My friends at the Community Cat Coalition posted this idea yesterday.
*Note: If you put your cursor over the video, a pause and play button will pop up.
We often hear people say that they’d love a catio, but they just don’t have the time to make one. Or, they are renting and aren’t allowed to build anything permanent. Sometimes it is the cost or the difficulty in transporting materials in a car. Guess what, this 5 X 5 X 5 foot catio can be assembled in 45 minutes and you can take it apart and roll it up for next year in less than 15 minutes. Small and easy to carry, you can take it with you and easily store in a closet in the off season. Okay, it isn’t pretty until you dress it up, but it is fast and easy and your cats won’t care if it was inexpensive. The example in this post was about $100 to build, but you can do it for a lot less by cutting longer poles to size or by sharing deer fencing with a cat friend.
–12 – 1 inch X 5 feet PVC Pipe. (* $3 each at our local hardware store.)
–8 – 1 inch Side Outlet Elbow Joint PVC ( $2.18 each at our local hardware store.)
–100 – Zip Ties ($5 for the pack.)
–35 feet of 6 foot deer fencing. (About $35 if you share a high strength 100 foot roll ($100) with a friend. Much less if you use the deer netting instead.)
*It is MUCH cheaper if you buy 10 foot or longer PVC pipes and cut them in half. I went the fast and easy route on this example.
You can purchase deer netting and deer fencing at feed stores, on Amazon.com or at big box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. It generally comes in 100 X 6 foot rolls. You will only need 35 feet for this project. Buy the 1/34 inch heavy duty version for young cats, escape artists or unsocialized cats. They cost about $100 – $120 for a 100 foot roll. Deer netting also comes in 100 X 6 foot rolls with a smaller mesh for around $45 – $55. These vary greatly in strength and durability, so don’t buy this type online unless you know it is a heavier guage. Some sold as deer netting are actually just bird netting. Buy the durable version that you can’t tear by hand. You can substitute bird netting for mellow or supervised cats, but I don’t recommend it for active cats, unsupervised cats, cats who chew plastic or in areas with outdoor predators or rodents who could potentially chew through it.
This is just a an easy sample. You can upgrade it any time by purchasing additional poles or connectors. Google PVC catio to see other examples. For different connector options, check out these links. Share your pics in the links below.
Message us for printable directions in PDF format. We will post on directions our website later. Send us pics if you make one or have other fast and easy catio ideas to share.
So, I went to Flower World (a local nursery) today to pick up some new cat grass for the catio. They had 2 varieties this time so I bought them both and combined them in one pot. I wondered if they would prefer one over the other and it seems that Lazarus likes the thicker grass and Dark Lord Binx likes the thinner stuff.
I finally added the silk plant vines I bought on sale from Michaels to create a hiding spot the cats can still peek through. I just used the vines and some twist ties. Binx attacked a few of them but they are holding up just fine so far!
OK, so I do not know if any of you are familiar with the site http://buynothingproject.org but it is awesome and I just picked up some catio supplies yesterday! I lucked out and saw a post giving away the cube pieces and I jumped right on it! Here is what I picked up for free. Yes, you read that right. FREE. Seriously, join your neighborhood Buy Nothing on Facebook and you might be lucky in finding supplies too. You can also purge/get rid of items you no longer want or need that someone right in your community may need. So AWESOME. Anyway, here is a pic:
A good amount! We will be expanding our catio with these.
Here are some great shots of catios on Pinterest provided by the Community Cat Coalition in Washington. Thanks CCC! The CCC has great resources on TNR, fostering, adoption, etc. Check them out at http://communitycatcoalitionwa.org
Here is the pinterest link:
We also have a “Kitty Peeper” that we purchased from http://www.catswithanaltitude.com. It is on our second floor and is installed in a window. It basically looks like an air conditioner from the outside but is actually a nice little cubby for the cats to lay in and look outside plus get some fresh air. There are nice plastic flaps where the cat enters on the inside of the house and it is lined with green astroturf.
The pictures below are not of our peeper but from the website where you can purchase this item. http://www.catswithanaltitude.com
Thanks to Cat and Caboodle we were able to quickly build this catio. Our cat Lazarus LOVES it and our new kitten Binx likes it too. It is on its 3rd year and still standing strong and looking great! Look at the post on this blog titled “From Cat and Caboodle” for complete instructions and tons of other submissions of other examples!
These are the cubes we found at Bed Bath and Beyond. They were $19.99 plus tax. We used 4 boxes to construct our catio plus tons and tons of zip ties. We also decided to use inexpensive carabiners to make access to the front panel easy.
My husband cut a scrap piece of plywood and installed a cat door in it. We only have it in the window when we are home. He added an old drawer pull on the inside at the top to make it easy to put in and take out of the window. It is now painted white to match our home.
Here are the rest of the views. The first picture below has snow, our cats go out in all kinds of weather so we give them access year round. This past summer we found a nice large pot of cat grass at a local nursery. He loved chewing on the long grass!
The wood you see at the bottom was only added to make the entrance height match the window for access. We could have just set it right on the ground. My husband simply drilled holes and used the zip ties to attach to the base.