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Curious About Catios?

Like a curious cat, you've got questions. And I've got answers. After all, being a contractor is all about coming up with solutions.

Simply click the button if you're ready to GET STARTED! I'll respond with a questionnaire for you to describe your vision, attach pics, etc.!

  • What is a Catio?
    Quite simply, a catio (“cat patio”) is an outdoor enclosure that keeps cats and birds and wildlife safe. Think ‘dog kennel,’ but waay cooler. Because cats are…well…you know. ;-)
  • What are the benefits of a Catio?
    Catios offer cats 🐈 healthy exercise time as well as safety from outdoor hazards like cars, predators and poisons. Catios also protect wildlife, keeping small birds and other critters safe from cats. It’s a win-win! Catios can be shared by other peacefully-coexisting family members too, be they rabbits, turtles, or even - good grief - Dogs. With a few plants and a comfy place to sit, Catios can offer a Zen zone for humans to enjoy too!
  • Are there different types or styles of Catios?
    Just like their inhabitants, no two Catios are identical. Catios can be as small and ‘simple’ as a window unit or basic enclosure, up to the limit of your imagination - like a 50’ long Catio that NEVER touches the ground!? Or it might include a ‘re-built’ tree for climbing and bird watching! Some are built exclusively for the felines, while other styles either accommodate human presence or encompass the entire patio or deck area to form an integrated living space/Catio.
  • So how do I get a Catio?
    Pre-fabricated units, plans to build your own, and custom design/build providers present a wide range of options that ALL deliver the goods: Getting cats outdoors safely. 😺 Building a basic Catio shouldn’t be too difficult for someone handy with basic power tools, particularly with a well designed plan to follow. The pre-made units are also not rocket-surgery to assemble, though may require site preparation or cat access that goes beyond the average homeowner/cat-lover skillset. For many, the best choice is to engage a partner, preferably a cat-lover with Catio building experience. If you don’t have the tools, time or inclination - seek the help of a professional. He or she should have all three and be well-suited to make your wildest Catio dreams come true. And, as my Dad would always say, ‘That’s why they make the medium bucks.’
  • What is the Catio Craftsman's specialty?
    As the name implies, its more about quality than quantity. Catio Craftsman builds a limited number of custom projects each year, with keen attention to details and considerable effort made to deliver a safe, stimulating, and aesthetically-pleasing result. Effective collaboration yields creative solutions that meet the needs of both cats and their humans!
  • How much does a Catio cost?
    While the benefits are priceless, certainly budget is often a primary consideration for Catio shoppers. Frankly, the price range is as wide as the variety of Catios themselves. DIY plans are available for less than $100, pre-fab units from online retailers and home improvement stores start at a few hundred and go up from there, while custom design/build projects can range from $2500 to over $10,000.
  • What are 3 primary considerations when building a catio?
    Safety and security. Ensure that there are no escape routes or passages to freedom (and danger). Choose thoughtfully the type of mesh/screening you will use: strong enough to keep predators out and your felines in; perhaps sized smaller to keep out small birds; maybe even a two-layered approach with screening to keep bugs out as well. Self-closing/latching doors are preferred to minimize door-dashes. Location, location, location. Ideally, your Catio will be located where you can enjoy your cats enjoying the outdoors. How will they get to/into the catio - window or sliding door, perhaps a new cat door? Sun and shade available? Existing patio or deck? While having a dirt floor may seem like a good idea, it does come with some considerations - like having an alternative litter box! and securing against digging out. Or in! Material choices and longevity. Given it’s exposure to the elements (particularly the rain here in the Pacific NW), materials should be chosen and preserved accordingly whether leaving things au natural (as often is the case with Cedar) or protecting and enhancing the look of your wood with paint or stain. Select fasteners (screws, nails, staples) that are galvanized, coated, or stainless (for Cedar) and appropriate for their role - especially the structural load they will bear.
  • What should I look for in a Catio builder?
    Just like any project or relationship, I feel strongly that the key to a successful collaboration is communication. Look for a contractor partner that listens to your needs and offers solutions that demonstrate he/she hears you! Ask for references from previous projects; contact them and ask questions like ‘how was he/she to work with?’ and ‘was it a pleasant experience or more like having your wisdom teeth put back in?’
  • How long does it take to build a custom Catio?
    Once underway, a build typically lasts about 1-2 weeks, though complex builds take longer and there are almost always a few unexpected variables to address along the way. There are times when material availability can impact project times as well.
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