Neelix

‘Catios’ let rescued cats get outside safely

Tiny Kittens’ rescued feral cats can now get some fresh air.

Cats sheltered by Langley’s Tiny Kittens volunteers have a nice middle ground between being indoor and outdoor cats

Vancouver Island’s John Creviston built a number of “catios” over the last few months for the local volunteer cat rescue group.

“It’s an outdoor enclosure, for an indoor cat,” Creviston said.

The catios are caged runs, extending from a window or covering an existing patio, allowing an indoor cat to get some fresh air and extra space, while keeping them safe from the dangers of the wider world.

They don’t have to worry about predators, and the local birds, mice, and squirrels don’t have to worry about being eaten by house cats.

Creviston was contacted by a Tiny Kittens volunteer and asked to donate his work on the catios.

While he usually has to turn down the many requests he gets from rescue groups – they could easily keep him busy all the time – he did come out last fall and again this spring to build a few runs here in Langley.

The work has been much appreciated by Tiny Kittens founder Shelly Roche.

“The catios have transformed our space!” Roche said in an email to the Langley Advance. “Fresh air and natural light are so beneficial to a cat’s health, and are particularly important for feral cats who have never been indoors.”

Many of the cats at Tiny Kittens are rescued feral cats from around Langley. The volunteers particularly try to bring in kittens and pregnant cats, so the kittens can be adopted into homes. The adult cats are spayed or neutered.One of the feral cats checks out the catio enclosure.

“I have seen a big difference in the stress levels of our newest batch of ferals now that they have safe access to the outdoors,” Roche said.

Creviston said the outdoor runs and enclosures have become more popular over the past few years as people see their pets more as family members.

“People place a lot more importance on their health and welfare,” Creviston said.

Creviston got his start in creating enclosures on the wild animal side.

He was trained as a zookeeper and worked at the Calgary Zoo and at the Crystal Garden Conservation Centre, then with an SPCA wild animal rehabilitation group on Vancouver Island.

While working with small wild animals, he often saw people bringing in small mammals injured by house cats.

As a designer of animal enclosures, Creviston could create a solution that would allow animals to be outside at times but limit risks to local wildlife and pets alike.

 

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