Mosaic Catio (Cat Patio) Project

7 Materials
10 Weeks

The bricked-in area outside of our master bath will be a great place to design a patio for our cats...otherwise known as a catio. We started with a brainstorming session on ways to improve and transform the area and decided on a mosaic pattern for the concrete floor. (Our next project will be whitewashing the brick walls as you can tell they're very moldy and dirty). Update: We're using pool shock in water mixture for bleaching brick walls and it's working...still in progress, and they aren't yet perfect, but you can see pics if you scroll down.
Details of grouted work in progress
Before: Area outside Master Bath 8 x 18
We began by collecting every piece of leftover tile in the garage and even visited some tile shops where the owners gave us leftover and damaged pieces from their inventory.
We used colored chalk to make swirling designs just as a general outline. This probably isn't necessary, it just depends on the look you want.
After scrubbing down the concrete (the only prep we did), we began by simply placing the tile (without thin-set), being aware of the chalk lines created just to get a sense of the direction we wanted to go. We wanted more of an artsy organic look and we tried to keep it simple. It's important to stay laid back about projects or they don't flow. So...if you start getting stressed, stop doing it for a while.
Adding bits of colored plates and tiles
After tiles were in place, we began applying thin-set mortar from the back brick wall, moving backwards. You don't want to sit where you've just worked, so be aware of your starting place! (Removing any unnessesary cats as you go along)
Grout and thin-set need to be the consistency of brownie batter. That has worked best for us. If it's pancake batter consistency, it's too thin! :) You're welcome.

Helper Hazel
A little bit more progress (Delilah concurs)
Adding pics as I go along. Aug 13th-This is the progress we made today. (Slight film of grout still visible. Takes a few wipes before all the grout is cleaned off)
Dirty brick wall BEFORE applying shock
It's August 16th and I've decided to share a secret. Bleach didn't work too well, but pool shock does wonders for moldy dirty brick walls. We (Tom, actually) mixed some pool shock in water, applied with a paint roller, and scrubbed with a broom. Here's a BEFORE pic. Below is an AFTER pic. It's still not complete, but better. (Most likely, we will still whitewash the walls)
Dirty brick wall AFTER applying pool shock
Batman in his catio
This catio patio is still a work in progress. We have to consider replacing the pergola that is damaged above the catio (we're thinking about a canopy type material, but suggestions are welcomed) and we still have to whitewash the brick walls. I'll keep you posted!
An almost finished catio! Had a few setbacks during Hurricane Harvey, but finished grouting the rest on Monday and then rolled pool shock (mixed with water) on the brick walls. We might whitewash the brick, still undecided. Now to finish with a trip to the plant store to buy fresh herbs, catnip and some edible flowers that are cat friendly and nourishing.  If you have specific questions, just let me know.
Thank you all for following this project and please keep in touch.
~gail, tom and cats.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 27 questions
  • Carolyn from NH
    on Sep 12, 2019

    Wondering if any animals can get in from the top, especially neighborhood cats? If so maybe wire over top. Then half sun area and half cover for shade and rain.

    The tile is beautiful, love the flowing design. Very luck kitties.

    Best on your finished project.

  • Debbie
    on Sep 19, 2019

    I also love mosaics and I’m dieing to tackle a floor! Did you cut or break the tile yourself?

    • Gail bixler
      on Sep 19, 2019

      Nice mosaic! I broke plates and coffee cups and tile by putting them in pillow cases and dropping them. Then used a tile cutter for smooth edges and sanded.

  • Mary Hill
    on Sep 20, 2019

    What about a cat walk or a cat tree I Love what you have done.

Join the conversation

2 of 253 comments
  • Diane
    on Oct 28, 2019


  • Kaye
    on Feb 8, 2020

    I totally love this. I am looking forward to making one like it. You know if you wanted to take a picture of your cats they would be nowhere. However give them a photobomb opportunity and here they come. Funny old cats

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