in partnership
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(Courtesy of Catio Spaces)

Catios are the PURRfect place for your feline friend

The garden is a great place to relax and hit the paws button on the busy pace of life.

But for cats, the call of the great outdoors can be downright dangerous...

"Vehicles, predators, poisons, diseases from other animals and getting locked in a neighbor's garage," says Cynthia Chomos. And that's just for starters.

Chomos is a feline lover and Feng Shui expert. She wanted to design a space for kitties so they could enjoy the outdoors, and she knew they had to be the cat's meow. So she started Catio Spaces, custom and do-it-yourself catios and cat enclosures. They range from relatively small and simple, to large and luxurious.

"It actually evolved out of an idea to keep my newly adopted cat, Serena, safe," she said. "I wanted to be able to enjoy the outdoors, so I decided to convert my patio into a Catio."

Here's another plus: the structures blend in with the home and environment and are purrfect for cats.

Some of the fabulous potential features include a catwalk between the house and catio, places for the feline to jump, and even a spiral staircase.

"I have an open-wire mesh to allow the rain to come down and keep the grass green," said Chomos. "She likes to hang out here in the summer, roll in the grass and eat some grass. And, I have a day bed for myself because I also know the benefits of a catnap,."

Catios, like the Sanctuary model, keep them healthy and happy. And thanks to Feng Shui, sitting in the "catbird seat." There are five elements in Feng Shui - and we got to see them all incorporated in the Sanctuary model.

"There's fire, which is represented by the sun and the color red, there's the earth in which I've incorporated some stones on the floor which get heated, and Serena likes to sit on those. There's metal which provides safety and the enclosure. There's water for my enjoyment, and a water bowl for her as well, so she always has a water bowl outside. And the plants add some of the natural elements as well."

The spaces also allow people to put their own personal pawprints on them - like adding a chandelier.

"We do custom Catios in the greater Seattle area, and then I also offer do-it-yourself Catio plans," said Chomos. "I have four different designs."

Catios are a place where a kitty can feel the wind in its whiskers, and humans can relax, knowing their pet is safe and sound. We wondered if Serena the cat could speak, what would she say?

"She would say life is good in a Catio," laughs Chomos.

If you want to build a Catio yourself, DIY Catio Plans by Catio Spaces range from $39.95-$69.95. Materials and lumber to build a small, DIY (do-it-yourself) Window Box Catio are approx. $300. If you prefer to have Catio Spaces build a larger, more elaborate Haven Catio for you, the investment can be can be a couple thousand dollars depending on size and location.