Getting Started with Catios
Have you been thinking about creating an outdoor catio space for your cat? A catio, an outdoor enclosed patio designed for cats, are great for your cat to hang out in and take in the outdoors. Before jumping into a big project like this, here are a few things you’ll want to consider.
Ensuring Your Pet’s Safety
Safety first! Even if the catio you purchase or design seems to be 100% safe, you’ll always need to keep an eye on your feline friend. To make your catio a positive and safe space, we suggest you include the following features: an entry door or window, ramps, catwalks, hiding places, beds or pillows for resting, fresh drinking water, shady spaces , predator-proof screening (on the bottom as well as the sides), and a roof or covering for mild weather protection. Even in a catio, it’s crucial to never leave your pet unattended. At the end of the day, you are 100% responsible for your pet’s safety and ensuring your catio is a secure space!
Although your cat may not embrace the outdoors like a dog would, there are many advantages to spending time outside. The first and potentially the most important benefit pertains to the mental stimulation and enrichment for cats. The sounds and smells of nature, along with the ledges and climbing areas help channel your cat’s inner-adventurer. Another perk includes decreased conflict in multi-cat homes. If you have two cats or more, conflict may arise; however, a catio can give each cat an opportunity to explore and thrive individually. With multiple cats, be sure to provide multiple entrances and exits so no one gets cornered or let them enjoy the catio independently. Other benefits include exercise, wildlife protection (those song birds will be safe on the other side of the screen), and protection for your cat from other wildlife (be sure the material you use can withstand a predator trying to get inside from the top, sides, and bottom).
You can choose to purchase a ready made catio or build one from scratch. If purchasing, make sure to read all of the information provided and do a thorough comparison. More often than not, catios are on the pricier side which is why it’s important to do a thorough evaluation before making a purchase!
For our creative folks, diy catios are a great option. A diy catio enables you to meticulously control design, materials, and cost! With a self build you can be creative and cator (did you see what we did there) toward the specific needs and personality of your pet! The resources below will help you get started mapping out your catio from scratch.
Written by Gracie Butler
Spring and summer are finally within reach, and with the temperatures rising you may be looking for some activities to make the warm seasons cool. Here are a few ways to make the most of your Spring and Summer with your pup.
Go For a Stroll, Hike, or Run
Activity Intensity Rating: 3/10 - 9/10
We all know how much dogs love to embrace the outdoors! Whether it’s through a walk, hike or run, such activities are possible nearly everywhere anytime! Some great trails your dog will love in Minneapolis and St. Paul are the Minnehaha Fall Lower Glen Trail, the Mississippi Gorge Regional Park, and Winchell Trail. You can Google “hiking trails'' for a list in your area. Whether you head for a wooded trail or walk around your neighborhood, spending time outdoors is a great way to get some exercise and have quality time with your dog.
Activity Intensity Rating: 2/10
Outdoor dining in the Spring and Summer are great, bringing your dog along with you to your favorite patio is even better! Two great options with dog-friendly patios in Minneapolis and St. Paul are Eagle Street Grill and Aster Café. If you’re looking to feed you and your dog head over to The Howe Daily Kitchen and Bar where dogs are welcome on the “pawtio” and have their own doggy menu; yappy-hour is from 3:00pm-6:00pm!
Take a Swim
Activity Intensity Rating: 2/10 - 5/10
Splish, splash, or take a bath! In the land of 10,000 lakes finding a body of water for your pup to splash around in is hardly a problem. Whether you’re wanting to play with your dog or just enjoy watching them, taking advantage of the water is a great way to cool off on those warmer days. Make sure you check for postings about sewage leaks, algae blooms, or other contamination that would make the water unsafe for your dog before letting them swim.
Enjoy a Treat
Activity Intensity Rating: 2/10
Whether it be a pup cup, lick of ice cream, or homemade dog dessert, your dog will love a sweet treat to enjoy on beautiful Spring and Summer days. Pup cups can either entail a small cup of custard or whip sold at numerous fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, and Starbucks. If you’re looking for a DIY activity, countless dog dessert recipes can be found on Pinterest. What better way to show your dog how much you love them than by treating them with sweetness! If your dog has never consumed these treats make sure to offer them in moderation. Dogs are lactose intolerant and if they eat too much of these delicious treats, their tummies may not be too happy! Offering them ice cubes or other hard frozen treats can cause cracked teeth that then need to be addressed by a veterinarian, softer options are better. Some dogs are very sensitive to dietary changes, checking with your vet before trying these treats would be a good choice.
Yard and Outdoor Relaxation
Activity Intensity Rating: 1/10
Sometimes the best ways to spend time with your dog are more peaceful and laid-back activities. For this activity all you really need is a cozy spot in your yard or local park! Hot days are inevitable this summer, make sure your dog takes breaks from play and has access to plenty of water and shade to avoid heat exhaustion and potentially life threatening reactions.
Animal Care Foundation
Providing elderly and disabled community members access to veterinary care for their beloved pet.