There are no rules about how big your catio has to be – as long as your cat has enough space in your home to get enough exercise every day, the catio will just be so they get some fresh air.
However, you will want to measure how large your outdoor space is – will it be on a balcony, on a patio, or just freestanding in your garden?
A big thing to think about is height. Will they appreciate a taller catio they can jump and play freely and so you can join them, or are they not bothered and will likely be sleeping in their bed anyway?
The material of the mesh should always be metal so your cat can’t chew through it, and nothing else can get in either. As for the build, they’re usually metal or wood.
The latter will need more care and attention over time with weatherproofing, but can also be easier to fix to your home or outbuilding by drilling or screwing it in place.
Where To Put A Catio
As mentioned, they can go on a balcony, on a patio or in your garden.
If it will be attached to your house, think about where. It will need to be secured flush to your brick or concrete all the way around so you need plain walls. But also think about how they will be getting in and out of the catio – will this be through your door, through a window or through a cat flap?
As most catios are all separate panels together, you can usually leave one entire side off for full access, but you may also just want to use a small opening if they’re using a window or flap. If they will have access at all times, a flap is probably best – this way, you won’t be letting cold into your home by leaving the door open all the time!
Catios can also be placed in your garden as outbuildings. They can either be placed in there, or you can leave it open so they can go in there of their own free will when they need shelter or access to toys.