Feng Shui Trainer Applies Same Design Philosophies to Startup
Crafts Safe Outdoor Rooms for Cats
Feng Shui, a popular design philosophy to help make homes more appealing, can be beneficial to cats, too, according to a well-known Seattle-based consultant-trainer. Cynthia Chomos. The founder of the Feng Shui School for Real Estate Sales, has launched CatioSpaces, a company that creates safe outdoor enclosures for felines.
Coincidentally, the research and development phase of her startup occurred about the same time the City of Edmonds passed an ordinance banning "free roaming" cats. Proponents of that law, which was approved last September, cited bird and wildlife impacts of roaming cats, dangers to unleashed pets, such as being hit by a vehicle, attacked by another animal, or poisoned, and health issues, such as disease-carrying waste or fur as they advocated for the measure.
Chomos' innovative wood frame catios are designed to complement a home and look like outdoor "rooms" rather than wire cages. 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. Best of all, Chomos notes, each catio can be decorated to suit a feline's fancy.
Chomos, a passionate cat owner and an associate member of the Master Builders Association of Snohomish and King Counties, said she founded Catio Spaces to address the need for safe and aesthetically pleasing outdoor enclosures to enhance a cat's life. Her planning process even includes a profile questionnaire for understanding the cat's likes and personality - complete with a space for the feline to "pawthenticate" the owner's answers on the form.
Catio Spaces™ are custom designed for windows, patios, decks and garden areas, and may be mounted to a home's wood siding or window frame. Initial ground-level installations in the Greater Seattle area vary from around 64 square feet to 120 square feet. She offers a number of optional design elements, including a cat access door for entry from a window or door, cat-safe plants, water features, a discretely disguised litter box and others.
"Our goal is to keep precious pets safe and happy in an outdoor enclosure that visually complements each owner's home," Chomos explains as she outlines the benefits of enclosures for both indoor and outdoor cats (see box).
Benefits of Cat Enclosures
When crafting catios, Chomos draws on her experience and professional certification as a feng shui consultant. Chomos has provided more than 2,500 feng shui and color consultations for home and business owners throughout the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Europe during the past decade.