We believe cats should be indoor cats. Not indoor-outdoor, not outdoor. Indoor only. Cats can jump over fences and squeeze through small spaces. It only takes a moment for a cat to get spooked by something and run off. In our area, coyotes are being seen during the day, not to mention other predators as well as cars. Indoor cats live longer, healthier lives.
That said, there are ways cats can enjoy some fresh air and the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors in safe ways. We’ll share a few favorite ways here.
Catios: A “catio” is a patio for your cat! These are screened-in enclosures that allow your cat to be on a patio, deck, balcony, etc. while remaining safe from falls, predators, and other mishaps. A search online for “DIY catio” or “catio kits” will turn up all kinds of options. Catioworld.com and Catiospaces.com are two great places to learn more.
Harness and Leash: Cats can be trained to wear a harness and use a leash! When selecting a harness, be sure it fits securely so that your cat cannot wriggle out of it. This site posts reviews of several models of harnesses to choose from. Once your cat is used to wearing a harness you can add a leash and start venturing outside. Don’t be surprised if it takes some time for your kitty to feel comfortable, and don’t expect him or her to do more than sniff around at first. We’ve heard of some families using a harness and long lead so that they can bring their cats outside while they enjoy coffee in the morning.
Backpacks: There are special packs made just for pets so that you can take your cat on a walk or hike! Some feature a “bubble” for your cat to have a window on the world. Most feature some mesh for airflow. Search online for “backpacks for cats” to see the many options available.