Our feline friends are always much safer staying indoors. Fluffy does enjoy and benefit from the exercise and stimulation of being outside. However, she’s also very small and vulnerable, and is in serious danger from things like cars, weather, and wild animals. Fortunately, there is a purrfect solution here: the catio. A FM 1960 North, TX veterinarian offers some advice on creating one in this article.
If you have an enclosed porch or patio, you already have an ideal spot. A spare bedroom or sunroom will even work. You can even just use a bright corner. You won’t even have to sacrifice the space: Fluffy won’t mind if you add some comfy chairs or sofas to her spot.
In order to make a proper catio, you’ll need to add some kitty furniture. Cat towers are great, as they offer vantage points, napping spots, jungle gyms, scratching points, and kitty lookouts. Fluffy will also accept scratching posts or boards, kitty condos, window seats, catwalks, and, of course, boxes. There’s no need to break the bank: there are great DIY options for many of these things. Look online for ideas and instructions.
Plants are also a must. Fluffy loves to sniff and nibble at them! She’s also pretty fond of peeking out at her humans from behind green leaves, and pretending she’s a vicious—or not so vicious—lion or tiger. (Bonus: plants will also make your home look cozy and welcoming.) Just stick with pet-safe options. Some good options are Boston ferns, Rubber tree plants, Cast Iron plants, Spider plants, African violets, Areca palms and Ponytail palms. Check the ASPCA website here for a complete list of kitty-safe options.
Kitties generally prefer to drink running water. This is probably something they learned in the wild, as standing water was traditionally more likely to be contaminated than rivers and streams. Get your furball a pet fountain!
Stimulation and enrichment are just as important for kitties as they are for us. Don’t forget toys! Birdwatching is a favorite pastime for our feline pals. Consider putting a birdfeeder up where Fluffy can see it. (We don’t recommend this if she’s allowed out, though, as you’d just be luring those poor birds to their doom.)
Is your pet due for vaccinations, parasite control, or exams? Call us, your FM 1960 North, TX vet hospital, today!