Skip to content
614-583-5000 3600 Tremont Rd

Purrfectly Legal: Upper Arlington Introduces ‘Purrmit UA’ for Residential Catios

The City of Upper Arlington is constantly looking for ways to modernize housing stock and help families in the community live richer, healthier lives. We regularly review City regulations to ensure that we are encouraging modern housing options. In recent years, we have modified our housing standards to allow for home offices above detached garages, and in 2022 we changed the zoning in one of our office districts to allow for mixed use redevelopment that includes housing. We are regularly looking at ways to make our community safer and more enjoyable for our children. We have even tried to find ways to make our community more dog friendly with more sidewalks and connections to the new dog park at Quarry Trails Metro Park.

The City of Upper Arlington recently found that we have neglected one important part of our families: our cats. A March 12, 2024, article in the Washington Post titled, “Cats aren’t jerks. They’re just misunderstood.”  Cats have very complex emotional needs and can become bored, depressed and struggle to make emotional attachments. To combat these challenges for our feline family members, the City of Upper Arlington is actively encouraging residents to build Catios. Catios are outdoor enclosures designed to give cats safe access to the outdoors, typically through an open door or window.

Andrea Lukuch, owner of Cats Only Veterinary Clinic and Chair of the Tri-Village Chamber Partnership strongly recommends catios.

“Very few domesticated animals are subject to 20-plus years of indoor-only confinement. For their own safety and the safety of local wildlife, rarely are indoor cats given ‘yard time’ despite being considered the cutest of criminals. Catios provide environmental enrichment that benefits a cat’s emotional needs while stimulating their natural prey-driven instincts. We recommend the installation of a catio, for all of our patients to promote holistic health.”

As a proud “Cat Dad” of 3 feline family members, City Manager Steve Schoeny is proposing two new initiatives. First, he has directed the City’s Chief Building Official, Roger Eastep, to implement a new plan review service called “Purrmit UA” that will review Catio plans to ensure their structural integrity and compliance with the City’s neighborhood compatibility standards. In addition to ensuring that all catios in UA are structurally sound, Eastep will ensure that jumping heights are within standard, sleeping surfaces are plush and cats can sit up high enough to reinforce the feelings of superiority that they have to their other family members.

Second, for families that want a distinctively UA Catio, we have worked with the architecture firms of MSA Sport and Perkins & Will to develop plans so that you can build your own scale version of the Bob Crane Community Center for your cats.

Keith Hall, Principal of MSA Sport, oversaw the design process.

“When we designed the Bob Crane Community Center, we really worked to bring the outside into the building with the large windows and two patios. Catios are really the same concept. Merge the outside and the inside. Both are about exercise, engagement and exploration. The Bob Crane Community Center is the perfect model for a distinctly UA Catio.”

Plans for the BobCat Community Center will be available through the end of the day April 1, 2024, free of charge at the Upper Arlington Municipal Services Center.

Back To Top