Oregon Zoo debuts catio exhibit for adoptable house cats: 'They get enrichment'

Buddy, the Oregon Zoo's orange tabby on display at the catio exhibit - KATU photo

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Zoo has some new feline residents living alongside their big cat relatives.

The pair of house cats moved into an indoor/outdoor enclosure called a "catio."

On Tuesday morning, zoo staff held an official ribbon cutting for the catio exhibit. The unique enclosure is essentially a screened-in porch that still allows visitors to interact with the felines.

Dr. Jessica Thompson with Banfield Pet Hospital, the "catio" sponsor, says the goal of a catio is keeping house cats safe, while giving them an enriching experience.

“Just like with the tigers and lions here, they get enrichment, so we want to do that with our household cats to prevent behavioral problems," said Dr. Thompson.

Buddy, an orange tabby, will be a permanent resident at the Oregon Zoo catio.

A partnership with the Pixie Project is allowing adoptable cats to enjoy the space while searching for a forever home.

You can check out the catio in the family farm exhibit.

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