It’s that time of year when we finally get to enjoy the longer sunny and warm days of spring and soon summer!! People are the first to catch Spring Fever but don’t forget that our favorite felines often feel the same things we do. Imagine how they must feel spending their days longingly looking out the window or making a dash for the door when you come home to try and grab a little piece of sunshine. I know that for many of my readers building a catio is just not possible so there are other options to explore like leashes, smaller portable cat enclosures or window verandas. For those of you that have been contemplating building a catio but may be stuck on the getting started part let me share a conversation I had with one of my readers that I think will inspire you:
First off, I LOVE your idea. I have had cats all my life and have never seen these before, it’s so great!! I am moving out of the city and into the suburbs and would love to give my cats the outdoor Catio experience they have been missing. However, I’m a little concerned about how the Catio attaches to the house… Do you have to nail it into the siding? Otherwise, how does it keep from falling over when they jump around on it? I appreciate any help you can give!
Thanks so much for taking the time to email me and for sending over the photos of the kitties they are adorable! I’ll be posting them to the blog and to the FB catio designs gallery here www.facebook.com/catio. As for your concerns with the stability of the catio I understand what you are asking and will do my best to explain.
With the attached models the concept is for the 4th wall of the catio to run parallel to the house. The post holes stabilize the structure and are placed as close as possible
to the foundation of the home so when you pour the concrete and sink the poles they create the stability for the catio walls. The entire catio structure then gets built around
the postholes/beams supports.
On this page http://catiodesigns.com/sales.php?r…. take a look at MODEL 2 THE RITZ CATIO here we have 4 post holes under each of the beams running perpendicular to the
ground. The next 4 post form the opposite side of the catio structure. Once these holes have been poured with the concrete and the beams set they are impossible to move.
As for attaching the catio to the house. We measured taking into consideration the depth of most standard foundations and made a suggestion as to where/how to measure
and place the post holes so they are as close as possible to the side of the home. The catio should line up without much space between the beams/siding of the catio structure and the home.
If there were to be a large enough space due to foundation issues the option would be to finish off the 4th wall( one next to the house) of the catio and screen it in as you did the others. I hope this answers your questions, feel free to email me if you want to know anything else!
Thanks a lot, Sam. This is very informative. Unfortunately we’re not going to be able to pour concrete, as we are only renting the house. Have you any alternative solutions that aren’t as permanent? I was thinking of building diagonal supporting beams that go from the top of the structure diagonally downward and connect to a piece of wood stemming from the base, forming a triangle outwards. I thought if I did this on the three sides, it should be able to protect the structure from falling over. Have you heard of anyone else in a similar situation doing something like this?
I haven’t heard of anyone doing that but it sounds like it would be a good possibility. I’m thinking that you could do something like this:
If you envision the window catio built without the concrete footer and picture it up against the house. If you were standing a few feet out from the house looking at the catio you could take 2 long pieces of wood and create a diagonal support beam one end connected to the top on the left and the right and the other two ends sunk into planters. I’m thinking that those older whiskey barrel planters ( see attached image) could provide the support at that end. Placing the end of the beam into the soil and up against the side of the barrel would be more than enough to keep the catio from tipping as the kitties played inside.
The benefit of using a planter is it would be more visually appealing. Flowers in the spring/summer, and in the winter they would probably be covered with snow.. but still pretty.
There are other options like the one you suggested just thought this might be a nice way to spruce up the area for the cats:)