Having cats is one of life’s great pleasures. The love and entertainment that pet owners receive from those sweet, furry little faces is worth every bit of responsibility that comes with it. To keep your special family members happy, healthy and safe, it’s a wonderful idea to install a cat enclosure in whatever outdoor space your home offers.
Cat enclosures come in all different shapes, sizes and designs, from DIY “Catios” to professionally-installed “runs.” Choosing the best enclosure for your cat depends on the space you have to work with. Generally speaking, as long as your kitty has access to fresh air and sunshine, and she can walk around and stretch her legs in a safe spot full of all the beautiful smells of nature, your cat enclosure has fulfilled its purpose.
Feline happiness is a direct symptom of cat enclosure ownership - off course, there are even more reasons to make a cat enclosure part of your home!
5. A Long Life
Your indoor cat can easily live up to 14 years and far beyond that with the help of a stable cat enclosure. On the other hand, outdoor cats live an average of only 4 years due to traffic accidents, fights with other pets and wild animals, communicable diseases and other factors. Unfortunately, kitty isn’t always happy to stay indoors day after day. A cat enclosure lets your little furry friend drink in the great outdoors from the safety of his own yard, thus extending his life countless years!
4. Minimal Risk of Infections and Illness
Even the most street-smart cat can get into trouble out there, which translates into all kinds of scrapes, bruises, infections, parasites and sickness. Ideally, pet cats have been vaccinated for feline panleukopenia, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus and rabies, but that doesn’t protect them from picking up colds, flus and other viruses. The best way to keep your cat healthy and pain-free is to let him be the king of his own domain - away from other animals and hazards.
3. Psychological Stability
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Donald Hamilton believes that cats need more space and socialization than they are often allowed as indoors-only pets. “In reality, many cats become quite stressed when kept inside, especially when they are alone a lot or when there are too many cats in a house and not enough room for each cat to have its own space.” A catio or full-yard cat enclosure lets kitties sniff and safely socialize with other animals and humans around their home, relieving the psychological stresses associated with being kept strictly indoors.
2. The View Gets Better
Cats are creatures of strong instinct, especially when it comes to hunting. As well-fed as your little darling may be, he probably can’t pass up the opportunity to pluck a fat, juicy robin from its perch in the back yard. Bird aficionados the world over are notorious for their dislike of outdoor and feral cats, for the simple reason that our precious cat friends have eaten their way through entire flocks of indigenous bird species. And let’s face it, nobody enjoys bird watching more than a cat. The perfect solution? Keep the two separate with a few solid mesh walls.
1. Stimulation and Enrichment
It’s no secret to cat owners that no matter how young, old, big or small a cat is, he is always interested in smelling, batting and discovering new things. After all, physical and mental stimulation are what keeps your furry friend young and fit! No matter how expansive or cozy the cat enclosure you have installed or built yourself, there are a million ways to personalize it and engage your cat. Incorporate non-toxic plants, dangling toys, steps, stairs and shelving to truly optimize that space and let kitty play any way he sees fit.
As a housecat with access to a beautiful and safe back yard, I can personally vouch for the high value of an outdoor enclosure. I can run, jump, play, sniff, scratch and really get my paws dirty. I am a tiger!
Anyway. Give it some thought. Your kitty will thank you!