The Benefits of Adding a Catio to Your Home

Cat owners are often faced with many considerations as they fill their homes with toys and cat trees to appease the kings and queens of the household. One such consideration is how to best use the space. Adding a catio to your home will help keep your cat entertained and safe and can be easily customized to fit the needs of any living space.

The Benefits of Adding a Catio to Your Home

A catio can offer a wide range of benefits for you and your cat, including daily enrichment opportunities. Catios provide easy access to the outdoors where they can stimulate their senses. By providing this connection to the outside world, cats can independently spend their days as they please with a wide variety of options to choose from.

Catios also keep your feline friends safe from the dangers that lurk outside. While they’re able to enjoy the outdoors, the enclosed space keeps them nearby while keeping predators out. This prevents accidents with cars on a busy street and run-ins with potentially harmful animals found in residential areas such as raccoons, and in certain areas, coyotes. It also keeps out other cats, preventing exposure to diseases and accidental pregnancies.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: ahloch

 

In addition to the benefits catios provide for your furry friend, you will also improve the livability of your home by reducing the damage to your furniture and rugs or carpet. When your cats can enjoy that space, they are less likely to exert their pent-up energy on your carpeted and upholstered pieces.

For those cats who act on their hunting instincts, a catio is also a great way to keep local wildlife out of your home. From their perch in their enclosure, they will get to smell and watch birds, mice, and rabbits, but they won’t have the opportunity to hunt them. Saving these lives helps your neighborhood’s ecosystem and saves you from having to clean up the mess afterwards.

Providing a litter box outside can also improve your indoor air quality by reducing smells, chemicals, and bacteria associated with cat litter. Of course, it’s not wise to replace an indoor litter box with an outdoor one, but by adding another one that’s nearby, your cat will use the indoor box less.

What Can You Do with a Catio?

The simple answer: anything you want. Catios are customizable for your space and your cat’s interests. Answering these two questions will help you start the process of designing or choosing a design to build.

  1. How much space can you offer to the enclosure?
  2. How will the cat(s) enter the enclosure from the house?

You may also want to consider what kind of exposure to the elements you’re comfortable with, whether it’s open air or if you need a little more protection from the elements with a solid exterior. While in some areas wire fencing might be all that’s needed, regions with harsher climates may require a more robust setup, such as insulated windows.

Catio Options

If you have a smaller space, you may consider a catio attached to a window, which won’t take up any additional square footage. Much like a garden box, you can attach a small shelf-like enclosure just outside your window and stretch it as far out as desired. The entry point can be the window, making it easy to open and close.

 

A shot from indoors looking outdoors of a gray cat sitting in a catio lined with wire on a window ledge.

Image Source: Shutterstock – Image Credit: SvetMedvedeva

 

A brown mink cat lounging in their catio enclosure enjoying the sun from a perch above.

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: ahloch

 

If you have a yard, you can give your cat a tunnel. A simple addition to the home, attach an elongated box that juts out into the yard for your cat to explore and get a 360-degree view of the elements. You can attach this to an existing cat door or add a cat door on an exterior wall.

For those with a larger space, or if you already have a patio set up, you can build out a catio like an extension on your home. Attach the large enclosure to the exterior and use either a window or cat door for entry. Use the structure to offer a multitude of options on the outermost walls, like shelves, ramps, and hammocks. Customize it with your cat’s favorite things, like scratching posts and pet-safe plants. You can even add a chair for yourself in there if you want!

For more ideas on caring for your pets, home maintenance, and more, visit the Living category of our blog: 

Windermere Blog – Living 

 


Featured Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: Moyo Studio

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5 Design Projects to Improve Your Backyard

Your home’s façade and front yard play a role in its curb appeal, but the backyard is for you and your household to enjoy. Spending time making improvements to your backyard will help to maximize your enjoyment of your property and can increase its value. These backyard design projects will help to beautify your yard while creating opportunities for new ways of spending time in it.

5 Design Projects to Improve Your Backyard

1. Improve Your Deck

Just as the kitchen can often be the heart of a home’s interior, a deck is typically the central hub of the backyard. To maximize the seating capability of a deck with a smaller footprint, consider tiering your deck into multiple levels. By adding some separation vertically, you’ll make the most of its square footage.

Consider butting up your built-in seating to your deck’s banister or railing and wrapping it around the perimeter. This will help make your deck more welcoming while saving space that would be taken up by chairs. For an even more efficient space-saving strategy, keep the space underneath your built-in seating open or install a drawer system to store your backyard and/or outdoor kitchen items and tools. If a deck rebuild isn’t in the cards, try simpler improvement projects like restraining it or adding outdoor lighting.

2. Build a Tool Shed

Every backyard requires maintenance, and you typically need tools to keep it in tip-top shape. A useful DIY project for your backyard is to build a tool shed to house your garden tools and landscaping equipment. This will give them a safe, dry storage space, which helps to extend their useful life and avoids having to make unnecessary replacements. When in doubt, add extra shelving space, as you very well may build out your tool collection over time. Once your shed is complete and all your tools are in their right place, install a secure locking system to protect your equipment.

 

Image Source: Getty Images – Image Credit: vgajic

 

3. Create an Outdoor Cooking Area

Outfitting your backyard for a robust outdoor kitchen with all the bells and whistles can be expensive. Fortunately, you can create an outdoor cooking area without having to break the bank. Depending on your local climate, it may be wise to cover this area with some sort of roof structure. If so, be sure to leave ample room between your cooking equipment and the height of the roof to allow flames and fumes to safely escape.

Different types of barbecues can satisfy your outdoor kitchen needs, depending on how much room you have to work with. Charcoal grills are ideal for smaller spaces, while built-in barbecues can provide a more comprehensive grilling setup if you have the allotted square footage.

4. Give Your Flower Beds a Makeover

Flower beds have quite an impact on the overall aesthetic of your backyard. If your flower beds are overgrown, start by pulling out the weeds. Use a garden trowel; this will help to dig up the roots and decreases the chance of recurring weeds. Remove all the weeds and debris, then rake the soil to prepare it for composting. While you rake, keep an eye out for rocks and gravel and remove them from the flower bed.

Now you’re ready to add a new layer of compost. This does wonders for the health of the soil and encourages new plant growth. Sprinkle in two to three inches of compost and work it into the soil with a shovel. You can also experiment with adding other nutrient-rich ingredients or plant materials that are conducive to soil in your climate, such as peat or manure.

5. Build Your Ultimate Patio

For many homeowners, building a patio exists at the crossroads between a DIY project and one that requires a professional’s expertise. Whichever route you choose, executing a patio installation can take your backyard to the next level. Choosing your patio material is the first step. Concrete, flagstone, brick, terra-cotta, and pea gravel are all common patio materials that have their respective advantages and disadvantages. If having a patio that’s built to last is your top priority, then brick, flagstone, or concrete may be the way to go. These materials also complement a variety of house styles, as well. If you’re looking to create a more relaxed environment in your backyard, then pea gravel or clay may be more your style. These materials recall aspects of the beach and seaside living.

 

For more information on how you can take your yard to the next level, read our blog post on seven ideas for creating a beautiful yard:

7 Ideas for Creating a Beautiful Yard

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Designing Your Backyard for BBQs

Summer is the season of spending long days and nights out in the backyard and making home-cooked meals on the barbecue. Whether classic BBQ dishes like ribs and hamburgers or skewered grilled vegetables are more your style, these tips will help get your backyard in prime shape for grilling season.

 

Designing Your Backyard for BBQs

Some homeowners may choose to make their barbecue the focal point of their backyard, while others view it as something to accentuate more central features like a deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen. The grill alone will take up significant space, not to mention the crowd it can attract. With that in mind, avoid situating it in areas of high foot traffic, such as near the stairs of your deck or along a main walking path. You should also provide ample room between the barbecue and your backyard seating.

A simple charcoal grill is ideal for small spaces. It also allows you to be flexible with your barbecue setup. If you are hosting a gathering, you can simply move the grill if need be and rearrange your backyard to accommodate the occasion. Built-in barbecues provide a more robust grilling setup, while freeing up space on the deck or patio. Though built-ins are typically more expensive than a standalone grill, they are a hub for outdoor entertainment. For homeowners who enjoy grilling in the shade, or those who live in climates where it sometimes rains in the summer, covered barbecues may be the way to go. Pergolas, canopies, and awnings are all popular options for providing cover. Outdoor kitchens are the most comprehensive grilling setup. With countertop space, a sink, and the barbecue all within reach, all the prep work for your cookout can be done outside, right next to the grill.

 

Image Source: Getty Images

 

Once you’ve chosen the best barbecue for your backyard, it’s time to start designing around it. The right combination of seating will add the social touch to your barbecuing setup. Bench seating is a popular option for barbecuing on the deck, while tables and chairs out in the backyard lawn create more of a picnic-style feel. Installing a fire pit will bring an added element to you outdoor entertaining, helping to make the transition from an afternoon or evening barbecue into a night spent under the stars. Experiment with different fire pit styles to match the surrounding elements of your backyard. For those with built-in barbecues and outdoor kitchens, consider matching your fire pit’s stonework to tie the backyard together.

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