This is just a quick update to how the catio has been doing. To see the original post, go here.
I’ve come across a couple of issues that I needed to fix.
Problem #1. The main one, was rain pooling on the wood. The wood I had bought was rated as indoor or outdoor use. However, it was not pressure treated. As the rain water would pool on the edges that were not covered by the catio, it would soak into the wood. This would then make it damp inside the catio and I ended up getting a bit of mold growing on the wood.
Solution: My husband and I carried the catio off the wood and I cleaned it thoroughly with vinegar. Then, I laid a heavy duty tarp on top of the floor that was large enough to completely cover the wood. We then moved the catio back and everything has been much better since.
Problem#2: Rain coming in because of all the openings
Solution: The main issue was that rain would blow in from the front on very stormy, windy days. I think if I did the catio again, I would have only open screen on the side that is facing the house. Between the fan and the open screen on the side facing the house, the cats would get plenty of moving air. Right now, I’ve propped up the panel that would have gone where the screen is with wood. That keeps most of the rain from blowing in. When I have more time, I will probably just remove the roof, slide that screen out and replace the panel. But that may be something I do for cooler weather. Once we’re done with the rainy season, that won’t be as big of an issue.
Original Problem: This was actually addressed in the original post. But I wanted to talk about it again. Greenhouses are designed to keep heat in. If you put a cat in them, they need shade.
Solution: I built this underneath a deck that is mostly in shade all day. I also hung a curtain on the side where the sun does hit in the afternoon. This is extremely important if you are thinking about using a greenhouse for a catio.
Result after some time to think about: Other than these two new problems, the catio has been working great. I’m sure I’ll keep tinkering with it, but on the whole, I’ve been very pleased with it. And most importantly, the cats love being outside now.