“Catios” offer cats some wind in their whiskers

October 2, 2019
Cat laying on a patio

Pet cats are known to lust after the great outdoors, but Lindsay Merkel, DVM, DACVIM, the chief of small animal internal medicine at the VMC and an associate professor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, says cats that run free are in danger of crossing paths with cars, catching a fatal disease from preying wild animals, or picking up an infection from other cats. But, she says, cats that are kept in the house need mental stimulation. In recent years, do-it-yourself cat owners, pet companies, and cat-friendly contractors have begun creating patios for their furry feline friends, which keep cats safe while letting them enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. Merkel says a catio can be a safe way to keep a house cat entertained. “I’m actually trying to talk my husband into building a catio,” she says. Read more in the Star Tribune