Our house had the biggest catio, our house had all the summer shade...
September 4, 2017 9:07 AM   Subscribe

 
I do want a screened-in porch ...
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:12 AM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Our outdoor cat has to be put up in a "cat hotel" (what's it called in English?) whenever we go away for more than one night, and the place include a large catio and other cats to hang out with. He's perfectly happy being there. And that's how good a catio can be.
posted by Harald74 at 9:21 AM on September 4 [4 favorites]


My cats would absolutely love this, but so far no one in my area is advertising it as an apartment feature.
posted by bile and syntax at 9:27 AM on September 4


Here's an alternative for you, syntax.
posted by Harald74 at 9:29 AM on September 4 [9 favorites]


*sings to self*

Those catio lanterns, they were the stars in the sky (staaars in the sky)...


Oh, god dammit.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:33 AM on September 4 [5 favorites]


I'm more of a dog person, but these almost make me want to get a cat. Some of them could be a Habitrail for cats! (Catitrail?)
posted by TedW at 10:07 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I had one of these when I lived in my little hovel in the woods! My sister, cousin, and I built it together.

We built a 10 by 10 by 10 cube out of two-by-fours and attached it to the house outside the kitchen window. We put in an old screen door we found in the shed so that humans could go in and out to clean, and then covered the rest with chicken wire attached to the wood frame with zip ties. Then, we covered the floor with paving blocks, and put cinder blocks in the corners to weigh the frame down to the ground. We put in a ladder ramp to the window and a big fallen tree limb to play on. The cats loved it, and it kept them out of the road and the beast-ridden woods. The only problem was that the big, fat, lazy one would sit in the window and block the others from going in and out.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:16 AM on September 4 [6 favorites]


I want one for my own kitty kids! I just have to make sure that it's 100% impermeable to raccoons, skunks, and opossums (all of which I've seen amble through my yard on occasion). I want a catio, not a trash-pandaio.

So it's going to be a considerable outlay to make sure I get a catio that no trash pandas or li'l stinkers can enter, and I might as well go for the full luxury catio experience with fountains and catnip and cat trees and a cat door so they can go from house to catio as they please.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 10:22 AM on September 4 [4 favorites]


The last house we were in had a cat door to the outside already cut in the wall, so we built the kids a catio (mostly so we could keep the litter boxes outside, although there were plenty of well-loved lounging spaces too.) We live in a way colder area now, but if we get the right setup, I'd totally do it again. They loooooved it.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:27 AM on September 4


I want a catio, not a trash-pandaio.

Both.
posted by Fizz at 10:35 AM on September 4 [1 favorite]


I hate screened in porches but we do have a side porch that opens to the garden and we let the cats out for supervised romps among the flowers. They occasionally go next door to the neighbor's garden but never farther.
posted by octothorpe at 10:39 AM on September 4


Both our cats wear harnesses full-time and are leash trained and are content to be put outside on their leash and lead line so they are both outside and free to roam but not without boundaries and always within our control. Why build a thing when this works just as well?
posted by hippybear at 10:57 AM on September 4


Owners from the Beach community have been quick to draw connections between their lost or killed pets and recent sightings of “coywolves” (half coyote, half wolf).

I feel like the obvious portmanteau here is "wolvote"?
posted by Anita Bath at 11:10 AM on September 4 [4 favorites]


trash-pandaio

I read this incorrectly, and now my nickname for racoons is Trash Pendejo.

hippybear, not all cats will take to harnesses. Cat harness is on my shopping list for this month, however, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:10 AM on September 4 [16 favorites]


I love these cat environments! Such orderly, homey, people with their beloved pets. I want one of these, it will have to be high up, and inaccessible, because there are at least 50 feral cats around this property. I had a box of firewood that stacked on another and reached the ledge of my kitchen window. Cats got on it and marked my window. Not my cats, they are indoors cats for now, except when I go out in the mornings to sweep the front porch.
posted by Oyéah at 11:11 AM on September 4


My aunt has 10 cats and two catios. One for the eight who get the run of the house, and one for the two rescues who simply can't stop spraying in the house, so they get their own catio and half of the basement.
posted by rockindata at 11:11 AM on September 4


Wait, you only just NOW started calling raccoons pendejos? #latetotheparty
posted by hippybear at 11:20 AM on September 4 [4 favorites]


not all cats will take to harnesses. Cat harness is on my shopping list for this month, however, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

It probably helped that we put them both in harnesses on leash/leads very early on. I have never tried to put an adult cat who has never worn a harness in a harness.

Also, as a member of the leather and furry communities, this conversation has an awkward side.
posted by hippybear at 11:21 AM on September 4 [13 favorites]


We put a harness on our one cat as tightly as we could and about 15 seconds later he sort of shrugged his shoulders and stepped out of it and ran off.
posted by octothorpe at 11:28 AM on September 4 [8 favorites]


Huh, our cats just wear them like we wear t-shirts, and they've never tried to get out of them. Perhaps the "as tightly as we could" was a mistake. Ours aren't on tight at all.
posted by hippybear at 11:32 AM on September 4


I'm glad to learn the term "catio" because we've been calling ours a "cat run," which is ridiculous, because they don't.
posted by helpthebear at 12:13 PM on September 4 [5 favorites]


so far no one in my area is advertising it as an apartment feature.

1- Not quite the same as a catio, but someone in my complex used to keep a big screen pen for her cat on the balcony***

2- Luv the way cat in last vid was leaping, hoping he'd land in No-Snow.

3- My childhood dog had a poochie porch. Dear dad knocked out a couple of blocks between the garage, where her doghouse was, and the screened patio. Then there was another (dad-built) doggie door to the fenced yard.

(***I keep KittyP on leash on balcony, but that caused its own pitfall when Timid Girl got spooked by someone TWO stories below, and she nearly decapitated herself running inside & snagging the leash.

And yes, same kitty likes to sit on highest place *inside,* which unfortunately is a terrarium atop a shaky glass table overlooking the balcony, and oy,
Why is katz so much problems?)
posted by NorthernLite at 12:13 PM on September 4


the great thing about those (non-fur) baby cages is that those were the good ol' days of leaded gasoline and no emission controls so these kids probably would have been better off inside
posted by entropicamericana at 12:41 PM on September 4


the great thing about those (non-fur) baby cages is that those were the good ol' days of leaded gasoline and no emission controls so these kids probably would have been better off inside

Except that's where they kept the asbestos and lead paint.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:49 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]


We put a harness on our one cat as tightly as we could and about 15 seconds later he sort of shrugged his shoulders and stepped out of it and ran off.

Yeah, same thing happened with Melanie the blind CH kitty.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:54 PM on September 4


This has probably been shared here before, but here's the catio cortex and I built for my mom. Sort of basic, but 3 years and it's still going strong, keeping cats in and trash pandas out. There is in fact a cat door installed in the back of a floor-level kitchen cabinet that lets the cats come and go as they please. Here is the most recent foster cat to benefit from this catio. He hasn't figured out the cat door part yet, though.

Catios are cool! I'm in favor of cats getting all the outdoor time they want, but I kind of hate it when cats I know get eaten or run over. So this is a good solution.
posted by Secretariat at 12:59 PM on September 4 [8 favorites]


Harald74: Our outdoor cat has to be put up in a "cat hotel" (what's it called in English?)

Meow-liday Inn
posted by dr_dank at 1:05 PM on September 4 [8 favorites]


you gotta be kitten me
posted by entropicamericana at 1:10 PM on September 4 [4 favorites]


We put a harness on our one cat as tightly as we could and about 15 seconds later he sort of shrugged his shoulders and stepped out of it and ran off.

Same with mine. The strappy types of harnesses don't work for my cats. They do better with the more robust ones, but a few have still escaped. At some point I am going to bite the bullet and put out the money for a walking jacket or holster. Though I think I'll go with the jacket. I am paranoid about the velcro straps, and the design of the holster means in theory the cat could still slip out by wiggling backwards.
posted by schroedinger at 1:12 PM on September 4 [4 favorites]


I've had cats that liked harnesses and cats that fell down and played dead when they were put in them. Cats have their preferences.
posted by Peach at 1:32 PM on September 4 [7 favorites]


We have a breezeway our eight cats use like this. It has some cat-specifc things, like one of those carpeted tower things, but also they just like to lounge on any old furniture we put out there, or on this little trampoline leftover from when our kids were small. We find dead mice and voles out there pretty regularly, and are not sure if they're the dumbest rodents in the world, or some kind of ritual sacrifice.

It doesn't have a cat door, but one of the cats recently learned to open the back door so they're pretty free-range about it.
posted by Orlop at 1:38 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


I am totally planning to build a catio in my backyard!! My cats will love it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:43 PM on September 4


I have a catio that leverages a weird bit of architecture in my house, so it's more of a two story catrium. There's sunbathing, exploring and lots of scampering around.
posted by jamaro at 3:13 PM on September 4 [9 favorites]


My Kokopelli (big and ginger) and Wisakedjak (small and black) love their catio.
posted by jackbishop at 3:39 PM on September 4 [5 favorites]


> Some cats aren't so keen on the catio in the winter.

I don't know what that cat says, but whatever it is was quite shocking according to my cat -- she leapt up and stared out the window on high alert.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:09 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


> carpeted tower things

The technical term is "Poombaum."
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:10 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


Also, as a member of the leather and furry communities, this conversation has an awkward side.

Nothing wrong with building a catio for furries, but it would be hard to squeeze through a pet door in one of those big plush suits.

I've had cats that liked harnesses and cats that fell down and played dead when they were put in them. Cats have their preferences.

I used to have an elderly neighbor who would "walk" her cat with a leash. She would take a step or two, drag the cat forward, cat would yowl. Then she would take another step or two, pull the cat, yowl. It sure looked like hell for both of them, but they were out there every day so it must have been working for them.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:45 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I tried a harness with my cat, and it didn't work at all. She used to be outdoor only, and thankfully she doesn't care that she's indoor only now. She does love when the windows are open so she can lie down on the windowsill.

I REALLY want her to have a catio. Maybe when the 99 million other projects are done.
posted by Stewriffic at 5:02 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


I used to have an elderly neighbor who would "walk" her cat with a leash. She would take a step or two, drag the cat forward, cat would yowl.

Heh. My aunt walks her big-ass Maine Coon cat on a leash and he's always up for it. It's like walking a dog.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:46 PM on September 4


I had an elderly neighbor who walked both his cats on leashes. They seemed to love it. When they weren't on leashes they were hanging out on the balcony. One by one the cats passed away and now I never see the neighbor anymore. :(
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:32 PM on September 4 [2 favorites]


I think that black and white cat is having a great time in the snow -- look at the pouncing and the arched tail! He only comes back in when the novelty is outweighed by the feeling of cold, wet paws and belly.
posted by maudlin at 6:33 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]


We built a Catio this past spring. It's out of a 1.5 storey up window (yes, building it was as much fun as you think...), with the window bolted shut/framed in to create a cat door. The whole contraption is bolted to the side of the house/concrete underneath. It has two levels, one at window level and one slightly below it, so they are well above 'roving critter level' and it creates some 'dryish' storage space underneath it. My cats think it is the BEST THING EVAH! and it has greatly reduced our houdini's escape tendencies (although we still have a cat resistant 'airlock' out side door we use everyday because she is that fast. I don't know why we didn't build a catio before. Some of the best 100$ or so I ever spent.
posted by Northbysomewhatcrazy at 6:41 PM on September 4


My monsters do enjoy their 10 x 20 kitty kompound. I built it as self defense in hopes that they would tire themselves and let me sleep.

Not sure it's working as intended. Saturday, I was rewarded with a snake in the house. They decimated the lizards populstion so they went for the legless type lizard.
posted by mightshould at 8:04 PM on September 4


It's weird to see the thing my dad built to encourage the cats to spend less time messing up his garage (they were confined to the garage and the outdoor cat area) reimagined as some kind of cat luxury. Our cats did have a rusty old steel drum to sit on, though.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:24 PM on September 4


> carpeted tower things

The technical term is "Poombaum."


We've call it "purrniture" since visiting this store.
posted by Anita Bath at 10:12 PM on September 4 [1 favorite]


Does anyone else rhyme 'catio' with 'ratio' in their head?
posted by batter_my_heart at 1:36 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


No. The "cash-io" is the square footage of your catio/number of cats.

This prevents confusion.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:43 AM on September 5 [4 favorites]


Cashio sounds like Sean Connery talking about his watch.
posted by davelog at 4:22 AM on September 5 [5 favorites]


Metafilter somehow always syncs with my life. I've spent the last three weeks' worth of spare time researching these. We're in the process of moving, and I plan to relocate two of the 9-yr-old TNR'd semi-ferals (who we've known since they were kittens showing up in our yard) from the old house to the new location. As my own indoor kittehs have demonstrated, the typical screen porch is not proof against a determined kitteh. (Although Pet Screen, with a thicker mesh, helps. Still not proof against a reaaaallly determined, or heavy, pet.) And new place has lots of predators, including the neighbor's pit bull, raccoons, and -spotted just this morning! - COYOTES. So formerly feral kittehs will be getting a catio/chicken coop/reinforced wire enclosure.

My indoor kittehs have always cherished the screen porch. To the extent of giving me a daily wakeup call at 4:30 a.m. to give them access. The porch has greatly improved their quality of life. The 4:30 kitteh alarm hasn't done much for mine, though. At the new place, we're hoping for a cat-powered access door. But we'll have to reinforce this door, and hide it: our town had a rash of burglaries from a small-and-limber team of thieves who were coming in via pet doors. Why, yes, I do live in South Florida, how can you tell?
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 4:44 AM on September 5 [1 favorite]


My oldest son built a catio when they moved from the city to the country with cats who had only been indoor. The kitties loved it. He is handy with things like this; had built a complicated cat castle from old futons and other trash picked up in the city. I had never heard of a catio before, thought he invented the term. Now he has dogs and kids too, everyone gets along and the catio is still in use.
posted by mermayd at 6:06 AM on September 5


I've tried to build something suitable out of the frame for a portable greenhouse and some garden fencing and cable ties but it's not been terribly successful (I never quite figured out how to do anything sensible for a doorway to it, and the fencing ended up tearing too easily). We've instead gone mainly with a harness but have the same problem of him escaping if we don't watch him closely. He's totally fine wearing the harness at least - just that when the leash goes taut he has no trouble shrugging the thing off.

We try to take him out when he's in the mood for running around, at which point he suddenly finds he's in the mood for just sitting and sniffing the first vaguely interesting thing he gets to and refusing to go any further.
posted by edd at 6:46 AM on September 5


My little guy just celebrated his first catio anniversary (catioversary?). I used a modular system of storage crate panels reinforced with zip ties and carpet squares obtained from the sample library at work. It took a few tries to get the optimal layout, and of course he is dependent on me opening the window for access. This year we upgraded with a screen for bug-free evening catio time. We're considering it a "starter" catio for now. He'd prefer something a little bigger, with a roof to avoid rain delays.
posted by Preserver at 7:51 AM on September 5 [3 favorites]


I have a patio that would be purrfect for conversion, and when we were rebuilding, it was on the project list. But then our contractor ran off with our money, so it hasn't been done yet. On the upside, the contractor ran off when the funds only contained outside things like fence and arbor, on the downside, I still had to fix those things to stay in compliance with my mortgage and insurance, but someday my kittens, I will build you that catio.

Oh, and leashes? We tried everything from the time they were teeny. No go. They both flop over and play dead, or escape.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 1:23 PM on September 5


The World's Heaviest Harness on Flickr
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:26 PM on September 5


"cat hotel" (what's it called in English?)

In Britain, I believe it's a 'cattery'. I just say 'cat hotel'.
posted by hoyland at 11:13 PM on September 5


I would love one of these but don't really need it at the moment as we are in a second floor apartment and my kitty is content to hang out on the balcony and keep watch over the ground below.

We do walk our cat on a leash though! And he really loves it. FYI, if you decide to try this with your cat and they like it, be prepared for incessant meowing at the door to go outside. Two things that I think helped our cat take to the leash so well: 1) he was only about 1.5 years old when we started and 2) we put the harness on him without the leash and had him get used to it in the house. Once he figured out he couldn't back out of it he gave up, and now is just like a dog where if you pick up the leash & harness he starts going crazy to go outside.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:06 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]


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