Although you may want to give your cats the luxury of exploring the outside world, it can be near impossible, especially if you live in an apartment. You certainly don't want your cat to freely roam around the neighborhood, since it may stir up some trouble. Furthermore, your cat might get lost, or disrupt the local wildlife. However, since cats are still naturally curious as to what's out there and appreciate the fresh air, you should still give your cat the outdoor experience. And now you may do so with a catio!
Catios (or cat + patio) are an enclosure outside in your balcony, window or backyard where your cats can can roam around, breathing in fresh air from the outdoors. They are an essential, especially for those who foster rescue cats who are already used to the outdoors.
In this guide, we'll go over the best things to look for when selecting a catio for your apartment balcony. We'll even recommend you some of the best catios available on the market today!
Catios are pretty expensive to DIY, but there are good quality catios that are easy to set up! They range from large to small, mesh to wooden, cheap to expensive, and built for 1 to 10 cats! Keep reading for a guide on selecting the best catio, or scroll down for our top rated catios for apartment balcony via Amazon!
Before going out to purchase one of these catios, let's discuss the five main points you should seriously consider before pulling the trigger on one of these furniture.
First consider the limitations on the size of your balcony. Although we would all love to get the biggest enclosured catio, we are usually limited by height or area. Consider whether you're on the ground level or you have only a balcony, then figure out the width, depth and height of the available space.
After you've found how much size you can allocate, you need to figure out how much you wantto allocate. Make sure you note if you'll ever need some space for other activities or tasks (e.g. hanging laundry).
Since cats are territorial animals, some might become aggressive if there isn't enough space for the both of them. Thus, make sure that the cats either get along fairly well or that there's enough space for the both of them on the catio. Additionally, note that the bigger the catio, the better it usually is.
Many catios come with toys attached to them. You can also attach any toys if you want, or leave it toy-free so your cat can enjoy the outdoors and fresh air without any distractions.
There are different styles to choose from as well including tents, boxes, rectangles, and more! Choosing a style is important based on your cat's personality. Do they like to engage, or are they more of an observer?
Lastly, you will need to think about which material you’d like. Mesh, wood, plastic, catios come in all different types of materials - you name it! If you want something more durable, a wooden structure would be ideal, especially if you plan to put it out in the rain or hot sun. For something that's going to be mostly in the shade, plastic is usually fine.
We have searched for the top 5 catios that are currently available, and have come up with a list of the best ones for you to choose from.
This catio is perfect for those who have wiggle room where space is concerned. It has a sliding door, a small hinged door, and a window with a pane. Though there are a few different entrances and exits, all are fully secured and can only be opened from the outside to ensure that your cat cannot escape.
It also comes with a large main door that includes metal latches, which is great for getting in and doing any cleaning if necessary. Overall, the wood paneling at the side and the back are perfect protection from the natural elements while giving your cat a safe place to play outdoors!
Listed below are the different sizes that are available for you to choose from:
The weight will vary by size, but the 76.7”x37.2”68.7” weighs approximately 112 lbs.
|TRIXIE Pet Products||Wooden Outdoor Cat Home||$$ Check price |
This is another model for cats who aren't afraid of the outdoors. It comes with multiple stands where your cats can sit and watch the birdies go by!
|TRIXIE Pet Products||Wooden Outdoor Cat Home||$$ Check price |
For those who live on the ground floor, or have a big patio with enough space to hold it, this catio is perfect. This heavy duty catio is spacious enough to fit multiple cats, has a modular design that is perfect for adding large toys, and is opened by a swinging gate.
It's perfect for keeping your cats guarded and safe while outdoors. The heavy duty materials used in the construction will ensure that, no matter how many cats climb up one side, it’s not going to tip over.
It weighs approximately 128.2 lbs and has the size dimensions of 60"x60"x75". It’s relatively easy to put together, as well! Add in some outdoor cat furniture to furnish this space to your liking.
|Animal House||Protective Catio Cat Cage||$$$ Check price |
This catio doubles as an outdoor play area and a home, which makes it perfect for those who foster stray and rescue cats on a regular basis. It has an aluminum channel construction with heavy duty components and is 100% free of rust.
The design is paw friendly, meaning that there are no pinch points, gaps, or anything that could potentially cause harm to a cat. Though it may look complicated and very extensive to put together, it’s actually very easy to do and does not take very long at all.
It includes two extra large hammocks to give cats a comfortable place to sleep and soak in the sun, as well as two platforms that lock into the catio’s shell for added safety. This helps them access the 4 levels that are included without having to climb up the side. The extra large hammocks can be thrown into the washing machine for cleaning without being ruined, too.
The large base on the bottom is great for adding larger toys, a pad for their bathroom needs, blankets, whatever they might want or need. The hard rubber casters ensure that you will be able to move it around without taking the whole thing down, as well. This is great for those who may want to move it to access something behind it or whatever the case may be.
You can access the interior of this catio using one of the 3 large front doors, which can only be opened from the outside. This ensures that your cat will not be able to escape no matter what they try. The locking mechanism for each door requires 2 fingers to do so, which proves no jailbreaks will occur.
It weighs approximately 49 pounds and has the size dimensions of 40.5"x22.5"x63", which makes it surprisingly light at just over 5 feet tall!
You can view the Prevue Pet Products Premium 4 Level Catio for yourself by clicking here.
|Prevue||7500 Premium Cat Home with 4 Levels||$$ Check price |
Whether you’re a foster parent who is looking to purchase a safe space for your rescues to stay while they find their forever home, or you’re looking for a safe catio for your cat to soak up the sun for awhile, the best ones are definitely out there.
Do you have a catio at home that isn’t in this list, but you love? Do you have a fostering or rescue story that you’d like to share? We love reading comments from our readers, so leave a comment and share your story with us!