We can’t blame you if the title has piqued your interest. We’ve all heard of a patio before, but what about a “catio”? Catios are a great addition to anyone’s home, especially when you have adventurous cats. That said, while the concept of a catio might seem simple at first glance, you need to consider a few things when building one. However, we must define what a catio is first and how your cats can enjoy it. Check out our list of seven things you should consider when building a catio below.
What Is It?
As the name and introduction suggested, a catio is a patio for cats. Cat owners work with it nuancedly, putting plants, furniture, and other accessories inside. It’s an enclosed space that allows your cat to lounge around. Given that the enclosure is mesh, and you can see easily outside, your cat will get the fresh air they need to enjoy the sun, and you will get some much-needed “me time” without worrying about playing with your cat.
Seven Catio Considerations:
You should consider a couple of things when building a catio. These tips will help you understand the importance of giving your cat a space to play. You shouldn’t simply throw together a few boards and some mesh but fully map out what you’re doing so that you can enjoy your DIY accomplishment and your cat can enjoy their new enclosure. Learn more below.
Ensure Your Foundation Is Level
Think about it like this. Will a house built on sand stand tall and strong? Not likely. Well, the laws of physics also apply when you’re trying to build a catio. You want to build your patio on a patch of land that’s even and perfectly flat for building. Try not to work on soil or grass that’s soft and uneven. Don’t forget about tree roots! They tend to grow under your foundation, and the frost can cause your structure to become unstable by stressing the joints. Make sure you take care of any work you need to do on the deck before you place your catio on top of it if you decide to build your catio there. Your deck work could include pressure washing, cleaning, repainting, or staining. Once finished and the sealant has had time to dry, you’re good to go!
No Fake Grass
We understand you might feel tempted to use fake grass. It’s a low-maintenance choice that keeps its form and function throughout the year. However, you must watch out for several drawbacks in this regard. You can be sure that stomach problems will follow shortly after your cat gets curious and tries to eat it. It can also become waterlogged and begin to smell and grow mold and mildew if you don’t have a good drainage system.
Additionally, cats have a great sense of smell, so using faux grass isn’t the same for a cat who likes to roll around in the real deal. You’re essentially keeping them from fully experiencing the wonders of nature. Who wants that?
Don’t Lose Your Cat or Let Predators In
As any farmer can tell you, coyotes love to dig. Depending on where you are in the world, coyotes (and other regional predators) can come and dig into your cat’s enclosure and try to eat them. Perhaps where you live, coyotes aren’t much of a problem. You’ll still want to ensure you have a solid foundation, especially if you have a dog—they also dig and might get a little frustrated that they can’t connect with their new cat friend.
Make sure you build the catio on solid soil. You can even use commercial digging barriers outside your catio to mitigate this problem entirely. That way, only you can get in or out if you want to.
Make Sure Your Mesh Is Strong
The last thing you want is for your cat to paw themselves out of the enclosure, and it’s easier for this to happen than you might think. Therefore, the mesh must be sturdy and durable, especially since it’ll be in the elements. Galvanized steel is perfect for this—especially given its anti-corrosive properties—it won’t rust or lose its integrity due to heavy rain or wind. Ensure you use wood trim at the end for your cat’s safety. Whatever you do, don’t use chicken wire. It’s cheap and saving a dime now could cost you a lost cat later.
Cats Love To Sunbathe
Cat owners know how much cats love to sunbathe, especially if you’ve ever seen one on the floor in a sun patch. The same is true for the great outdoors. Make sure your cat’s patio protects and lets in some sun. A transparent tarp around your catio will do; it’ll allow sunlight to get in while the elements stay out. You can also get an opaque roof for your catio. Make sure they have some shady spots, though. You don’t want them completely exposed to the sun on hot days. Make sure it’s a clear balance between light and shade so your cat can enjoy each.
Remove Any Food
Don’t put food in the catio, even for a second. It’s too easy to forget it’s there, and when you come back, you might have a smelly mess on your hands or, worse, a sick cat. Place your food bowls in the house; don’t leave them outside where insects and bugs can get to them. All manner of airborne diseases and bacteria can slip in, so if you care for your pet’s safety, keep it in the house.
Cat accessories are a necessary part of any catio. You would have furniture on your patio. What makes it a proper catio if not cat furniture? Place a few necessities like beds and cat trees in the shade and sunspots for your cats to enjoy. You should also place plants your cats aren’t allergic to in the enclosure and a water fountain that they can drink from. Ensure you have cat toys and scratchers hanging from the enclosure. Your cat will have fun in the sun in no time.
Check out some of our industrial staple guns at Salco Staple Headquarters, they can help you in the catio building process. We also have various tools to help you in all your DIY endeavors!