Review SummaryOur cats were made to roam! Sadly, it isn’t safe for them to do this in our current world. Outdoor cats live shorter periods than indoor cats and tend to suffer from more health problems. Also, indoor cats don’t have to contend with cars. However, many cats still strive to be outside. They love basking in the sunlight, and fresh air often makes them feel better. Luckily, there is a middle road: cat solariums. These outdoor cat enclosures attach to the window, enabling your cat to “go outside” without really leaving the house. Your feline can use this device to access sunlight and the fresh air without being put in danger themselves. The cat solarium is a proprietary product that provides your felines with many different benefits. For instance, access to sunlight may improve your cat’s serotonin levels, boosting their overall wellbeing. There are five different models, each one featuring a unique design. You can choose the best option to fit your feline and home.
Cat Solarium — A Quick Look
Safe and Secure
The best part about this product is that it keeps your feline safe and secure while they’re enjoying the outdoors. It has a mesh screen that attaches with Velcro to prevent insects and rain from entering the solarium. The plexiglass back panel provides your feline with constant access to the outdoors. If you have extreme winter weather, you’ll enjoy this feature. If you don’t need the back panel, it also detaches easily. With the bars and plexiglass combined, this system is extremely safe for your feline. They won’t be escaping any time soon!
This solarium is solidly built, so it can hold up your cat and withstand the outdoor elements. It is made from ¾-inch cabinet-grade plywood, which is then painted with three layers of PPG paint. This helps protect the solarium from the wind, sun, and rain. Usually, there is a gap between the sides of your window and the solarium itself. However, the company also sends heavy-gauge vinyl to cover up those holes. This vinyl is durable and should have no problem withstanding the outdoor elements.
Easy to Install
The company advertises that you can install this product in as little as 20 minutes. Well-done instructions are on their website and included with each shipment. These instructions are straightforward and should be easy to follow. However, unless you have a second person helping you, you may want to budget more than 20 minutes. The company does recommend using weather stripping or caulk alongside the sides of the product to secure them. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but you want to make the most of your purchase, we do recommend it.
3 Reasons That Your Cat Needs a Cat Solarium
A cat solarium can seem like an expensive purchase, but it can provide many benefits to your feline.
Cats can get bored quite easily. When they do, they may attempt to make their own fun, which can quickly turn into destructive behaviors if they are not watched carefully. Therefore, it is in your best interest to keep them entertained. A cat solarium is a great way to accomplish this. Your cat can access another whole world with this “catio.” Watching the birds and lying in the sun is often enough to keep your cat well stimulated.
Cats love to be warm and bask in the sun. The cat solarium enables them to do just that. Besides being enjoyable, the warmth from the sun can have a therapeutic effect on some felines. For instance, cats with arthritis often have worse symptoms when it is cold. By letting them sunbathe, you may be providing them with temporary pain relief.
3. Stronger Immune Response
Your cat should have a well-developed immune system. Otherwise, they may suffer from illnesses more often and become sicker when they do catch something. Research has shown that sunlight is quite useful for our immune system. It improves our overall resistance, and the same is likely the case with cats and dogs. Therefore, if you want your cat to stay healthy, you should get them in the sun more often.
How to Install a Cat Solarium
To install the cat solarium, all you need is an Allen wrench, which is provided with each shipment. The directions are also included.
First, you need to attach the sides to the bottom. To do this, simply line up the small groove on the bottom and sides, and use the provided wrench to insert the screws. It is often easiest if you use your fingers to start the screws first and then proceed to tighten them with the Allen wrench. Then, just repeat with the next side.
2. Add the top
Now that the sides are on, add the top by inserting two screws into the aligned holes. Then, insert the dowel rods through the top and into the bottom. This step should be rather straightforward. You’re basically just lining up screw holes!
3. Attach the plexiglass
Next, it’s time to add the plexiglass. Remove the blue film from the glass to start. You can discard it, as it is simply there to protect the glass during shipping. Next, line up the holes in the plexiglass with the top of the solarium. Put the screws into these holes after they are aligned. You can tighten them with your fingers and then finish them off with the Allen wrench. You want to make these screws tight. Otherwise, water will seep into the solarium, and your cat may potentially escape.
4. Window Installation
At this point, if you haven’t figured out where you’re installing the solarium, do so now. Unscrew the top safety bar to use as a brace while you line it up with the window. Next, open the window to about 14.5 inches. This measurement is the height of the box. Slide the box carefully into the window, keeping it as centered as possible. The top bar should catch the box, so it doesn’t just fall out. The box should snap into place. A slight slope is normal, as this prevents rainwater from collecting on the top of the box. The safety bar should not touch the window when it is lowered. If it does, you’ll need to lean the box back a bit and close the window on it. If you’ve chosen a model with a cat door, you will need to remove another screw from the safety bar and insert the back panel into the appropriate channels on each side. Next, reattach the safety bar so the solarium stays in place.
5. Close Up the Sides
At this point, you’ll likely have a few gaps between the solarium and the side of your window. Luckily, this is an easy fix. First, you’ll need to measure the gaps. This step is extremely important, so be sure to measure the gaps correctly. Double-check all measurements. Now, simply cut the provided plastic accordingly. We recommend cutting pieces a bit bigger than you may need to. You can always take away more material later, but you can’t add more material back! Figure out where the plastic should connect to the window frame. Then, cut the Velcro strips to match the dimensions of the gap. Both sides of the Velcro will need to be cut to the same length. Clean the place that you’re attaching with soap and water, and be sure to un-grease it with rubbing alcohol. If you want the Velcro to stick, the area needs to be clean. Now, place the hook strips (the hard part) to the window frame, and press down firmly for a few minutes.
6. Add the Plastic
Next, you’ll need to attach the soft part of the Velcro to the plastic. Be sure to do this as accurately as possible because it won’t come off after it is already placed. Once you’re sure that everything is placed correctly, you can trim any excessive material. It is okay for the plastic to be slightly curved. However, it should be secure.
How durable is the cat solarium?
This product is made from ¾-inch cabinet-grade plywood, which is then painted with three layers of PPG paint to protect the solarium from the wind, sun, and rain. It is quite solidly built!
Is this product good for beginners to put together?
This cat solarium is easy to assemble because all you need is an Allen wrench, which is provided with each shipment. Directions are also included, though they can be confusing to follow. Luckily, the customer service is responsive and helpful if you need assistance.
What the Users Say
For the most part, customers had great reviews for this product. One customer on Etsy stated: “The cats love it! Was worried about how secure it would feel, and after getting it installed, it feels very safe and stable for both cats. High-quality materials, easy to put together and install!” Many customers also raved about the customer service. One reviewer said, “We are so impressed with the quality of workmanship and the terrific customer service from Melissa and James. The solarium was easy to assemble, and there are tutorials that are helpful if you need them. I took these before we let the kitties back in to investigate. We highly recommend Cat Solarium and will be purchasing more!”
If you have an indoor cat, this solarium can provide them with the benefits of being outside without the risks. While these systems can be a bit expensive, they are well made and easy to put together. You won’t find anything quite as good on the market. DIY catios do exist, but these are often much more work than just installing this one. If you’re willing to pay the money for it, you can’t do better than getting this catio.
Featured Image Credit: Piqsels