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How to Create a Great Catio

January 15, 2017

Do you have a screened in porch or patio? If so, why not make it into a catio? Kitties are much safer inside, where they aren’t exposed to dangers posed by cars, predators, weather, and other hazards. However, Fluffy will still enjoy getting a taste of nature. Read on as a local Jacksonville, FL vet offers tips on making a catio.


Start by setting out some pet-safe plants for your furball to hide behind. Kitties love to peek out at their humans from behind plants! Of course, Fluffy may also want to nibble on some greenery, so it’s important to stick to non-toxic plants. Some good options are rubber tree plants, Boston ferns, African violets, cast iron plants, and ponytail palms. For smaller plants, you can set out catnip, wheat grass, or basil. Check the ASPCA website here for a full list of toxic and non-toxic plants.

Cat Furniture

No catio is complete without kitty furniture. A cat tower is a great option for this. Fluffy will gain a scratching post, a napping spot, and a good vantage point, all in one. If your budget is tight, you can go the DIY route, and make your pet a tower by repurposing an old stepladder, bookshelf, or metal storage rack. Position the tower so that your furball can watch birds or squirrels while she is lounging about looking cute. Window seats, catwalks, and wall-mounted furniture will also please your feline overlord. Just be sure that there are no nails or sharp splinters sticking out.


As you have probably noticed, Florida summers can get really hot! Overheating is very dangerous for our feline buddies. Fluffy can’t effectively cool herself off, and she is wearing a fur coat. Put a few fans out on your catio, and make sure your furry friend always has plenty of fresh water.


For a finishing touch, you’ll want to add some cat toys for your furball to play with. Get some hanging playthings, and dangle them off your pet’s kitty tower. (Make sure your feline pal can’t get tangled up in them!) Plastic balls are another good option. You can also offer Fluffy catnip bubbles, robotic mice, and/or an automated laser pointer.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns about your kitty’s health or care. As your local San Jose, Jacksonville, FL animal clinic, we are here to help!