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National Catio Day

March 15, 2023

March 15th is National Catio Day! This is one holiday we know our feline patients would approve of. (Granted, Fluffy may show her appreciation in some rather odd ways, but that’s another topic.) As you may know, we always advise keeping kitties inside. Catios are a great way to let your pet enjoy some fresh air and sunshine without the risks. A local vet discusses Fluffy’s outdoor kitty pad in this article.

Benefits Of Catios

If you tell your kitty that she is safer indoors, because of the dangers posed by things like cars, weather, traffic, parasites, chemicals, and wild animals, she’ll probably just yawn and lick her paw. Regardless of your pet’s opinion on the matter, she really is better off indoors. Catios can be a great compromise, though. They let your feline pal get some stimulation and enjoy a change of scenery without compromising her safety. The best of both worlds! 


An enclosed porch or patio is a great spot for a catio, but those aren’t the only options. You can use a spare room, sun room, or even a bright corner. There are no official rules or laws here: the point is to just give your pet a taste of the great outdoors. Choose a spot that gets a lot of light, preferably one with a good view. For extra purrs, put a birdfeeder up where your kitty can see it.

Catio Trappings

If there was a single ‘must-have’ for catio spaces, it would be a cat tower. You can buy one, but you can also go the DIY route and upcycle a stepladder or metal storage rack. You may also want to add some pet-safe plants, which will also give your place a nice welcoming look. Some good options are Spider plants, Boston ferns, Rubber tree plants, and Areca palms. You can find a full list of both safe and unsafe plants at the ASPCA website here. Catios can also double as great reading/yoga spaces: add some cute pieces for yourself as well.  


If you want to go even further in pleasing your feline overlord, you can opt for an enclosure. You can attach these to existing windows or doors, without having to make any structural changes. Look online for products or, if you’re going the DIY route, plans. For enclosure, we would recommend choosing a level area, one that gets a mix of sun and shade.

Our Advice on National Catio Day in 2024

What is National Catio Day, and why is it celebrated?

National Catio Day, celebrated on March 15th, is dedicated to raising awareness about the benefits of catios (cat patios) for indoor cats. It promotes providing a safe, enclosed outdoor space where cats can enjoy fresh air, sunlight, and outdoor views without the risks of roaming freely. This day encourages cat owners to consider catios to enrich their pets’ lives, offering mental and physical stimulation while protecting them from outdoor hazards like traffic, predators, and diseases.

How do catios benefit indoor cats?

Catios provides indoor cats with a safe way to experience the outdoors. They offer mental stimulation and reduce stress by allowing cats to observe nature, bask in the sun, and enjoy fresh air while protecting them from dangers like traffic, predators, and diseases. This enrichment can improve overall well-being and behavior. Catios also helps manage weight by encouraging physical activity. They’re an excellent compromise for pet owners wanting to keep their cats safe yet engaged with the outside world.

What are some essential features to include in a catio?

Essential features for a catio include a sturdy, secure enclosure to keep the cat safe. A cat tower or shelves for climbing and perching enhance the space. Include comfortable resting areas, like beds or hammocks. Offering pet-safe plants can add a natural touch. Ensure good ventilation and shade for comfort. For added enrichment, provide toys and a view, possibly with a bird feeder nearby for visual stimulation. Remember, the catio should be escape-proof and protected from predators and harsh weather.

What are the considerations for building or choosing an enclosure for a catio?

When building or selecting a catio enclosure, consider safety and durability first. Use materials that withstand weather and prevent escapes or intrusions. The size should accommodate your cat’s activity level, with enough space for climbing and exploring. Ensure proper ventilation and shade for comfort. Position the catio to offer stimulating views, like a garden. Incorporate weatherproof furniture or structures for climbing and resting. Accessibility for cleaning and maintenance is also crucial. Tailor the design to fit your cat’s needs and your home’s layout.

What recommendations are given for the placement of a catio enclosure?

Choose a location that balances sun and shade for catio placement, ensuring your cat can enjoy warmth and retreat to more excellent areas. Ideally, it should be adjacent to a window or door for easy access. Like a garden or trees, a spot with a view of nature offers visual stimulation. Ensure the area is level and secure. PositionPosition near a bird feeder to enhance your cat’s observational experience. Avoid noisy or high-traffic areas to reduce stress and ensure a peaceful environment for your cat.

As your local animal clinic, we are dedicated to offering ‘purrfect’ veterinary care. Call us, your local animal clinic in Peterborough, ON anytime!