A couple who transformed their kids’ old house into a posh Cateo have been voted “Best Cat Parents” by the internet, thanks to their innovative frugal idea.
said Sandra, from the Bay Area in Northern California NEWSWEEK The idea came up after I watched some videos on how to build a catio and realized that with some cat-resistant crafts she could put her old children’s toy to good use.
“I was watching videos of how the katio built our cat and realized that if we took off all the accessories plus the ceiling, the katio would fit perfectly into the eaves of our house. By covering the open spaces with wire, and cutting a hole in the second floor of the playroom to allow the cat to access, he would create a play area safe for him.”
Sandra originally posted the photo of the katio on the subreddit r/Frugal, where she received thousands of upvotes. The post shows a photo of El Catio with a brief explanation of why this transformation was made.
“Our kids are getting older and we’ve been having the need to get rid of their playroom. We also have a cat who loves the outside but gets into trouble. We gave up slides and swings (the cat didn’t enjoy those aspects) and kept the main house to turn it into a catio. The cat loves it and we didn’t have to Buy anything besides wires and door hooks to divert it.”
What are catios?
Cat behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett describes catheters as outdoor enclosures attached to the home so that indoor cats can safely enjoy outdoor exposure. “Kateos typically have shelves, benches, and aisles so cats can safely play, climb, and rest.”
According to Johnson-Bennett, the most important characteristic of katio is that it must be safe and escape-resistant. Catios should have easy access to the house so the cat always has the option to go back indoors, and they should have a roof to protect from the elements and to provide shade. “The one thing some cat owners don’t think about when installing their catio at ground level is that their cats risk being exposed to external parasites. Make sure you keep up with flea and tick protection.”
A study by Frontiers in Veterinary Science found that catios positively impact the lives of both the cat and the owner, as they can stop worrying about the threats that unsupervised outdoor visits can pose. The study also found that cats that have access to the catio spend significantly more time outside than cats that don’t. While cats spend about 1 to 2 hours outside before installation, the number will increase to about 3 to 7 hours afterward.
On Reddit, most users praised Sandra’s idea while others offered her tips on how to upgrade catio to the next level based on their own experience. One user, theotherpachman, commented, “This is the best terrifying idea I’ve ever heard in my entire life. You are the best cat parents.” Another person, Naetius, said: “Cats have better living arrangements than I do.”
Another cunning user, KidCadaver, responded to Sandra’s post by sharing how she and her friend built a massive Katio for just $150, giving her more tips on how to add extra features.
“Look for square wire cube racks on Amazon. My friend and I made an entire pole out of four sets of them, complete with winding tunnels. We tied them up with a zipper to close them so they’re even more secure. A cheap option! It costs us $150 for a huge, zigzag, and secure outdoor cat option.”
Another user, meowmix6891, said, “This is so genius and helpful so here’s my free prize. I’ve been teasing my husband to make us Katio and he has been bothering me to get rid of the baby swing set. Thank you for sharing, I can’t wait to shift what we have <3"
Transforming the playroom into a catio from Sandra only took a few hours, and it was well worth it because her cat, 2-year-old Levi Rescue, loved it. It is already planning to upgrade the playing area and make it more attractive.
“Levi likes it and we’ll add more items to make it more comfortable for him, some cat grass in a container, hanging toys and more bedding.”
Is the drop safe for cats?
Dr. Christian Broadhurst, of the nonprofit Clay Human Veterinary Clinic, believes catios are a great idea for keeping cats safe.
According to Dr. Broadhurst, although cats love being outside, it is dangerous to roam the streets alone as they can run into dangers such as being run over by cars. “Having catios is a great idea, it keeps the cat from dangers from the outside world, like being hit by a car, but they can still have their own space outside where they can watch birds and hunt lizards.”
Therefore, if you have a garden and a cunning mind, build your cat by any means. It will be a safe play area, for their safety and peace of mind.