Hightail-it to the 2022 cat patio tour fundraiser: see 10 Portland-area catios in person or online

There’s been a construction boom in the Portland area that you may not have noticed: cat patios — “catios” — and other screened enclosures to keep playful felines safe outside, scratching space in backyards.

The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon has mapped 880 catios in the urban area, and Executive Director Karen Kraus says the number is growing.

More people are pledging to protect cats and wildlife with the help of the Cats Safe at Home campaign, which aims to prevent free-roaming cats from getting into trouble and house-bound cats from getting bored.

Catios keeps felines away from dangerous dogs and other animals, and dangers such as cars, while also letting them run, nap in the sun, and play out hunting instincts with toys, rather than chasing birds and other wildlife.

The screened areas can be elaborate, free-standing structures equipped with perches for sunbathing, ramps and spiral staircases or a series of inexpensive wire cubes.

A squirrel eating at a small picnic table entertains cats in a catio. Cats Safe at Home Catio Tour

Want to see a catio with a cat’s perspective of a small picnic table built for squirrels to eat peanuts?

The 10th Annual Catio Tour will showcase 10 different dens, grouped in two parts of metro Portland, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10.

Meet the homeowners, see cats in action, and take home the 2022 Guidebook of catio design details.

Tickets (catssafeathome.org/catio-tour-1) cost $15 to join the tour in person at your own pace or $15 to watch video tours created with 360-degree images interspersed with owner interviews.

The limited $100 VIP package also includes time in a luxury catio off the main tour, a pre-event meeting, plus a tour t-shirt and goodie bag.

Funds from the Catio Tour support the Cats Safe at Home campaign, a partnership between the Portland Audubon and the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, and other animal conservation organizations.

As the founder of the Catio Tour in 2013, Portland can rightfully claim the title of Catio Capital, says Kraus.

“The event has been replicated around the world,” she says.

A catio can be any size from a simple flower box, screened balcony or freestanding metal and wood construction. Existing patios can easily be transformed into catios by enclosing them with screen or wire.

If you don’t want to build a cat condo, you can buy one or a kit. The Catio Tour will see a portable version.

Just like you, cats love ventilation and their Cat TV (aka an outdoor view). Add toys, a litter box and keep an eye on the weather: you may need a fan in the summer or a heater in the winter.

Some people use biodegradable, non-dyed, natural pine pellets in litter boxes to avoid any toxicity to the cats.

Litter Robot, an automatic, self-cleaning litter box designed by a discerning engineer, has been purchased by more than 750,000 cat parents who no longer shovel.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman

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