Safe and enriching cat enclosures

In The News

San Diego Tribune Feature

Super cool to see a front page catio article in the San Diego Union-Tribune Home & Garden section, featuring Custom Catios/Catio Guy! The article by Nicole Sours Larson titled, “Catio homes a cool solution for cooped-up felines,” is one of the more in-depth newspaper pieces on cat enclosures. Here’s an excerpt:

Hannah Shaw, aka The Kitten Lady, known internationally for her work as a neonatal kitten rescuer, educator, author and trainer, moved to San Diego County from Washington, D.C., about five years ago to bring her care for at-risk newborn kittens to our region’s near-year-round kitten season. In late 2020, she and her now-husband found a house they loved in rural East County, home to abundant wildlife, including coyotes.

“One of the first things we did was create a catio off my office. I always wanted one,” Shaw explained.

She recruited Alan Breslauer, aka the Catio Guy, of Custom Catios, a longtime supporter of her nonprofit, the Orphan Kitten Club to design and build a narrow catio over a sidewalk for her four cats. She wanted to use the vertical space to install a 9-foot climbing pole (see “resources” for a link to her construction video), carpeted ramps and an elevated “cat super highway.” She was so pleased with the impact on her cats that she recently added a second larger porch-style catio, with furniture for humans and 20 cat perches, built on her home’s back.

A North County woman, who requested anonymity, found her way to Custom Catios through Breslauer’s work for Shaw. She explained she saved her pennies to add a special catio for her five indoor cats to her older, 1,000-square-foot home.

“They needed that outdoor stimulation. Alan asked if I wanted to do ‘Disneyland.’ We designed runways, elevated ramps and shelves, all kinds of places they can run. It’s about 8 feet by 16 feet, across the back of the house, with the runway going down the side of the house,” she said…

Breslauer started Los Angeles-based Custom Catios after he had his first catio built for his two cats, who didn’t get along. He had difficulty finding a contractor to construct one on his balcony. After adding the catio, his cats’ relationship changed — and he became a staunch advocate for catios. He’s since observed many bored, unhappy cats’ behavior improve with an outdoor catio and obese cats slim down with increased exercise.

He began designing custom catios part time after seeing the impact on his cats. Soon his business took off, finding a niche, building high-end, often “full Disneyland” catios in the greater L.A. area, with occasional larger projects in San Diego.

“We’re trying to bring joy to cats and their cat guardians. It’s really rewarding,” he said.

Read the entire San Diego Union-Tribune article.

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