June 16th, 2010 Catio Living Moderncat Style in Phoenix, Arizona
I started this blog a while ago, when I was designing my own catio, as a way to gather my research in one place. Now that the finishing touches are complete, I figured I should show you the results, plus the topic of catio design is gaining national recognition with a recent article in the New York Times.
My 1100 sq ft condo in Central Phoenix came with a nice back patio that was already walled in, however, the wall was easily scalable so it was off limits for my cats until I could enclose it. My good friend Mike was the real force behind the catio. He helped me design and build the structure by extending the roof and creating metal mesh panels to connect the concrete block walls to the roof line. Here are some before and after photos:
You can see the old rotting patio cover and the bougainvillea plants that had to go.
We used sturdy metal roofing material over a solid wood frame. The metal mesh for the side panels came from a local metal supply store. We had it powder coated for durability. Mike made sure there are absolutely no escape holes.
I added climbing shelves and an enclosed litter box area at one end with a sisal wrapped scratching post that extends all the way to the ceiling. This is a popular feature. The more agile cats can climb all the way up the pole to the top shelf.
I’ve filled the catio with all sorts of products that my cats love, like a two-story cat condo from Modern Cat Designs, The Cat’s Trapeze (hanging in the middle), a Litter Pod (used for lounging instead of litter), a Scratch N Slumber comfort center, and various scratchers and other toys. There’s also a rattan lounge chair from Ikea and a bistro table and two chairs so I can join the cats on the catio.
Having a catio is a dream come true for both me and the cats. They love to be able to get fresh air and watch the birds, and I love that they are safe from harm. We plan to enjoy this catio for many years.