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.
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.
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.
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.
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.