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Information about and pictures of cat enclosures, to provide safe outdoor time for cats. An enclosure allows cats to have safe outdoor time, getting the fresh air and sunshine that really is best for all mammals to experience at least some of the time. Aside from the obvious danger of getting hit by cars, cats let to roam freely can get attacked by other animals. Bite wounds can become infected. Even if not attacked, a cat can get chased away by another cat or a dog, thereby becoming lost. Then there is the danger of cats being poisoned either on purpose, or by ingesting something toxic they come upon, such as a puddle of antifreeze or eating slug bait. There are many different types of enclosures that can be made or bought.
See links on right side panel. The netting is made of fabric, wide spaced, where a cat can wind up getting it’s claws and paws caught in it, then getting tangled trying to get loose. Any safe enclosure should be made of something in which cats cannot get their claws, paws, or heads stuck in the product used to enclose the framing or between the framing and the enclosure wrapping. Be especially wary of having young kittens in an enclosure. Kittens are smaller than they seem and can squeeze into very small openings you didn’t expect they could. Their fur makes them seem larger than their bodies actually are.
After you read this article, if you have any questions, post on the W. We started out by latticing-in our back porch, with a cat flap in the house door. Then we added a pen, connected to the porch with a tunnel. The cats enjoyed that small pen for some time, but were really pleased with the large enclosure we replaced it with, which we needed to do, since our fur family grew to seven cats. But also, we can now hang out with our cats outside in the large enclosure. All the enclosures were made by one person, with minor help. Neither took long to build.
Before we built an enclosure, we latticed-in our back porch. It was greatly used and enjoyed by the cats, even though they had the outdoor enclosure after we built the outdoor enclosure. The porch was particularly good for when the sun was too strong, or when it was raining, since it had a roof. Cat friendly furniture made it a great cat hangout. Our cat Minerva liked to sleep on a chair on the porch during the spring, summer and early fall, when the weather was mild. She also liked to have her evening wet food meal served to her on the porch during mild weather.
She would come into the kitchen when I was getting it ready, meow so I knew she wanted some, then she would sit on the porch waiting. If I took too long, she whapped on the cat flap to the kitchen door to remind me not to forget her. If you have a covered porch, consider enclosing it so the cats can have a safe place for fresh air. Using plastic lattice is attractive, and never needs painting. Note that kittens can squeeze through the openings in the standard sized lattice, so either don’t allow kittens out or use the lattice with tiny openings. The shelves add stability to the structure as well.
There is a short door that human can use to get in the pen. This pen had a tunnel to the latticed-in porch. We eventually had to make the tunnel «double decker», since often, a cat would lounge in the tunnel, blocking all the other cats. Having a chance to nibble grass, catch some bugs and get great view of the wildlife in the yard enhanced the lives of the cats. But, it really was too small for five cats, especially with some developing inter-cat tensions. Our cats still enjoy this small enclosure when we let them have a «vacation» at the storage building, which we call the «Cat Barn. This type of small enclosure is good if you are renting a home, since it is not attached to a building. One can then make a tunnel from the enclosure to a window, not making any holes in the doors for a pet flap. For the cats to access it from the house, firmly close a window on top of a board, with a cat flap in the board. One side of the enclosure is grass, and the other side is patio brick. Ledges also add more area for the cats. The chaise lounge is a big hit with the cats, used to lie under it when it is hot and sunny as the grass under it stays cool, and of course it is shaded. A shaded place is necessary in an outdoor enclosure.