Winterizing a Catio: Keeping Out the Snow and Rain

Catios are a safe place for your feline to enjoy the outdoors????, but what happens when winter hits?  

Cat lovers everywhere turn to cat shelters or catios for their porches and decks. Catios create an environment where your indoor cat can experience the yard without actually being an outdoor cat. Most cat owners take their catio plans and add perches, cat trees, or a cat door so their feline can come and go as they please from indoors. Most cats enjoy this enrichment opportunity and the fresh air, but if your furry feline uses their cat house year-round, they may not appreciate things like rain and snow getting into their purr-fect cat patio. Therefore, winterizing your catio is an important task to add to your pre-winter to-do list.

????Winterizing an Outdoor Cat Enclosure

RELATED: 8 Safe Catios Purrrfect for Your Feline's Staycation

Winterizing your DIY catio doesn't have to be a complicated home improvement project. If your catio design does not include a roof to go over the chicken wire, you can easily add clear polycarbonate panels from somewhere like Home Depot that can easily fit inside the catio's frame. With these clear panels, you won't sacrifice much-needed sunlight.

If the winter months bring strong winds from a particular direction, you may want to screen off that side of your catio too. According to Catio Spaces, you can use the following material:

  • clear shower curtain, plastic sheets, or patio panels, which can be secured with zip ties or binder clips
  • Waterproof canvas (But it does block light!)
  • Polycarbonate panels in all sections need coverage
  • Plexiglass
  • Outdoor shades or curtains
  • Plants (Cat safe, of course!)

Part of winterizing your catio is giving it a good cleaning and fixing anything that might be damaged. Check the mesh or wire for any loose or sharp spots and secure them. Wipe down all climbing surfaces, and clean fur off cat trees. Now may also be a good time to do a thorough cleaning of the outdoor litterbox too. Make sure that it is placed in a location that keeps it fully covered in the event of windy rainstorms.

Toy updating can also be a big part of winterizing your cat house. Add in some new balls with bells and some stuffed catnip toys to give your cat some activities to keep them occupied. In your backyard, you can also fill your bird feeders or birdbaths. Birds will be drawn to these and give your kitty something to watch as they stare out at the yard.

Make sure your cat is up to date on their flea and tick medication too. Even though they're not roaming, they're still outside. These little pests can find their way into your catio and onto your cat.

What are your tips for winterizing a catio? Show us on our Wide Open Pets Instagram!

READ MORE: 12 Catios That Will Inspire You to Build Your Own