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Preparing the Perfect Space for Your Catio: Tips and Tricks

Embarking on the journey of constructing a catio for your furry friends is an exciting venture. However, the first step to a successful project is meticulous preparation of the space where your catio will come to life. Whether you're dealing with an uneven surface like a deck, concrete, or natural ground, these essential prepping tips are your roadmap to ensuring a secure and stable foundation. Join us as we explore the ins and outs of the catio area preparation.

1. Conquering Uneven Surfaces:

Deck, Concrete, or Balcony: Turning an uneven deck, concrete, or balcony into a catio masterpiece is entirely achievable. Shims are your allies in leveling the catio frame to perfection. And, for added security, integrate mesh securely to close any gaps, prioritizing your cat's safety above all.

2. Mastering Natural Ground Preparation:

For those opting for a natural ground setting, these steps are your foundation:

Digging the Perfect Perimeter: Dig a trench approximately 6 to 8 inches

deep and extend it 2 feet wide around the perimeter.

Landscape Fabric and Crushed Gravel: Guard against intrusive weeds by laying landscape fabric secured with landscape staples within the trench. Then, fill the trench with crushed gravel, providing the ideal support for a pressure-treated 4x4 post base designed for ground contact.

Tip: it's highly recommended to staple mesh securely to the bottom of the base frame. This extra measure ensures that nothing can dig in or out of the catio, keeping your feline friends safe and secure.

Preserving with Wood: Extend the life of your pressure-treated posts by applying wood preservative to all cut ends, a preventive measure against rot.

3. Flooring Freedom:

When it comes to catio flooring, the choices are diverse:

  • Cat Grass or Catnip Planting: Opting for natural greenery in your catio? If so, there's some extra groundwork to cover. When planting cat grass, catnip, or any plants directly in the natural ground, it's essential to prepare the inside of the catio as well. Remove all weeds, rocks, and debris. Lay down landscape fabric to prevent weed growth and add a layer of your choice, whether it's gravel, river rock, pebble rock, or even mulch, to create a clean and comfortable surface.

  • Pebble or River Rock: For a visually appealing and low-maintenance option, pebble or river rock can't be beaten. These surfaces provide excellent drainage and are easy to clean.

  • Pavers or Interlocking Tiles: When you opt for pavers or interlocking tiles, ensure a stable base by first laying a layer of crushed gravel. Then, use paver sand before placing the pavers or tiles for a sturdy and long-lasting surface.

  • Deck Delight: For those who appreciate a touch of sophistication, a deck can elevate your catio to a new level of elegance, providing a stylish space for your cats to enjoy.


Always remember to follow local codes and guidelines. Additionally, if necessary, consider anchoring the base firmly to the ground to ensure the utmost stability and security for your feline friends. This extra step will provide peace of mind, allowing your cats to explore their new outdoor paradise with complete safety and enjoyment.

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