Home   Business News   Article

Subscribe Now

Bungay firm building 15-20 luxury ‘catios’ a month for pet owners as business booms





Pet owners across the UK are paying a Suffolk family firm thousands of pounds for luxury 'catios' - an enclosed outdoor space to protect their felines.

Safe Cat UK said they were building cat patios - known as 'catios' - at a rate of between 15 and 20 a month after an unprecedented boom in business.

The family-run business based in Bungay, said it was a "sign of the times" that pet owners were looking for more ways to keep their animals safe.

Owners are paying thousands to give their precious pets outdoor time - without the hassles
Owners are paying thousands to give their precious pets outdoor time - without the hassles

Catios are enclosed outdoor patios designed for cats - and other pets - to be able to experience the outside without the dangers of free-roaming and can cost up to £5k.

Jamie Nicholson, 26, is one of the director's of Safe Cat UK and said their customers have been getting creative with their bespoke enclosures.

He said: "We've had catios that have been filled with many green plants and even rope bridges - they look like a mini tropical jungle.

Owners are paying thousands to give their precious pets outdoor time - without the hassles
Owners are paying thousands to give their precious pets outdoor time - without the hassles

"Another customer asked for a pink one and decorated it with matching furniture. At Christmas, she hung glittering candle canes Willy-Wonka style.

"People have hung rocking chairs and swinging chairs for themselves in the catios, it can be treated as another space for everyone.

"These days, vet bills are so expensive. A catio can cost less than a vet bill and you know your cat is safe and uninjured."

Safe Cat UK was set up by Jamie with his parents Adrian, 50, and Clare, 46 two years ago after previously working as steel fabricators.

Their custom-built metal, steel or wooden enclosures can cost from £1,200 up to £5,000 and the family have found business is booming.

Jamie said: "The last few months have been busier than anytime over the last year.

"We're doing between fifteen and twenty catios a month - we can offer them as a DIY project or we can come out and install them.

"I've travelled from Suffolk to Manchester, then the next day we could be going to Bedford, Doncaster or even Inverness."

Clare explained that more people than ever were looking for a space for their cats to experience the outdoors without getting injured or hurt.

She said: "We’re moving with the times. Nowadays we have busier roads, more cars and green areas like parks or fields are being destroyed.

"Some cats may have health issues like FIP and can’t interact with other animals, so people choose to keep their cats inside.

"A lot of our customers have lost cats in the past – whether they’ve been injured, stolen or gone missing.

"Some people live in very busy areas like cities and make the decision it's not the safest option to let them roam.

"A few times we’ve had people say their neighbours have been threatening towards their cats, going to the toilet in the garden or accidentally provoking other pets.

"This is the perfect scenario where they can go outside but they can stay within that safe space.

"Most of our customers are your standard moggie housecats, not an exotic pedigree like you might expect."

Jamie, Adrian and Clare's business has proved popular and even has an added bonus for homeowners.

Jamie added: "It's an extension of the house and we've even had an homeowner who was selling their home be asked to keep the catio by the new buyers. It's an investment.

"These catios will outlive you and need no maintenance - there's no better alternative for keeping your pet safe."