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What to look for when choosing wood for a Catio?

Building a catio is a great way to provide your feline friends with a safe and enriching outdoor space. But before you get started, it's important to choose the right type of wood for your project. Cedar wood is a popular choice for catios due to its durability, resistance to rot, and natural insect-repelling properties. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of selecting the right cedar wood studs for your catio.


Natural Cedar Catio

Catios made from cedar offer a safe and enjoyable outdoor space for cats to play and relax in.


Here are some tips for choosing the right wood for your catio:


1. Choose studs with Minimal Knots Ceda lumber with knots may look beautiful, but it can weaken the wood's strength and structural integrity. It's essential to choose cedar wood studs with minimal knots, especially if you're building a larger or multi-level catio. Look for straight-grained, clear cedar wood studs, as they are stronger and less prone to splitting.


2. Consider the Grade of Cedar. Cedar wood comes in different grades, which indicate the quality of the wood. The higher the grade, the better the quality of the wood. For catios, we recommend using clear or select-grade cedar wood, as they are the highest quality and have fewer defects. While they may be more expensive than lower-grade cedar wood, they are worth the investment for the longevity and durability of your catio.


3. Choosing the right supplier for your cedar wood is crucial to ensure that you get high-quality, sustainable wood that is free from defects. Local lumber yards are a great option as they often have a wide selection of cedar wood and knowledgeable staff who can provide expert advice on selecting the right type of wood for your catio project. By buying locally, you can also support your community and reduce your carbon footprint by minimizing transportation costs.


4. Cedar lumber can be left untreated. In fact, many people prefer the natural, untreated look of cedar wood. Cedar is naturally resistant to decay and insect damage due to the presence of natural oils and resins in the wood. This means that it can last for many years without treatment.


However, leaving cedar wood untreated can turn gray over time as it is exposed to the elements. If you prefer the natural color of cedar wood, you can apply a clear sealant or water-repellent coating to protect it from moisture and UV damage while maintaining its natural appearance.


5. If you want to preserve the color of cedar wood, you can apply a stain or paint. Keep in mind that applying a coating to cedar wood can reduce its natural insect-repelling properties, so it's important to choose a product that is safe for pets and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.


Tips for painting your catio:

  1. Sand the wood: Use sandpaper or an electric sander to smooth out any rough spots or splinters on the cedar wood. This will help the paint to adhere better and will give the wood a smoother finish.

  2. Clean the wood: Use a damp cloth or a soft-bristled brush to remove any dust or debris from the cedar wood. This will ensure the surface is clean and free from any contaminants that might interfere with the paint adhesion.

  3. Apply a primer: Apply a coat of high-quality oil-based primer to the cedar lumber. Cedar contains natural oils that can bleed through paint or other finishes, causing discoloration or an uneven finish. Using an oil-based primer helps to seal in these natural oils and prevent bleeding, resulting in a more even and professional-looking finish.

  4. Apply the paint: Apply a coat of high-quality exterior paint to the catio, using a brush or a roller. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the application method and the number of coats required. Let the paint dry completely between coats.

  5. When painting or staining your catio, it's important to remember to do so before attaching the mesh to avoid getting paint or stain on it. One alternative solution is to add 1x2 trim pieces to cover the edges where the mesh meets the wood. This way, the paint or stain won't come into contact with the mesh and you can achieve a clean and even finish.

Painting your catio the same color as your house is a great way to help it blend in with your home's exterior and create a cohesive look.


Take a look at these beautiful catios made from cedar wood. Not only do they offer a safe and enjoyable outdoor space for cats, but they are also durable and long-lasting.



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