StyleCaster recently published a beautiful and important article titled, “A Beginner’s Guide to the Catio – Cat Patio – Trend,” which features yours truly waxing on about treating cats better:
Alan Breslauer, founder of Los Angeles-based Custom Catios, is trying to rectify a world that hasn’t figured out how to treat cats right. “Some people get a cat and think they don’t have to take care of it,” Breslauer tells StyleCaster. We’re so much more advanced with dogs, in how we take care of them and think of them. We have dog walkers, doggy day care, a whole dog industry—because you can’t leave your dogs home all day. People are starting to realize that cats have needs too.”
Outdoor vs Indoor Only vs Catios
Journalist Becca Evans, whom I have mad gratitude for writing so eloquently about our young industry, then lays out the issues facing outdoor and indoor only cats:
Breslauer argues that neither the outdoors nor the indoors is exactly right for cats. “[Cats] kill billions of birds and other small animals every year,” Breslauer says, adding that the environment can be just as dangerous to them. “There are coyotes, cars, poison—all conspiring to take years off your cat’s life.” The indoors, of course, presents its own issues. Lack of exercise and stimulation can leave a cat bored, obese and destructive. “[Cats] can jump 5-7 times their body length, they have super hearing, they can see in near pitch black,” Breslauer says. “You have to create environments for them where they can utilize their senses.” Otherwise, you get what Breslauer calls “stress relieving behavioral issues”—the kinds of classic cat antics, like clawing furniture and being aggressive, you’ve probably witnessed if you’ve ever stayed up late enough to catch an episode of My Cat From Hell.
Monkey and Cooper
Evans, bless her soul, even found room in the piece for my fur-babies, who immediately let the fame go to their heads:
It was seeing this kind of behavior in his own cats, Monkey and Cooper, that spurred Breslauer to build his first catio (which by this point you’ve almost certainly guessed is a portmanteau of “cat” and “patio”). Catios come in a variety of sizes, price ranges and styles, but the goal is always the same: allowing cats access to the outdoors while keeping them safe.
Lots more goodness in the article including a bunch of catio tips and best practices from me. Evans also goes deep with industry pioneer Cynthia Chomos of Catio Spaces and talks to our good friends at Cats Safe at Home. Do yourself a favor and read it!