Many cats in New York City don’t get out much. With outdoor space being at a minimum for most New Yorkers, it just isn’t an option. Kitty catios, though, are a way for pet owners to let their cats get some fresh air, and keep them safe at the same time.
WHEN it comes to their homes, there are few things New Yorkers prize as much as a little outdoor space — a terrace, perhaps, or a small deck in the backyard.
Their cats feel the same way.
So some cat owners who would never dream of letting their pets roam free outside have come up with a creative compromise: an enclosed space — usually in the form of a screened-in porch or deck — that allows them to share the great outdoors.
Please don’t call it a cage. They prefer the term “catio.”
“The cats, they like to sit out there,” said Stefanie L. Russell, 44, referring to the balcony of her 12th-floor Greenwich Village apartment, where a homemade enclosure keeps her three Burmese cats safe. “Before, we basically didn’t use the balcony at all, because we were afraid that the cats would fall or jump.”
Two years ago, she and her husband, Robert Davidson, who are on the faculty of the N.Y.U. College of Dentistry, fenced off half the balcony, which runs the length of the apartment. They used industrial-grade PVC pipe and heavy black netting, creating a fully enclosed space that they decorated with furniture, plants and carpeting.
Now the couple and their 9-year-old daughter, Sophie, leave the terrace door open for Oliver, Lily and Jackson, who are, as Ms. Russell put it, “the type of cats that love to run out in the hallway.”
The cats seem happier, she said, and there has been an unexpected bonus: “Before, we used to have pigeons nesting on the balcony, and it was just a mess.” These days, the birds keep their distance.
See The New York Times for the rest of ‘Catios’ Bring Cats Outdoors.