The Omlet Blog

Can Catio Tunnels open up an indoor cat’s world?

At Omlet, we’re always asking how we can design better products that bring people and their cats closer. We believe that by understanding our cats’ natural needs and behaviors, we can invent new ways to enrich their lives and build a sense of security and fulfillment that leads to a stronger connection with their humans. 

Our Catio Tunnels let your cat go from A to B independently, which suits their capricious natures, and means you no longer need to be at their beck and call for to and from Catio ferrying. An evolution of the thinking that led to our Catio and Outdoor Freestyle cat tree, they are designed so indoor cats can enjoy all the excitement of the outdoors safely, without compromising local wildlife that might otherwise fall prey to their apex predator instincts. 

Cat walking through the Omlet Catio Tunnels

WHY KEEP A CAT INDOORS?

There are various reasons you may choose to keep your cat indoors. Some breeds are simply better suited to a quieter life and are too docile to go out unsupervised. Local conservation regulations can also be a big factor. Cats are apex predators, and not necessarily native to the ecosystem, despite being a globally popular pet. Small mammals and reptiles that have evolved without cats in their territory may not be equipped to deal with the threat they pose, which can lead to curfews for cats and strictures on free roaming. Then, there is the ubiquitous threat of traffic. For many cat lovers, the risk of passing cars is simply too great to be left to chance.

OPENING UP THE OUTSIDE

However, cats love to leap and climb, to feel the sun on their face and the breeze in their fur. They are curious and independent, and aren’t suited to life on a leash, or responsive to recall, like dogs are. With a Catio and an Outdoor Freestyle cat tree, your indoor cat can enjoy the benefits of the outdoors without the worry that comes with it – but there is still the restriction of going to and from the house and their Catio. So, we designed our Catio Tunnels, for all the joys of the outside, with the independence to take their fun and fulfillment to a new level. 

SYSTEMATIC THINKING

One of our core beliefs is that our designs should suit as many cats and people as possible, so every indoor cat can go outside safely. Another of our values is to put sustainability and longevity at the center of all of our designs. One of our solutions to both of these challenges is to create modular systems that can easily be adapted, extended and maintained with minimal cost and effort. 

“It’s about being able to easily and cost effectively replace parts if and when you need to. Planned obsolescence – which is when companies design products with a set lifespan and capitalize on that – has caused a scandal. So for example, a product might be designed so that if one small component breaks, you have to replace the entire product. All of our products are designed to be the opposite of this, so you can always replace a part.”

Charlie Watson, Lead Product Engineer 

Our Catio Tunnels have been designed with four components, which, combined, can create a system to suit any house and outside space, all built with consciously chosen materials that are ideal for purpose and will last nine lives. Should any part need replacing, it can easily be done, meaning your Omlet Catio Tunnel System need never end up as landfill. 

“These four elements let you have flexibility in your set up. By designing a modular system, we were able to create something affordable but scalable, making it a viable option for more people, and meaning that if you move house, you can bring your system with you and reconfigure it as needed.”

Charlie Watson 

DESIGN THAT DOES MORE

You can make your Catio Tunnel System as simple or as complex as you like. Whether you want a straight tunnel to take your cat from window to Catio, or a labyrinth that lets them scale the sides of the house and tread a path through the treetops is entirely down to you. 

  • Create a secure point of entry with a window box or window board 
  • Tunnels can be wall mounted, run along the ground or freestanding with supports
  • Junctions let tunnels turn corners
  • Towers, with in-built steps, let your cat climb up or down 

A ROBUST ROUTE

However long you make your Catio Tunnel System, you can do so secure in the knowledge that we never take shortcuts in design. Powder coated, steel mesh is sturdy and secure enough to contain can’t-catch-me leapers and escape-room defeaters. Our weatherproof Catio Tunnel System walkways have a slight curve that causes rain to run right off, and a textured surface for a good, firm grip.

You needn’t worry about traversing sloping ground or land at different levels either, as we’ve made sure the height of the stands that support the tunnels can be easily adjusted and the bases can be pivoted to compensate for inclines of up to 10 degrees. No wobbles, no worries.   

OMLET PERFECTION PROCESS

Our designs are only ready when we’re satisfied. Until then, our product engineers tirelessly test, refine and repeat – and that includes the feline team members, who go above and beyond (literally, in this case) to ensure indoor cats everywhere can safely enjoy the wonders of the outside world. 

“Our rigorous testing revealed we needed to modify our clip structure to keep our Catio Tunnel System stable in mid air and withstand full force feline leaping and chasing. So, we designed a reinforced clip with an intricate overlay that creates ultra tough, tight bonds that won’t come apart, no matter how rigorously the tunnels are rattled.”   

Charlie Watson 

From redesigning our existing clips to ensure they can securely hold vertical steel towers together, to ensuring all parts can be easily reconfigured and replaced as needed, every microscopic detail of our Catio Tunnel System has been carefully considered.  

Omlet and your cat

Our designs exist so your cat can explore the outdoors safely, at their own pace and on their own terms, and needn’t miaow at the window when they’re ready to feel the fresh air in their fur, or stretch out in the sun. With greater independence, they can satisfy their curiosity safely, and come back in when they’re ready to curl up on the couch with you.

Cat sitting in the Omlet Catio Tunnels

This entry was posted in Cats


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