Thursday, August 25, 2016

Catio details: Construction is complete!

Popoki watching her catio being built

Like most shy cats, Popoki is very sensitive to noise. Banging, clanging and scraping sounds send her running for cover in a poof of left-behind fur. But this week, she's been strangely comfortable with construction noise. And that's a good thing, as all of the noise has been for her!

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, Popoki really wants to spend time outdoors, but her front declaw and skittish nature make her a poor candidate for the at-free, at-large life. Leash work helps, but she wants more. So hubby put together plans to build her a super-sweet custom catio.

A catio, for those who aren't aware of the phenomenon, is a completely enclosed outdoor space made for cats who want to be in nature but who can't be free to explore it without help. There are all sorts of catio designs, including very elaborate structures cats can access via an open window or cat door.

My writing studio could have accommodated something like that, but the studio also had a tiny little porch that seemed just right for a catio, as long as it was a custom job. Hubby to the rescue! Here are his plans.

Popoki studio building plans

He used wood from our local scrap lumber yard held together with a series of hinges, hooks, staples and screws. There are two types of screen involved, to keep the bugs out and to keep cats from clawing either in or out.

The whole thing cost us less than $100 to build, and hubby did the labor himself, with a little supervision help from Popoki.

Popoki watching her catio get built

The front of the studio gives Popoki a great view of the foot and bird traffic on the street, and it's a spot that's near and dear to her heart, as she spends most days in her cat bed on the chair, staring longingly out the double doors. Tomorrow morning, she'll be able to do that gazing in person.

Here's what the new catio looks like from the front.

Catio from the front

Hubby says he wants to add a little flashing or wood to the tippy top of the structure, as there's a gap up there that could let in a few bugs. But otherwise, this worked out according to his plans. It comes right off for cleaning (or winter storage), and it provides a screened spot for Popoki to view her domain.

Here's a side view.

The catio viewed from the side

Popoki has about 2 feet in front and something like 8 feet from side to side to lounge in. I'll be adding a few beds, scratching posts and toys to tart the place up.

Why isn't she in there now, you wonder? It's well over 90 degrees as I write this, and Popoki's flat face makes her intolerant of the heat. When things cool down tomorrow morning, she'll give it a whirl. But for now, she's staying in the air conditioning. Watch for updates with pictures of her enjoying the splendor!

What do you think of the catio? Love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a note in the comments, won't you?