Who run the world? Cats. And to prove our point, without saying a single gosh dang word, cats can persuade their owners to spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on cat patios, or “catios.”
Luckily, if you’re looking for catio inspiration for your own furry friend, you need look no further than the annual Catio Tour, hosted by the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon and Portland Audubon. For the past nine years, the Catio Tour has been seeking to inspire cat owners to build or buy their own outdoor cat enclosures to ensure their cats enjoy safe outdoor time while also protecting the many backyard birds that populate the Portland area. While in person registration has closed for this year’s event, happening September 11, a virtual tour option is still available.
So, you might ask, what is a catio exactly? While these can come in many sizes and shapes, from DIY to designer, these outdoor cat enclosures—cat patios=catios, if you need the etymology—are meant to keep both cats and other wildlife safe, offering outdoor time for cats and while protecting them from disease, predators, traffic, and other environmental hazards.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service cites cats among the top threats to US birds, killing an average of 2.4 billion birds each year. And according to Cats Safe at Home, an outreach effort that seeks to reduce the number of cats living outdoors in the Portland metropolitan area, around 40 percent of the 3,000 animals brought to the Audubon Society of Portland’s Wildlife Care Center receive their wounds from cats and of those wounded, only around 16 percent survive.
In conclusion: while catios are indeed spoiling your already-spoiled but so deserrrrrrving feline friend, these outdoor enclosures do plenty to protect birds and wildlife around the area. And they make for happy cats. Win!
September 11, in-person tour registration is closed, but the online tour is still available, $15