One piece of advice we almost always offer cat owners is to keep their pets indoors. Fluffy may enjoy rolling around in the yard, but she’s safer and healthier as an indoor pet. However, that doesn’t mean your kitty can’t have the best of both worlds. One way to do that is to offer your feline pal a catio. A Carolina Forest, SC vet discusses creating a catio in this article.
Choosing The Spot
There’s no wrong place for a catio. A screened in porch or patio is purrfect, but they aren’t the only options. You can also use a spare room, a sunroom, or even just a sunny corner.
Pet furniture is a must for any catio. Cat towers are great, as they offer your kitty a napping spot, nail-care station, and jungle gym, while giving her a great view. You’ll also want to offer Fluffy some comfy beds, and perhaps a few cardboard boxes or a pet tent.
Give Fluffy a taste of nature by adding some pet-safe plants to the catio. Spider plants, Rubber Tree plants, Ponytail palms, Areca palms, and/or Boston ferns are all good options. The ASPCA has a full list of safe and unsafe plants here . Many herbs are also fine. Catnip, of course, is a must. You can also incorporate parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, lavender, and lemon balm. Wheat grass is another herb that kitties like. Try growing some for Fluffy in a small pot. You even make your furball a tiny ‘lawn’ to relax on by planting wheat grass seeds in a shallow storage tote or even an old litterbox.
You’ll need to add some toys to your kitty’s catio. If you have a screen, choose things that won’t gather a lot of dust. Rubber or plastic balls are a good option. Fluffy may also enjoy a robotic ‘swimming’ fish or a remote-controlled mouse.
Want to score some extra purrs? Put a birdfeeder up in your yard, so Fluffy can birdwatch and daydream about being a fierce predator.
If you want to go all-out, you can build Fluffy her own screened enclosure. This is a great way to let your kitty enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Look online for ideas and instructions. As your Carolina Forest, SC vet clinic, we are dedicated to keeping cats happy, healthy, and purring. Call us anytime.