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.

Resources for this project:

Miscellaneous Assorted Floor Tiles
River rocks, semi precious rocks and minerals
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 21 questions
  • Rosebud
    on Jun 13, 2018

    would love to try this for my patio. Is it wash down with the hose ready?

    • Gail Bixler
      on Jul 8, 2018

      Yes, it's pretty easy to keep clean just by sweeping but we wash it down too.

  • Jea42098328
    on May 4, 2019

    That is Awesome!

  • Gail
    on Aug 11, 2019

    I love this plan and have a similar patio...and my name is Gail! Mine was open on top and i had cedar slats put up to cover/shade it a bit and hopefully keep things out....That did not work as i have birds and squirrels get in. I just have plants in it now. Good to know pool shock works. White washing would brighten it up as well. I have often thought of covering the top more permanently. Mine has a drain in the center and water hose connection as well. AS you can tell i am talking out loud here and brainstorming.....What about the Texas heat? I am in north Texas and it been 105 plus for days and that patio is HOT> Do you need to condition the space for the cats? Mine is like an oven. If so what do you plan to accomplish that with? Do you open it to the house? Let the cats in? Mine was my daughters house and we put a kitty door under a desk cabinet so her cat could go out as she pleased. She did not go out much but if it had been a larger hole and conditioned she might have gone out more. Now i have the house. Just thinking..........

    • Gail Bixler
      on Aug 11, 2019

      Hi Gail!

      We don't have problems with birds or squirrels, we just have lizards that seem to like our catio. I usually watch the cats when they are out there because we have one cat that likes to play with them and terrorize them. (I try to chase lizards out before I let the cats out). Our cats are indoor cats, so we just let them out when weather permits. Most of the time the cats aren't let out if it's too hot (or they don't want to go because of the heat).

      Our catio is on the east side of the house and we live near the coast, so after 1PM or so, it gets shady and has a breeze that cools it off a bit.

      We do have plans to install a wind sail at some point to cover the catio. It might work out best and I think they look kinda cool.

      If you plan to use pool shock use a mask/respirator and other protective equipment and make sure there is plenty of ventilation. We mixed a pound of shock into a 5 gallon bucket that was filled about half way and used a paint roller on a long handle to apply it.

      Thanks for the question. Good luck with your catio! Our cats love it.


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