On Saturday, July 28, local cats from the greater Seattle area are going to permit curious humans with limited access to their royal abodes at the Catio Tour Seattle.

The popular tour, which showcases the latest and greatest in catio design, provides a closer look at this up-and-coming quirky Pacific Northwest-born trend. Catios are species-specific homes for our feline companions: enclosed cat patios that permit cats to go outdoors safely. Environmental enrichment is important for cats’ mental and physical wellness, and catios provide them with an opportunity to experience the outdoors. The tour is on Saturday, July 28, beginning at 12:00 and ending at 4:00, and meanders from West Seattle through Northwest Seattle.

Chateau Gateau, one of the catios on this year’s Catio Tour

“It’s the one time of year when our feline friends agree to provide limited access to their royal accommodations for the viewing pleasure of their human companions – and we couldn’t be more grateful for their patience and understanding,” said Katie Amrhein, PAWS Education Coordinator.

Jennifer Hillman, Vice President of Grassroots Outreach & Engagement at The Humane Society of the United States, points to the serious side of catios. “Cats with catios are less likely to get lost and live longer than outdoor cats,” she explained. “The many dangers faced by an outdoor cat can significantly shorten their lifespan, while an indoor cat or a cat with access to a catio for their outdoor adventures can easily live to be over 15 years old.”

Catios are just plain fun for cats, too. Local feline celeb Klaus of Oskar the Blind Cat and Klaus loves to lounge in his catio, rain or shine! “A cat spending time in a catio gets fresh air, exercise, and a front row seat to view the natural world,” explained Amrhein.

For a sneak preview, you can check out this catio on the tour. It’s called “The Enclosure that Mama Built.”

Cynthia Chomos, founder and designer of Seattle-based catio design studio Catio Spaces, appreciates the format of Catio Tour Seattle.

“Catio Tour Seattle lets the public view a variety of sizes and styles of catios,” she said. “At the same time, participants learn about ways to ensure your cat lives to a ripe old age and to protect native wildlife.”

Catios don’t just keep our feline family members happy – they also keep local wildlife safe. Every year, free-roaming domesticated cats kill a large numbers of birds and other wildlife in the United States, and this takes a heavy toll on native reptile, amphibian, and mammal populations. According to PAWS, cat attacks accounted for nearly 15 percent of the avian and mammal patients at PAWS’ Wildlife Center in 2016. Catios provide a safe and stimulating alternative for cats to enjoy the outdoors while protecting local wildlife.

Registered Catio tour participants will receive a tour map with addresses, plus access to valuable resources for enriching the lives of cat companions. A $10 registration fee supports PAWS’ Community Education Programs. The event is hosted by PAWS and sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States, Catio Spaces, and Seattle Audubon.

Catio Tour Seattle will take place rain or shine; attendees are asked to leave their companion animals at home. For more information or to register for Catio Tour Seattle, please visit: www.catiotourseattle.com.