Below is what Barbara submitted through email. Thank you so much for sharing with the blog!
“I had been seeking some way for my indoor cat, and his Malti-poo friend, to use my deck. The costs to cat proof it were all rediculous. Then I found this DIY Catio.
I built it with 4 boxes of 23 panels, purchased from Amazon.com at $35 each. I have 9 panels left over so I might enlarge it by 9 panels.
I recommend adding a Channel Locks tool to the tools list. You can use it to pull the frames into the connectors, to remove a connector if you change your mind, and to open a tight bottle after the Catio is finished.
I used nearly 500 wire ties as the pattern grew in my mind as I used the materials — I ripped back at times. There is a baffle around the top to prevent the cat from getting out. But I would have needed to build 4 panels high to walk around it in, so instead I have an open space for that.
Every option to let the pets use the Catio at will was very costly. In the sliding door option I would have disabled my use of the deck. In the window option I doubted the little dog would have gotten used to using steps to get in and out. So instead I built baffles on the entrance so I just open the sliding door about 10″ and neither pet can go anywhere but the Catio or back into the house.
The cat loves it. He had never been outdoors in his life. Being a cat he expresses his love by taking long naps. I’ve given him several platforms to do that.
Zelda the dog is rather Meh! She would rather be sniffing around on the whole deck.
The building process took me about 4 days at 3 – 4 hours a day. I tried to draw pattern, but found it easier just to create it as I went.
I will be making some waterproof pillows for the platforms and put a piece of vinyl fabric over them.”