanish tiles that the cats love to stretch out on. They stay cool and I highly recommend them when you select your own flooring. I bought a few inexpensive rugs and a scratching post, as well. I did not add the litter box to the porch, as my cats are older and like the box where it has been for the last fifteen years.

 

Plants

If you do add plants for the full jungle effect, make sure that the plants are not poisonous to animals as many of them are. You can find a list of what is bad on the Internet. My kitties love their fake palm tree with attached tassels for playing with. I didn’t need to add any real plants to make them happy.

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Starter Homes

The definition of a starter home is very personal. At 56 years old, I am still living in what some may call a starter home. While my real estate is important to me, I live in a very expensive area and I am often away from my home. Small seemed the way to go for me. Look at these considerations, as you decide if a starter home is for you even if you are not just starting out.

 

Criteria

In the past, people thought of the starter home as a small first purchase that a family or couple would move out of in the future. The move could be due to family size increasing or an increase in income.

 

What do You need?

I live alone with a few pets; therefore, a smaller home fits me perfectly. I was more concerned about the location and the size of my porch. Because of this, I was willing to give up interior footage.  How much room do you need and can you and your needs fit into the smaller starter home?

 

Income

Are you in a field that will give you quick salary increases? If this is the case, then you can afford to go bigger. My fields, teaching and writing, stay very stagnant as far as income growth. I knew I would need to stay were I was buying for a while.

 

Location

I live in a very small, but very nice home in a super expensive area. I am fine with this, as there are a plethora of other small homes in the area. At one time, many of them had been guest cottages and garage apartments. The allure and mystique of my area called to me. The only way I was moving there was to go small. I am happy with this. Some people have serious issues with living in the smallest home in a neighborhood. I do not.

 

Family

Do you want to have six kids quickly? If so the starter home has positives and negatives for you. You will be able to save money, but if those babies come quickly, you will have to move quickly. Moving costs can add up. Look at your goals and see what works for you.

 

Job Movement

Are you going to have to hop around a lot in your job before you can get some seniority and stability in location? If so, the starter home may be just for you. You can save money, and you can be secure in knowing that people will always be out there purchasing these smaller homes.

 

Investment

Starter homes can be an investment. You can buy small, fix them up some, and then sell them. You do not want to go to crazy with the improvements, as they must match the home. A pool and BBQ area larger than the home may actually detract from the home. The starter home may be a good investment for you. The market for these homes is always fluid and active.

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