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.