Attention Portland, OR readers! Catio tour

Meg from http://www.feralcats.com contacted me about this upcoming tour in the Portland, Oregon area. Read below!

Hello!
I wasn’t sure how many of your followers were in the Portland, OR area, but thought it may be of interest. We’re hosting our 6th annual Catio Tour event in September and we’re calling catio host submissions currently. Our tour has inspired Seattle, Santa Cruz and Austin to start their own tours – it’a craze that’s catching on.

If this would be appropriate, please feel free to post! Here is the info:

https://www.catssafeathome.org/catio-host

Does your kitty frolic in a catio? Want to share this special space with the cat-loving, Portland community? From functional to fancy, all submissions in the Portland metro area are encouraged! The Catio Tour is pawsitively pure Portland fun. Even better, this one-day effort will raise awareness and excitement around the catio craze, directly resulting in a safer environment for cats and birds!

Tour information for Hosts: One day event on Saturday, September 9, 2018 from 10am – 2pm. Hosts need to be present throughout the tour to answer first-hand catio questions from curious guests. Volunteers and staff will oversee set-up, guest check-in, and be on hand to provide Tour and Program Information. This tour promotes the Cats Safe at Home Campaign founded by Audubon Society of Portland, Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, and the Animal Services of Multnomah & Washington Counties.

Thanks in advance!
Meg

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STAR New York

In March I was contacted by Star. Star eventually built a catio (weird weather holdups) but was already ahead of the game with the funhouse built for the cats! You can check that out here: http://www.starartproductions.com/cat-fun.html

Now, check out this catio story! Current pricing included, thank you Star for such comprehensive information!

Hi Dawn,

Hope all is well with you…

You might recall….
I’m the one that recently emailed you.

The one with the crazy cat walks throughout my house?

I contacted you early in March and I had just received the materials to get started on our Catio.

First of all I would like to thank you again for the wonderful information on
those Grid Wire organizers you posted on your site. 
I’m so grateful for all the advice and different ideas and pictures you posted.

I started as soon as I could over here in NY, however the weather took quite a turn with some unusual  Noreasters  adding snow here in March and April to prolong the mission.

However I am happy to report that we have finally completed a wonderful space for our dear Choco-Lettes.

Then again I am sure we will still be tweaking and adding things in the near future.
As you can see the catio has been placed in very nice private area facing our bamboo grove which also nests quite a bit of birds. 
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what a hit that is.
The Catio entrance for the cats is through our living room window.
It did take the cats a couple of days of training for them to understand how to use the screen door, but now all is perfectly in sync here. 
They are now come and go as they please.

I also decided on making a 12 panel access door next to the fence so that I can get in easier to bring them additional goodies.

To top things off, I came across solar lights at the dollar store.
I installed 7 of them on the top perimeter of the cat and found if you just take off the base, they rest really nicely in the square openings on top.
So in the evening the place turns into a “Catio Disco”.

Installed in this luxurious Catio is a tree trunk (covered in sisal for better grip), some driftwood for climbing and lounging, some grass for nibbling some flowers and other greenery.

A custom Catio Sign which the artist in me just had to add.

When the weather is nice I put their nest (basket),  a little cat cave and some towels for lounging in as well.

In the future we’re also thinking of putting some clear corrugated plastic panels on top, so they can enjoy it all in the rain.

I have to admit that I started this project with absolutely no specific plans and pretty much winged it from beginning to end.

And yes… there were times I had to undo and redo some steps, (thank god for the easy working cable ties) but on the whole it was a fun puzzle solving project and it all came together ever so nicely.

You’re site was a wonderful place to go to when I needed direction and inspiration.

I would recommend this project for anyone. It’s not rocket science.
The wire storage panels are so versatile and easy to work with, not to mention reasonably priced.
The Catio also become very sturdy and strong after the cables ties are attached
And like I mentioned before….
If you make a mistake you just undo and redo and move on.

Yesterday and today were the first 70 plus degree weather days here and the cats have gone to heaven.

They are now practically living outside.

Looking forward to enjoying this Catio for years to come.

Some various info:

Costway  (Jet.com) 12 Cube Grid Wire Organizer  
(Cost  per pack –  $39.00 with free shipping)
I wound up ordering 2 which I probably could have gotten away with.
But wound up ordering one more set for a little more space and luxury….
from which I also have quite a few leftover panels for future addition or replacements

So that was a total of  $117.00 for 3 sets.

One Screen Pet Door from Ebay for $6.00 including free shipping.
And I have to say it was a snap to install

7 Solar Lights from the dollar store $7.00 total

Cable Ties (from Home Depot) for a huge bag of which I have lots left over despite some of my errors at times… Approx $25.00 

Tree Trunk and Driftwood (free)

I used Corrugated plastic boards (the kind used for outdoor signs)which I had left over from other projects, and some Plastic Placemats for the platforms.

Catio Sign –  Leftover paint and wood….

Everything else you see were things from our yard or what I had at home. Grass, flowers and Plantings transplanted from our yard.

So roughly I would have to say the total came to about $155.00
for everything you see…    And well worth it.

Eventually I will be posting this on my website which right now only has the interior cat playground as I had initially shared with you

http://www.starartproductions.com/cat-fun.html

Please feel free to post any of this on your site or contact me with any questions.
I hope this will inspire more cat lovers out there to just go out there and do it. Take my word for it….. 
Your cats will be the happiest felines around.
Attached are the visuals.
Will send you some additional ones in another email….
Thanks again for all your inspiration and help Dawn.
Much appreciated.
STAR
and the ever so Happy
Chocolettes.

Pearl and Marsten BC Canada

I was contacted in December by Jan with their catio building story:

 

“Hi Dawn.
The first incarnation was small and tall, but my daughter found that the kitties wouldn’t use the tall side unless bribed. So then we took that end apart and added some more panels to extend it along the wall and onto the lawn a little. The kitties now have an actual cat door installed in the window opening that they have no problem with. So, it’s only 2 levels high, and they use it in the winter, too. The only issue is snow blowing in sideways! This is in British Columbia, Canada. Oh, the levelling boards are hidden by the greenery later in the summer! The shelves are 1x6s attached with zip ties. The roofs are corrugated plastic secured with zip ties. They are to keep rain out of the window and off the cars and for shade. They are on an angle so the rain runs away from the house. The catio is secured to the window frame with fence staples and zip ties to the railing, and with tent pegs where it has an open bottom on the lawn.
You do want to wear gloves to do up all the zip ties and have pliers to tighten them well!
Feel free to use any info to help other catio builders. Pearl and Marsten love their catio!
Happy Holidays,
Jan”

Jan, I love how they have that grassy area and also the planter boxes at the bottom. This looks fantastic for them and I am glad they are enjoying it!

Falls Church, VA

Kevin from Falls Church, VA contacted me with photos of his catio for his cat Pecan. The setup looks great and Pecan looks happy. Here is what he wrote:

“We’re in Falls Church, VA. For now I just layered some cardboard squares for her steps, but I’ve got some scrap carpet around so I might make it a little more comfortable. For access, we made a little swinging door on the bottom right panel – we used three zip ties on top so it can swing open, and while she’s in there we just lock it into the feet. Super easy!”

And in a follow up received today:

“I thought I’d provide an update on how the catio is going – best thing to ever enter our (or really just Pecan’s) lives!

The new morning ritual is as follows:
1) stand on my chest and nibble my hand to wake me up.
2) inhale some wet food
3) immediately run to the sliding door and meow
Even on chilly fall mornings like today (53F) she wants nothing more than to sit up on her perches and spy on the rest of the courtyard.
Sparrows like to nest and roost in some cut-outs along the wall where her enclosure is, so that keeps her occupied for a long time. Her other favorite are when the crows show up.
Had some leftover carpet and scrap wood from a project so we upgrade the platforms from the boring old cardboard that used to be there. Hung a few (still unused) toys from string, and here we are.
Still dreaming of ways to expand but I don’t think the leasing office would be too thrilled!
Anyway, thanks again for this resource – has really changed our lives.
Best,
Kevin, Amy, & Pecan”
Kevin, I love your morning ritual and it sounds somewhat familiar, at least the nibbling part to get the human to wake up and put food out.

Another awesome story submitted by a reader named Barbara

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.”
Barbara Catio

Sue’s Catio in Ohio

I was contacted by a reader who happened across my blog. She was able to create a catio in no time at all AND was willing to send me pictures and to post her story. Thank you so much Sue! It looks awesome and your cat looks so happy.

From Sue: “I googled outside cat enclosures and found your blog! So glad I did. I already had 6 cubes and I bought 2 more boxes and in a few hours I built my cat Lacy her enclosure. It’s on the back deck and attached to the basement window. I put plywood in the window with a pet door. She loves it!! I should mention I will be 66 years old next month and I did this without any help. My next project is to make her a hammock to hang in one corner. People say she is spoiled but for all the joy she brings me, I thought she deserved a pay back. And I got tired of hearing her cry in the window when I was in the deck, LOL.”

Fat Tony!

Back in December I was contacted by a reader named Janis for some advice on an indoor cube enclosure for a semi-feral cat to live inside for winter. The winters are harsh in her location and she was worried about his survival this year as well as wanting to get him neutered and to have a safe warm place to recover. Her solution she came up with turned out fantastic and she gave me permission to share a couple of photos and her story. Fat Tony looks content and Janis is slowly incorporating him into her home with the other cats and dogs. What a success! See her update below:

“Just wanted to give you an update to all your help. Fat Tony was neutered Wednesday and he is now in his zip tied home. See attached picture. It’s 4′ long, 2′ wide and 4.5′ tall with access to a window. Work was throwing out tables so I brought one home.His condo sits on top a table, actually ratched to the table with straps. It’s going no where!
          I paid exra for pain meds ( just incase there were complications). He wouldn’t use the litter box so I set up another box with potting soil. Yep, dirt… and he went in that. Sprinkled some over the litter and now, like a good boy, he goes where he should. Fat Tony sleeps alot. I’m guessing after all that time outdoors, he probably never really slept. He’s making up for lost time. He gets like it’s his job and slowly getting used to the household noises. He hasn’t met the other 4 footed family members yet. Baby steps. I want him to feel safe. 

Many thanks so much for your suggestions and all your help.

Fat Tony & Janis”

And an update in January:

“FT is doing really well. Still enjoying his condo living. He’s very clean. We’ve started letting him out with the other cats. Of course, they’re the ones with the issues. He seems happy to have friends. Slow and steady, he’ll get there and so will they.”

Janis and Fat Tony,

Thank you so much for the updates and Janis, thank you for caring about this beautiful boy!