DIY Catio Workshop This Weekend

Learn How to Build a Cat Enclosure

Cat owners across the South West are becoming increasingly aware of the need to keep cats contained at all times to protect domestic cats and local wildlife. To support this, Mitre 10 Margaret River, GeoCatch and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River are running an interactive DIY catio workshop on Saturday 8 June to help cat owners build an affordable catio for their feline friend.

The workshop will show cat owners how to build a cat enclosure including the materials and tools required, design and installation process. Delivered by sustainability expert Chris Ferreira from The Forever Project and Eco Builder Matty Noakes, participants will get to see a step-by-step construction of a catio.

Dr. Heather Crawford, a cat behaviouralist from Murdoch University, will be presenting at the event. Heather says that cats can be content in an enclosed space if provided with the right stimulus and enrichment activities.

"Cats can live happy, healthy lives in catios, provided its design provides mental and physical enrichment, such as climbing posts, plants and other activities within the enclosure," explained Dr. Crawford.

The workshop will demonstrate that catios can be built on a budget using recycled products and cat netting to enclose the side of your house. Professional catio installers will be on hand to showcase more elaborate designs, encompassing patio and garden spaces with tunnels, vertical spaces, and climbing elements to keep cats enriched and entertained.

Cat owners can also access a $200 rebate to help install a catio. Following on from the success of the Geographe Bay Catchment pilot catio rebate in 2023, a second round of rebates is on offer to cat owners living within the City of Busselton, Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Shire of Capel and Shire of Donnybrook – Balingup. 

GeoCatch project officer Nicole Lincoln was excited to announce the extension of the rebate program.

“The rebate aims to assist cat owners with keeping cats safe and healthy on their properties while having peace of mind in knowing where their cats are at all times,” said Nicole.

"Cat owners will have the confidence to allow their cats outside access while still being mindful of urban wildlife, other pets and neighbours."

Responsible pet ownership is encouraged by all local governments involved in the rebate program. Shire of Augusta Margaret River Acting Shire President Tracey Muir urged cat owners to make sure they are fulfilling their responsibility to keep cats contained at all times, as the consequences can be devastating for local wildlife.

“We do see domestic cats being brought into the Margaret River Animal Management Facility that have been trapped,” said Tracey. 

"Community noticeboards regularly have posts from residents frustrated with wandering cats, and most feral cats are suburban escapees that breed in the wild."

Margaret River Mitre 10 Manager Paul Brown is looking forward to providing residents with a solution to cat containment.

“We have our very own Western Ringtail Possum living in the nursery, just above the seedlings,” said Paul.

"It is very important to us to protect our local wildlife and learn to coexist."

If you have considered building a catio and would like to register an interest in the rebate, or to register for the workshop, visit GeoCatch.

This project is delivered by GeoCatch, in partnership with Shire of Augusta Margaret River and Mitre 10 Margaret River, with funding from the Western Australian Government's State NRM Program.

05 Jun 2024 Topic Type
General News
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