5 Catio Furniture & Accessory Ideas for Upgrading Outdoor Life
A catio is a completely enclosed patio that's designed specifically for your cat. Catios can be an absolutely "purrfect" way for your cat to enjoy all the sights and sounds of the outdoors in complete safety. It can range from a small, screened box attached to a window to a large enclosure you can walk inside. To give your cat the best catio possible, you'll want to fill it with cat furniture that's both interesting and relaxing.
Catios Are Great Choices for the Discerning Cat Owner
Many pet owners want their felines to experience the outdoors safely. But with predators and other dangers nearby, they may not want to let their cats roam free. One option is to take your cat for walks outside on a harness. Another idea is to create a catio where your kitty can hang outdoors safely.
A catio is screened in on all sides (including the roof), so your cat can't escape.1 It's made mostly of a strong mesh or screen that allows your kitty to smell the outside air and soak in the sun, wind and other natural elements. They're often attached to a window or "doggie door," allowing your cat to come and go as he pleases. Other pet owners may prefer to let their cats in the catio only when supervised. It's really up to you.
Catios come in all shapes and sizes. Some people only have room to set up a small, screened-in window box that fits one cat at a time. Others may have a multi-level catio with space for cats to climb and play. Some catios even fit human furniture!
If you're looking for catio ideas for your fur baby, make sure you fill it with lots of cat-pleasing furniture and accessories. Here are five categories of catio components you don't want to leave out.
1. Things for Your Cat to Climb
Cats love to climb, and they feel more confident when viewing the world from tall spaces. So setting up lots of things for your cat to climb and jump from is a must-have for any catio. Some people build catios around a partially enclosed tree for their cats to climb. If you don't have the means to do that, you can still set up plenty of tall spaces, like a floor-to-ceiling climbing pole.2
A Kitty Tower makes another great addition. It has three levels with four entrances large enough for even "chonky" cats to fit through. Each level is lined with comfy fleece and has mesh or peepholes for seeing outside.
If your catio has a regular-sized door, you can attach a Hangin' Cat Tree or Hangin' Cat Condo. Or you might want a cat-sized staircase or ramp that leads to perches set at multiple levels around your catio.
If you have windows in your catio, try attaching an EZ Mount Penthouse to one of them or an EZ Mount Window Kitty Sill Triple Stack where your cat can sleep and play. Another option is the Deluxe Kitty Sill with Bolster, which mounts to windowsills.
2. Cat Beds and Hiding Spaces
Cats love beds. Not only are they perfect for lounging, but your kitty can rub his scent all over the bed and make it "territory" that he owns. The Knitted Pet Bed is handwoven and can be easily transformed into different shapes, so it fits perfectly in your catio. Your cat will also love the cozy Mod Dream Pod, which has a durable exterior and zips together for easy assembly.
Just like you enjoy watching your cat in her catio, she may enjoy watching you in your house.3 If your catio is connected to a window, consider getting an EZ Mount Window Bed so your cat can watch you while she's in the catio.
If it's sunny, your catio can get quite warm. Make sure there are plenty of shady, cooler spaces for your cat. Even if it doesn't get hot, most cats like space to hide from time to time. The Indoor Pet House - Unheated is a cute little bed that's perfect for a catio. Another option is the Mod Capsule, which has a rugged exterior and can double as a pet carrier.
3. Heated Beds if It Gets Cold Outside
If it gets cold in your catio during the winter, consider switching out the warm-weather cat beds for other varieties designed for cooler months. Try self-warming beds like the K&H Self-Warming Hut or the Self-Warming Kitty Sack in a fashionable leopard print.
If you have access to electricity outside, you might want a heated cat bed that plugs in. Consider the simple but comfy Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Bed, with an internal thermostat that heats to your cat's regular body temperature.
If you want a fully enclosed bed, the Thermo Mod Kitty Shelter is a great choice. It has a heated pad that only covers half the floor, so your cat can choose which side she wants to sleep on. Or try the Thermo Outdoor Kitty House Extra-Wide. It's shaped like a tiny house and comes in heated or unheated varieties. Another popular option is the Thermo Birchwood Manor Kitty Home, which also comes in heated and unheated options.
4. High-Quality Basics, Like Food and Water Bowls
If you have a larger catio, you might want to consider providing food, water and a litter box so your cat can have extended playtime outside. Look for products made of high-quality materials that put your cat's health first. If it gets cold outside, the Thermo-Kitty Cafe can keep food and water warm even in subzero temperatures, as long as you have an outlet for it. Or use the Thermal-Bowl if you only want a water bowl that's heated.
If you want to make extra sure your cats' food and water are protected from the elements, try the Outdoor Kitty Dining Room, which holds the Thermo-Kitty Cafe. Another option is the Outdoor Heated Two-Story Kitty House with Dining Room, which has two levels for lounging and an attached feeding station.
It's important to set up a litter space if your cat can't go back inside your house whenever he wants. This can be as simple as a garden spot with soil or a traditional litter box.
5. Additional Enrichment Pieces
Creativity is important when it comes to outfitting your catio, so don't forget to add little extra touches that provide mental stimulation for your kitty. Consider placing bird feeders outside the catio to entertain your cats. Get lots of cat scratchers for them to enjoy, like the Creative Kitty Tunnel or the Creative Kitty Scratch, Ramp and Groom.
Catios provide a great way to help keep your cat healthy and happy. Not only will she get lots of mental enrichment being outside, but she'll enjoy more exercise too. While even the simplest of catios is a great idea, you can make yours even better by adding catio furniture that truly enhances the experience.
1. Brevard Zoo. "What in the World is a Catio?" BrevardZoo.org, https://brevardzoo.org/catio/.
2. Custom Catios. "All the Options and Extras Offered by Custom Catios." CustomCatios.com, https://www.customcatios.com/all-the-options-and-extras-offered-by-custom-catios/.
3. Evans, Becca. "3 Catio Experts on Crafting the Perfect Feline Funland." The Carrie Ann Conversations, 18 May 2021, https://carrieannconversations.com/living/3-catio-experts-on-crafting-the-perfect-feline-funland/becca-evans/.