Cre­ate a Ca­tio For Your Cat!

Ready to take your cat­i­fi­ca­tion to the next level? Build your in­door cats a ca­tio! A port­man­teau of cat + pa­tio, catios of­fer the ul­ti­mate for in­door cats: an en­gag­ing space that of­fers stim­u­lat­ing, safe, and se­cure out­door ac­cess. With the help of Mario

Modern Cat - - Contents - BY ROSE FROSEK

Ready to take your cat­i­fi­ca­tion to the next level? Build your in­door cats a ca­tio!

The rea­sons to build your cat a ca­tio are multi-fold. Catios pro­vide fresh air, out­door ac­cess, and healthy stim­u­la­tion for your cats, while keep­ing them safe and se­cure. They can be built as stand-alone units or can en­close an ex­ist­ing pa­tio. For the DIY-er, how­ever, the task can seem daunt­ing, lead­ing many will­ing cat own­ers to never get started on the project. So we asked ar­chi­tect Mario Ar­bore how to use a Lucky Dog ken­nel kit with mod­u­lar com­po­nents to form the frame­work and then how to cat­ify the in­te­rior for a doable project that will thrill your cats.

Mario is all about cat-first de­sign. Un­der the name Square Paws, Mario cre­ates next-level cus­tom cat tow­ers that are works of art in and of them­selves. He’s also built a Ja­panese Zen gar­den-in­spired ca­tio for clients Michele and Tim San­ders, a project that stoked his creative fire.

“We had a gor­geous koi pond to work with and the San­ders’ have some Ja­panese pieces—from benches to Bud­dhas—so we hit on the idea of build­ing an en­closed Ja­panese cat gar­den,” Mario says. “Michele wanted the cats to have high view­ing points—cats need a place to get away, ide­ally high up for pro­tec­tion,” Mario ex­plains—so I drew some plans show­ing el­e­va­tion; we de­cided on a bridge with a metaphor­i­cal river of rocks run­ning un­der, and the project took off.” They added benches, a pagoda, and a Bud­dha statue, and land­scape light­ing lit their 250 square foot ca­tio.

Michele was thrilled with the end re­sult. “Mario de­signed our ca­tio with four male cats in mind. They can en­joy the space with­out nec­es­sar­ily in­ter­act­ing or ne­go­ti­at­ing with each other. An­dre is feral and very sick but when he’s in the ca­tio, he is so in­ter­ested and stim­u­lated, like he has a new lease on life. Imag­ine what it does for my healthy three!”

Though the plan Mario has pro­vided here in­cludes no Bud­dhas, cats will be no less pleased with the re­sults. With a bridge, perches a plenty, the pos­si­bil­ity of bird sight­ings, and fresh air, this kit-based cat en­clo­sure checks all the boxes.

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