Enriching Your Cat’s Life with a Catio
As our regular readers know, we live in coyote country. We hear them every evening when they come down into the valley for water and for hunting. No one in our area has outdoor cats.
But many of our readers don’t know that we’re also surrounded by a protected bird preserve. In fact, some of the back portion of our land is an actual preserve with an easement so biologists can come onto the land for bird counts and to track and count two protected species: the golden-cheeked warbler and the black-capped vireo. We’re proud that through the years we’ve preserved the land to the point where it was natural enough that, when the preserve came to our region, that it was deemed a good habitat for the birds.
Between the coyotes and the bird preserve, we know our cats absolutely have to remain indoors, and we’re happy about that. We do, however, want to do all that we can do to enrich their lives and provide them activities.
One of the best additions we’ve made to our home is the catio, a small screen room especially for the cats. They access it through a cat flap in our storage room, coming out to the outdoors but with the protection of the indoors. We’ve placed several bird feeders in the yard directly in front of the catio so the cats can take part in some bird watching of their own without putting anyone at risk.
For much of the year, we have a traditional bird feeder, like the one seen in the photo above, where we feed primarily sunflower seed. We have many doves come to the feeder along with some tufted titmice, black-capped chickadees, cardinals, and scrub jays.
When spring comes, we’ll add a hummingbird feeder as well. These fast-flying birds come up from Mexico and Central America and will stay until early September, flitting around the feeder and entertaining our cats at the same time!
This article was brought to you by Pets at Home.