Corvallis, OR; Spokane, WA; and Orlando, FL rank highest in terms of local access to vet care and housing features felines favor like high ceilings and patios.
Feline fans rejoice: every day can be #Caturday if you live in one of the following 25 most cat-friendly cities for 2019, ranked based on data from Redfin, the tech-powered real estate brokerage, and Trupanion, a leader in high-quality medical insurance for pets.
To determine the ranking, Trupanion analyzed its data on access to cat-specific services such as clinics, shelters and hospitals, as well as environmental hazards like sago palm, a tropical plant that is poisonous to cats. Redfin calculated the percentage of homes for sale with cat-friendly features such as high ceilings for room to climb, an extra bathroom for additional litter-box options, and patios for those who’d like to utilize them as “catios.” Yes, that’s a patio for cats. More on that in a bit.
“When choosing a home and neighborhood, homebuyers tend to consider the needs and wants of everyone who will be living in the home, and of course that includes pets,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Certain homes are better suited to cats, with spaces for the furry family member to lounge and play, and nearby facilities to maintain your cat’s health. Whether you have a cat or not, get to know your neighborhood and look for a home that you, your family, and your pets will be happy in for years to come.”
“With nearly 20 years of claims data on the health of pets, we understand the importance that environment, along with the care of veterinary professionals, can play in providing cats a safe and welcoming home,” said TJ Houk, chief member experience officer at Trupanion. “For this study we looked at pet owners’ access to cat-only veterinary practices, and the presence of cat rescues and shelters in a region, which added positively to a city’s ranking, while a high prevalence of locally-growing environmental dangers like sago palm detracted from the city’s ranking.”
Corvallis demonstrated great access to veterinary care, favorable housing features, and a lower risk of outdoor environmental dangers, making it the most cat-friendly city overall.
Read on for Redfin and Trupanion’s definitive ranking for the most cat-friendly cities of 2019, and then find out how to curate your purr-fect cat oasis.
Redfin and Trupanion’s Most Cat-Friendly Cities of 2019
|Rank||City||State||Percentage of Homes for Sale with Cat-Friendly Housing Features|
How to Create Your Own Cat Oasis
While cats might be lower maintenance than many pup pals in terms of autonomy and living space needed, they still require loving care, attention, and the opportunity to stretch and exercise. If you live in one of the above cities, take advantage of your homes’ feline-friendly features, which can be a blank canvas for creating the perfect cat-friendly oasis.
“Most cats spend their time indoors. So, you need to find different ways to enrich their lives and stimulate them mentally and physically,” said Trupanion assistant team manager Camille Barrios. “It’s good to align a cat-friendly house design with natural instincts like scratching, climbing and chasing.”
The ultimate cat-friendly feature: the catio
(Photo credit: Catio Spaces)
Another way earning buzz with cat owners is to build a cat enclosure commonly known as a ‘catio.’ A creative way to utilize extra patio space, they’re perfect for allowing an indoor cat fresh air while keeping them safe, with a clever indoor-outdoor hybrid approach to living. If you don’t have a patio, they are also commonly installed on balconies, decks, windows, walkways, or any other exterior space that can be secured on all sides.
Catio Spaces, founded by Cynthia Chomos, specializes in creating such enclosures.
“A catio provides feline safety and enrichment outdoors,” she told Redfin. “Bored indoor cats may demand a taste of the outdoors by misbehaving or acting out. Many cat owners let their cats outside due to guilt, but the consequences of unsupervised outdoor time can be traumatic and stressful with vet visits.”
To counter this, Catio Spaces creates custom designed catios, and also sell downloadable, DIY instructions on her website ranging from $39.95 to $69.95. The designs come in a variety of sizes for options to build them on your window, patio, deck, garden or yard. To decide the best location, first determine how much space you have to allocate to an outdoor cat structure. Once you’ve identified a prime spot, you should decide how your cat will access it. Will there be a cat door installed in a door, wall or window?
“Rather than looking like an unsightly cage, catios can resemble outdoor garden rooms. From small and simple, to large and luxurious, the enclosures can be an attractive addition to a home that benefits both the health and well being of cats and cat owners. Large enclosed outdoor spaces allow for feline and human bonding, while enjoying the benefits of nature,” she said.
If planning to build your own, Cynthia has a few tips. “The basic structure includes wood framing, escape-proof galvanized wire, a polycarbonate or wire mesh roof, and floor options that can include grass, decking and pavers,” she said. “Additional elements include shelves for vertical and horizontal movement, perches for lounging, toys for enrichment, cat safe plants, seating and space to decorate. Cats should enter through a cat door insert for a window, wall or door that can allow 24/7 access. Many include a lock to control the outdoor time.”
For those with more limited spaces, a window can be transformed into a cozy box, while those with ample space and budget might consider an option with room for human seating to bond with feline friends.
(Photo credit: Catio Spaces)
“Cats love sunshine and stimulating views out of a window,” she said. “Family rooms with lots of light and views of a garden are ideal for bird watching and environmental enrichment.”
Whatever approach you decide to take, make sure your catio is safe and escape-proof by including the following features:
- Secure entry way from inside the house
- Fully screened and covered to prevent both escape, or predators
- Places to climb and play, such as shelves, perches, or other vertical elements
- Posts for scratching
- Places for resting or hiding
- Consideration of temperature, such as shady options when sunny and warm, or blankets or heating in winter
- Fresh drinking water
- Toys to play
Added Cynthia, “Choose cat furniture based on your cat’s comfort zone and whether they like to be up high in a cat tree, or low to the ground. Tall bookshelves connecting to other shelves provide additional territory to explore. Add toys and be sure to create daily play time to keep your cat stimulated.”
And if you must love dogs, don’t miss Redfin’s ranking of dog-friendly cities for 2019.