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Want to Let Your Cat Outside Safely?

The following article was written by Heather Faraid Drennan.

If you or someone you know has cats, you know that windows are even better than “cat TV.” Cats crave the stimulation provided by birds, squirrels, and interesting outdoor scents, but if allowed to roam outside unattended, they are in danger of getting hit by cars, catching diseases, or being tortured by cruel humans. Using a little chicken wire and imagination, however, guardians can give their cats a safe space to experience the great outdoors firsthand by building a “catio.”

Catios range from simply enclosing and cat-proofing an existing balcony to elaborate constructions featuring walkways among the treetops. Not into DIY projects? Check out Kittywalk instead. Remember: if you do decide to construct a catio, remember that cats should never be left without shelter from the elements, and they always need a source of fresh water and access to a clean litter box.

If you don’t have catio space, consider using one of the many other options that give cats a chance to get outside, including leash-training and cat strollers, as well as window perches for times when they must be indoors.

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  • Sandra Murillo says:

    I was just discussing this issue with my mother. Our kitten wants to come out to the front of our yard because he sees our dogs going there and wants to join them. I pick him up and walk with him there so he can get fresh air, but I decided I will have to put up a fence all around so he will not run away. He also goes on our daily walks with us, but he does wear a harness and is carried in a baby carrier; he doesn’t walk. Thanks for the article!

  • Renata says:

    We have a catio in our garden: we built it for ou six (then seven) cats, and at the beginning I thought it would be ugly. Not at all! We have a table, a parasol, a bench and we have all our meals there when it’s warm. Along the sides there are shelves a different levels, up to the very top, an our cats are very happy to climb. We have a lot of plants and a lilac tree outside has its branches protruding inside on the shelves.
    When we adopted a puppy, two years ago, we also discovered how handy it is for a quick poop or pee without having to chase him in the garden, espcially at night before going to bed. It’s a safe and nice place used and fully enjoyed by our entire multi-species family :-)

  • Renata says:

    We have a catio in our garden: we built it for ou six (then seven) cats, and at the beginning I thought it would be ugly. Not at all! We have a table, a parasol, a bench and we have all our meals there when it’s warm. Along the sides there are shelves a different levels, up to the very top, an our cats are very happy to climb. We have a lot of plants and a lilac tree outside has its branches protruding inside on the shelves.
    When we adopted a puppy, two years ago, we also discovered how handy it is for a quick poop or pee without having to chase him in the garden, espcially at night before going to bed. It’s a safe and nice place used and fully enjoyed by our entire multi-species family :-)

  • phyllis cordero says:

    I installed a secure way to let my cats be in my yard and be safe. I have a large yard and I ordered the material from a company called Purrfect Fence.com. It consists of brackets that attach to an existing fence about 8 feet apart and have vinyl netting over the brackets. They also have a free-standing fence. The brackets are sort of like those at a prison. I am not promoting this company and a clever person could do it themselves.To see pictures go to Purrfect Fence.com. Since I am not very clever I ordered the materials from this company. My 9 cats can safely run from one end of the yard to the other and be perfectly safe. I don’t think I have ever made a better investment. Phyllis Cordero

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