Woman Builds An Elaborate Outdoor ‘Catio’ For Her Cats During Lockdown

Some cats are just not really meant for the great outdoors. I had a black cat once who, as much as he wanted to be outside, was just too skittish to actually be allowed out. In order to let him get his fix of outside, we used to push him around the neighborhood in a cat stroller. In hindsight, it probably would’ve been a lot less embarrassing if we’d just built him a “catio.”

And one couple, 39-year-old Holli Tracy Bennett and her 42-year-old husband Roger spent their quarantine building the coolest DIY “catio” that we’ve ever seen. They created the extravagant alfresco space for their three cats in order to give them a little area to call their own.

The construction of the area was actually quite inexpensive, costing the couple only £196 when it was all said and done. For that price the couple were able to fill the 12-foot enclosure with a real grass space, fairy lights, cat perches, and climbing ladders – Holli was even able to sneak in a hammock for her own use in order to be able to spend time with her furbabies.

The North Carolina native, Holli, has her own DIY company. She explained that she first began having cats in her home two years ago, and with that came a desire to build them an outdoor space where they could be safe. She further stated that she’d love it if her cats could safely go outdoors, but she didn’t want to risk them getting hit by cars, stolen by people, or attacked by predators, such as coyotes or hawks. When the world went into lockdown, Holli saw it as the perfect time to take advantage of the good weather and start her creative project.

Holli was also partially inspired to create the catio after watching how the cats would longingly stare out the backdoor every time she’d spend time outside by the pool. The guilt pulled at her heartstrings and prompted the new catio. Holli was happy to announce that her cats are in love with their new patio so much that they spend their days outside – she even has to herd them inside at night! Holli stated that they see it as their own personal playground.

14-month-old Cheeto, 1-year-old Nacho, and 10-month-old Queso are certainly reaping the benefits of the couple’s hard work at making them feel special. Holli is so happy that her precious felines are now able to safely spend time outdoors without any worries. The construction of the catio was simple enough. Roger started off by placing four concrete posts in the ground before using wooden posts and chicken wire to create the enclosure. The roof was constructed out of translucent plastic that allows the cats to feel like they’re in the great outdoors.

Holli was in charge of all the decorating. She managed to get most of the items either from her home or she refurbished items from her workshop. Her whole aim was to create a jungle experience for her cats so that they could feel like big cats. Holli spent a lot of time and energy into making the decor a mix of boho-chic meets jungle. As for the hammock, Holli explained that she just wanted a place to read and meditate while also spending quality time with her babies.

The only regret that Holli has is she didn’t make the space bigger. In fact, she shared her idea of building a second catio and connecting them via a tunnel. No doubt Nacho, Queso, and Cheeto would love that! Holli and Roger shared their handiwork to Facebook. Since posting, they’ve received lots of messages from people asking how they did it and if they have any advice or tips for those wanting to create catios of their own. In a gesture of kindness, the couple did build an outdoor enclosure for their local animal rescue for free.

Holli added, according to Tyla, that Nacho, Cheeto, and Queso are all special to her, given that each one would’ve died had she not taken them in. Therefore, she wanted to make sure that they all felt special and had their own place to safely observe the natural elements. She didn’t want them to spend 20 years of their life strictly indoors. And we have to say, what she created for them is definitely the feline definition of paradise. These little kitties are quite lucky.

What do you think of the DIY catio? Would you ever build something like this for your cats? Have you ever built something similar? Let us know!

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Anastasia is an American ex-pat living in Ireland. When she's not writing she can be found wandering the Irish countryside in search of inspiration. You can follow her writing adventures on Twitter @AnastasiaArell5 or Instagram @writeranastasia26
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