Cats that live indoors tend to live longer, which isn't exactly surprising considering the fact that there are no cars or predators inside your home. Still, fresh air and the natural sights are beneficial to your furry friend, and let's face it: cats love the outdoors. To give them the best of both worlds, many cat owners are now building catios or cat patios. Just like many backyard patios, catios have fences. The difference is that catios are completely enclosed to ensure pets don't wander off and get into trouble. Ready to create your own catio? Read the ideas below to get started.

Build a basic enclosure

The type of catio you build largely depends on your space and whether you have a home with a yard or you live in an apartment complex. If you have a yard, you can build a permanent, large catio that offers plenty of room for cats to run around and play. Start by buying packs of wire mesh squares to construct a fenced-in area that attaches to the side of your home. This gives you the option to create a door that gives your cat access to the outdoors any time during the day.

If you live in an apartment or condo, a balcony or window catio can be a great option depending on which floor you live on and the building design. A balcony catio is often the better option, and you can attach yours to the balcony railings or build a stand-alone structure. If you're building a window catio, keep in mind that you'll waste energy if you run the air conditioner when the window is open.

Add excitement with climbing structures

When building your catio, its a great idea to include climbing structures that can be used to enhance your pet's fun. There are many elaborate designs that you can buy, but you don't necessarily need a complicated climbing structure to make your cat happy. When building your own, use sisal fabric and rope to entice your furry friends. Cats love digging their claws into the rough texture of sisal and will appreciate having the opportunity to scratch.

Remember: Safety is key

The purpose of catios is to keep your pets safe outdoors, but your structure can't protect cats if it is poorly designed. Take the time to secure your enclosure so you don't give your cats an opportunity to escape. If building a window catio, it's essential to have a sturdy frame that will hold the catio in place.

Protect your cat without preventing her from enjoying a breath of fresh air now and then. With lumber, wire mesh and hardware, you can build a catio that works with your space.

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