Floppycats reader and Facebook enthusiast, Joel, posted a photo of his catification project on our Facebook page, and I asked him if he would be so kind as to share it on the site. Here's how he did it! Thanks to Joel for taking the time to do this write-up!
Our two Ragdolls Leo and Shelby love to spend time at the various window perches I have installed around our house. After watching how much they enjoyed this activity, I decided to put my handyman skills to good use and build them a small outdoor enclosure they could access from a convenient window in our kitchen. I had seen a few catio pictures from various Floppycats members in the past, but when I saw the fantastic enclosure built by Margret Henderson’s husband for their cats I just had to try building something for ours !
Our catio is a simple 48 inch long by 24 inch wide box that is mounted on a cantilevered frame outside our kitchen window.
NOTE : My first build attempt used pressure treated wood. I have since learned that the chemical used in the pressure treating is very poisonous and could be harmful to animals. I have since COMPLETELY rebuilt my catio using plain, UNTREATED wood.
The floor is a single piece of birchwood ply that has been painted with deck stain to protect the plywood from warping in wet weather. The frame is built from square 1 X 1 inch wood lumber. The outside fencing is standard heavy duty chicken wire type fencing used for building outside animal enclosures like you would for gats, chickens, or rabbits. It is not the thin hex shaped fence, but the heavy square wire type. There is a layer of fine hole screening sandwiched between the wood frame pieces and the heavy outside wire fence to keep bugs out of the enclosure and out of the house. The cats can see out very well while the mosquitoes, flies, bees, etc are kept out. Below are a few pics of the construction in my work shop:
The roof is made from tinted plastic corrugated sheeting used for chicken coops and outdoor sheds. The roof panel is cut so that there is a 1 inch overlap on all four sides to keep water off the inside when it rains. The floor is lined with green outdoor carpet made from 100 % recycled water bottles. It dries quickly after getting wet and has no unpleasant odor.
Once I completed the box structure and attached the screen, chicken wire, and put the roof on, I looked online to see how to best attach the catio to the side of house. I found a simple picture online of a small catio attached in a similar way and copied that design. It is basically the same as supporting an AC unit outside the window:
Now both Leo and Shelby can safely enjoy outdoor time any day its not too hot or rainy. They can access the catio right through the kitchen window. The opening of the catio is sealed to the window frame with simple ¾ inch foam pipe insulation. So if your handy or have a husband or family member who is, let your kitties get a taste of the outdoors with your very own catio !
Do you have a catio for your cat?