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Culture & Design

How to Unite Cat and Bird Lovers? Build a Catio

Cat owners are spending thousands of dollars on enclosures to keep their cats from escaping — or pouncing on innocent birds

Brenda Thompson has built her two cats a $10,000 “catio” — a cat patio.

Brenda Thompson has built her two cats a $10,000 “catio” — a cat patio.

Source: Brenda Thompson

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Brenda Thompson’s yard in northeastern Los Angeles is an avian paradise. Hummingbirds, goldfinches, juncos, and crows, among other bird varieties, splash in her fountain, guzzling sugar-water and nibbling the seeds she sets out. Now and then a neighborhood cat strolls along, and tries to go after and grab at the birds. Luckily, Thompson’s own cats, Cooper and Fizz, have no blood on their paws. That’s largely because Thompson has built them a $10,000 “catio” — a cat patio.

The wood-and-wire enclosure opens off Thompson’s dining room and loops around the back of her house, allowing Cooper and Fizz to get fresh air and feast their eyes on feathered visitors while ensuring they never get within pouncing distance. “We sit and watch the birds a lot from our deck — and now the cats can come and watch the birds as well,” Thompson says.