As the weather starts to warm up (go away rain), the BC SPCA is encouraging cat owners to consider building a "catio."
Yes, a patio, but for cats.
The enclosure is usually built outside a door or a preferred window that your feline friend frequents.
The BC SPCA has a number of DIY catio guides. Whether it's a window that your furry companion can climb through or a deck or porch that could be cat-friendly, there's something that works for everyone. If you don't have something that's accessible, you could try building a free-standing catio.
There are a number of benefits to catios, the BC SPCA says in a news release.
First, they provide "enrichment."
"Cats are designed to leap, balance on thin ledges, and climb everything and anything. A catio provides them the opportunity to tap into their inner ancestral forest hunters, while also giving them access to the ever changing sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors. Translation: they’ll never be bored!" the animal organization says.
A catio also protects them from vehicles, potential poisoning, getting lost and other dangers that affect free-roaming cats. They're also less likely to cause a conflict in the neighbourhood (like if Sir Mix-A-Lot gets into Cindy's vegetable garden and uses it as its outdoor litter box).
The structures also help reduce the community cat population. A female cat can have up to three litters per year.
To learn more, click here.