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Summer Safety: Tips For Using The Deck & Catio With Your Cat

When the warmer months start to show up, we’re more likely to take advantage of any outdoors spaces we have in our living situations.

This can also apply to indoor cats if you take the steps to construct a safe and secure catio for your feline or grant them monitored time on the deck.

Here’s some advice along with a few safety steps you must take when granting your cat outdoor privileges.

What’s A Catio?

Cats on deck
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A catio is a portmanteau of “cat” and “patio.” As the name suggests, it’s like a personal patio for your cat.

There are numerous guides around that give you step-by-step information on how to build a catio, and you can also order them complete if you don’t want to bother with building one, yourself.

They range in size from giant, deck-sized contraptions to boxes not much larger than a window air conditioning unit.

There are plenty of simpler options to give your cat safe outdoor time. You can find cat tents that are fairly easy to set up and take down in your yard, as well as enclosed playpens that you can move around as needed.

The Importance Of An Enclosed Space

Cat on deck
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Making sure the catio or deck is entirely enclosed is paramount. This usually takes the form of using screens or wire.

The benefit of a catio or enclosed deck is that you can grant your cat some outdoor time without them coming into contact with other animals that might carry communicable diseases or provoke or attack your cat.

You also prevent your kitty from wandering off and risking being struck by traffic or any number of other hazards.

Checking Your Cat’s Outdoor Space

Cats and raccoon
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Unfortunately, even the grandest catio or feline-friendly deck isn’t entirely fail-proof. Check screens regularly for holes and signs of fraying or damage, which might be caused by an outside animal.

While you don’t have to watch your cat’s every movement when they’re out on an enclosed deck or catio, it’s best to be close by so that you can check in on them regularly. This is especially true during their first few catio adventures.

Watch out for any weaknesses in the structure that your cat might exploit to escape.

Cat in shade
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It’s also vital to include a shaded spot. Cats might love to seek out sunbeams, but you don’t want to risk them overheating.

On that note, also always provide water while your kitty is outside.

Finally, if you add plants to your deck or catio to spruce it up, make sure they’re feline-friendly ones. If you’re in doubt, consult the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants and herbs as they apply to cats.

Now go ahead and enjoy that outdoor summer time with your cat!

Have you built a catio or deck space for your cat? Does your kitty like to spend time outside in summer? Let us know in the comments below!


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