I had had some reservations about putting the dogs and cat out together, though the small dogs (the only ones who are allowed around P- the bigger dog wants to eat her) are all at least ok with her, and they would have enough space to stay away from each other. I suppose I can let them in together only when I'm out to keep an eye on them, maybe just her and her buddy dog at first, then add the other two.... she's not used to being out by herself, and you're right about other animals approaching while the dogs are out, at least we would know if they did, since one dog is a big alarm barker. I think I'd feel comfortable letting her in with my Dachshund, but would have to see how she does with the other two, as I know even cats who are used to dogs can sometimes act like prey towards them, and even dogs who don't normally chase cats (the other two dogs have very low prey drive, but you never know) can sometimes be convinced to give chase in the right situation.
The flooring situation is a tough one for me, our "big" dog is an APBT, and we've had a few others shuffle through from my work (vet clinic, everyone there knows I've got the bully breed connections, so I usually wind up involved when we have one there in need of home) for a visit to test house manners, etc... which would be much easier if I also had a secure place to put them for some down time for our own guys. They are strong dogs, and have a reputation for being super destructive/terrific escape artists, especially when they've been kenneled long term and are bored out of their minds due to lack of hard exercise. Couple that with a propensity for high prey drive and sometimes animal aggression, and I want to be sure it is totally escape proof before I put any dog other than my lazy bums in there. I'm thinking stall mats would be great for on top of the cement though, or some other type of high density rubber matting, as we don't really have any farm stores nearby. We're also kind of in a high drainage area- basically all the water from our block drains onto our side of the block, and tends to run down our driveway, through our yard to the bay, so I definitely can't dig down for the floor, will have to pick a level spot, then lay the stones, then whatever on top of that... or build a little "shore up" with 2x4s, then fill it with soil to raise the floor, then lay the stones, but I'm worried as it settles, it'll become uneven.
I've been looking for some "natural wood" cat trees, and most I've found use cedar... is this really the best type of wood to use? We have a pretty steady supply of driftwood, and I like that it's light, and pretty "clean" for wood. It's not the toughest wood around, but I think P's more interested in quick destruction of rather than getting a lifetime of use out of any given item anyway
ETA: P must be pretty wimpy though, as it's been in the low 60s the last few days, and she's not really keen on staying out long in that weather... got her a little jacket since she won't really have much chance to develop a winter coat, but of course, she likes than even less!