Catios offer spring fever solutions for cats, birds and wildlife
SEATTLE, Washington (February 14, 2022) — Cat parents don’t need a calendar to know when spring is imminent. Their curious fur kids will likely exhibit predictable signs of feline spring fever, including early morning wake up calls, meowing, and a strong desire to be outdoors. Accommodating these and other natural urgings could put their beloved pet in harm’s way while creating a quandary for responsible cat owners. A simple solution to the “indoor/outdoor dilemma” is available.
“There are many ways to create safe and stimulating environments for cats, with catios, outdoor cat enclosures, being an increasingly popular solution. What better time than spring to undertake a fun DIY project for these valued family members,” said Cynthia Chomos, founder-designer at Catio Spaces™. Passionate about design, nature and cats, the longtime cat parent started her company nearly 10 years ago to provide aesthetically pleasing enclosures for homes and gardens that enhance a cat’s life while also offering protection for birds and other wildlife.
An avid gardener and supporter of animal welfare organizations, Chomos has worked with the
Humane Society of the United States, National Wildlife Federation, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and other groups to build awareness of solutions to keep both cats and wild birds safe. ABC’s research shows free-roaming pet cats kill more than 700 million birds in the U.S. each year.
“Every bird counts, and I’m passionate about educating cat parents about the many benefits of catios, as too many feathered ‘gifts’ are brought home and left on the doorstep,” Chomos said. “With loss of habitat and other factors affecting bird populations, catios are a great way for cat parents to support bird conservation in their own backyard.” To keep cats safe, healthy, and happy outdoors, she offers a variety of resources including free catio tips, DIY catio plans, the Catio Cats’ Guide to Birdwatching, and How to Create a Cat and Bird-Friendly Garden.
Many cities across the U.S. are adopting leash laws for cats. Noting feline bird predation is historically a source of considerable tension between birders and cat owners, Bob Sallinger, director of conservation at Portland Audubon and board president of Humane Voters Oregon, said catios have emerged as a solution both cat owners and animal welfare groups can agree on. “This is a way to address the conflict that’s humane and appeals to cat lovers and bird lovers alike,” he stated in an interview with Bloomberg Green.
Chomos’ company, Catio Spaces™, offers a variety of award-winning DIY plans for cat owners who want to build their own enclosure, or hire a carpenter to build it for them. She also designs and works with a team of carpenters building custom catios in the Greater Seattle area and consults with cat parents around the world.
“These outdoor enclosures, sometimes called cat patios, help solve the indoor/outdoor dilemma and provide peace of mind for cat parents,” said Chomos, adding, “The downloadable, step-by-step DIY plans are easy to follow and rewarding to build.” All plans come with step-by-step instructions, drawings, a materials and tool list, and can be built with materials from a local home improvement or lumber store.
The Catio Spaces™ plans include various designs and sizes for a window, porch, patio, deck, garden or yard. Many are large enough for human seating! The newest DIY offerings include catio additions, the Cat Tunnel in a variety of configurations and Catio Litter Box extensions (accessible from outside the catio for cleaning) for cats to enjoy a convenient ‘al fresco’ experience.
“Protecting pets at home is a responsibility every pet parent should take seriously. We’ve all seen neighborhood posters and online forums for lost and missing cats – and it’s both heart-wrenching and preventable,” emphasizes Chomos. While animal advocates may debate the merits of leash or other laws intended to protect felines, there is near-universal agreement that catios are a safety win for cats, songbirds and other wildlife.
As a proponent for the health and happiness of animals, Chomos uses her platforms to remind pet parents of their obligations for the safety and wellness of their beloved companions. She is a founding organizer of Catio Tour Seattle, an annual educational showcase presented in collaboration with PAWS and The Humane Society of the United States. She also offers a Catio Tour Planner on her website for animal welfare groups interested in hosting an event in their city.
To help animal welfare organizations generate revenue, Catio Spaces™ donates 10% from the sale of DIY plans and has an Affiliate Program. Organizations that help cats, birds or wildlife can earn 10% from each sale they generate when using an exclusive promo code and simply sharing information about the benefits of catio havens and DIY catio plans.
Changing seasons can trigger physical and psychological symptoms for humans and cats. While some signs of cat spring fever are harmless, others can cause stress, mischievous or even manic behavior, changes in eating patterns, or other unhealthy actions.
“Every cat has a right to happiness,” according to musician Steve Parris, a member of The Pilchuck Boyz. He was so inspired by a newly built catio for his two cats, he wrote and produced a catio song for a new album. Chomos licensed the use of their catchy tune and produced a 90-second video, “Catio Fun,” that showcases several catios and happy cats enjoying their carefree – but safe and stimulating — catio lifestyle.
Chomos believes both indoor and outdoor spaces that cater to a pet’s wellbeing need not compromise the aesthetics of a home or garden. As a feng shui expert, catio designer, and general contractor, she applies that knowledge and her understanding of cats’ sensitivity to their surroundings in her designs. “Creating purrfect spaces, indoors and out for all family members helps create harmony for happier homes and happier cats. It’s a joy to be involved every day with cat safety and enrichment while also protecting bird and wildlife.”
Cynthia Chomos, Catio Designer and Founder of Catio Spaces™, and her tabby Serena, Chief Feline Officer
Catio Spaces: https://catiospaces.com/
Benefits of Catios: https://catiospaces.com/catios-cat-enclosures/why-a-catio/
Free Catio Tips: https://catiospaces.com/catios-cat-enclosures/free-tips/
DIY Catio Plans: https://catiospaces.com/catios-cat-enclosures/diy-plans/
Catio Cats Guide to Birdwatching: https://catiospaces.com/catios-cat-enclosures/free-tips/a-catio-cats-guide-to-birdwatching/
How to Create a Bird-Safe Garden: https://catiospaces.com/animal-welfare/save-birds-wildlife/love-cats-birds-and-gardens-heres-how-to-create-a-bird-safe-garden/
Catio Fun video (90 seconds): https://catiospaces.com/catios-cat-enclosures/videos/catio-showcase-fun-music-video/
Affiliate Program (fundraising for animal welfare organizations): https://catiospaces.com/animal-welfare/affiliate-program/