Feng shui for cats? Yep.
A Seattle woman who is a certified feng shui consultant and a cat lover is combining those two loves and is creating outdoor spaces for felines.
Cynthia Chomos has launched Catio Spaces, a company that designs and custom builds outdoor enclosures for cats.
The wood frame catios are designed to complement a home and look like outdoor “rooms” rather than wire cages.
Cynthia says feng shui is about creating harmonious spaces.
“And whenever we’re adding something to the house it should blend and add to the house,” she says. “You want the cat enclosure to complement the house.”
Various sizes and styles are offered, including above-ground window perch catios, the “Window Box Veranda” and “Garden Window Condo,” and a ground-level “Garden Sanctuary” featuring space for human and feline interaction.
"Once they’re built and decorated clients want to spend time in there," Cynthia says.
All of the catios follow the rules of feng shui.
“There are four rules of furniture placement, whether it’s for a cat or whether it’s a human,” she says.
For example, she says, “You would never want to have the seating in the direct path of the door.”
It's all about the feeling of safety.
"What I love about catios is the cats are safe. My cat in particular I will put on a leash in the back yard but she always returns to her catio, her safe place," Cynthia says.
The outdoor enclosures can be mounted to a home’s wood siding or window frame. Construction materials include stained or pressure-treated wood framing, natural cedar floorboards and shelving, galvanized wire and a clear, lightweight weatherproof roof for year-round use.
The sizes of Cynthia's initial ground-level installations in the Greater Seattle area vary from about 64 square feet to 120 square feet.
Optional design elements include a cat access door for entry from a window or door, tree branches for climbing and scratching, cat-safe plants, water fountains, outdoor art, and discreetly disguised litter box.
"The biggest thing is nature is so alive, and for cats to be outside in an environment that’s going to support them, create a safe and stimulating space," Cynthia says.