Clare, 35, wanted to create a safe outdoor space for her cats
She built a ‘catio’ along the side of her house which was previously empty space
The interior was created using supplies which were recycled, free or bargain prices
Supplies include left-over Astroturf, an old kids play table and a drinks cabinet which was thrown out by a local pub
Those of us who share our home with furry felines will know all too well the stress that can come with letting them outside to explore. Sometimes our cats can go missing or get into dangerous situations, so how can we keep them safe while also allowing them to explore outside? One savvy DIYer came up with a way to give her cats the best of both worlds.
Clare Bryson, 35 from Perth, Scotland, who is a full-time advanced clinical practitioner in A&E, mum of 2 kids aged 6 and 9 and who posts her DIY adventures on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube as Blondybuilder, told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: ‘After our last kitten got killed on the road, I decided to get two ragdolls. These are generally indoor cats, but I wanted to give them an outdoor safe space as I’ve never liked the thought of cats being stuck inside their whole lives.
‘I had a cat flap in my utility side door still in situ from the last kitten and had the idea of making an outdoor space on the other side. It was just a path along the side of the house where I stored my bins so essentially wasted space.
‘Some of my neighbours had used this space in their gardens to make a ’lean to’ shed for storage, and one made a bar, so this inspired me to do the same but turn mine into a cat extension. Once I finished it, I discovered on social media that ‘Catios’ were actually ‘a thing’ and becoming increasingly popular.
‘It was so successful I’ve since started breeding Ragdolls, and the kittens love the outdoor space too. I asked a friend who was a joiner to construct the roof and gate for me and then created the interior myself. Since then I have helped another friend build her Catio, and we did it completely DIY.
‘The materials for the roof were around £600 from a local builders’ merchant. However, the real magic – and money-saving – took place inside the Catio. I painted, decorated and created play areas for the cats myself, all for under £100 – just by being creative with leftover materials and recycling items where I could.
‘It was quite dark with the roof on so I decided to go with this and make a ‘midnight’ theme under the stars, painting the roof a beautiful dark navy colour called Railings from the Farrow and Ball colour palette. I bought all my paint from my local paint shop, and they mixed exterior paint in this colour for me for £30.
‘Then I scattered leftover Christmas fairy lights on the roof to look like stars and also bought solar-powered string light bulbs from Aldi for £10 a box.
‘My friend had some left-over Astroturf I used for the path, and I bought plum slate chippings for the edges from B&M. I used 2 bags for a total of £8.
‘My garden fence was grey, so I continued this theme on the inside fence walls with leftover paint.
‘I picked up an old drinks cabinet from a pub that had closed down, free of charge, and upcycled this into a cat’s playground using leftover materials.
‘I created ramps from bits of old kitchen kickboard I had left over, cut up bits of wood from my son’s old bunk bed slats and glued on jute rope to make steps and scratching poles. The jute rope was just £10 from Amazon.
‘I decorated the walls with one of my old cat paintings I did many years ago. Then I added an old mirror I picked up for free, some topiary balls from my garden and I bought some artificial ivy panels from IKEA at £5 each.
‘I upcycled the kids’ old drawing table by painting it with the leftover paint. I have previously made YouTube tutorials on jute macrame plant hangers and tie-backs so I used these as decoration/play items.
‘I would definitely do a project like this again. Now that I know Catios are a thing I’ve looked at quite a few, and there are so many great ideas, it’s become very popular. I’ve since helped my friend make one, completely different, which is also available to view on my Instagram and YouTube.
‘I don’t have any specific influences for my DIY work but I do enjoy networking with other female DIYers. I like to inspire females to give DIY a go as so many people I know seem to be afraid of it and rely on their partners rather than do it themselves.’
Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘Clare has made such a wonderful enclosed space for her cats, they have the best playground ever! Her bargain supplies show that you don’t have to spend a lot to make a unique space. With some imagination and creativity, you can easily turn supplies some may see as trash into treasure.’
Notes to Editor:
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– Photos shared with permission
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