DIY Cat Enclosure UPDATE
Hi all…you probably recall that I had a nice big 8 foot by 8 foot square “catio” for our little furbabies to frolick around in on nice sunny days. But now, It’s long overdue to let you know what I’ve done since then that’s even better.
I added on one more “corridor” of space to it. After all, why quit when you’re ahead right? The little guys were enjoying their habitat to the point that it passed the smell test.
After all I had done I had all this galvanized fencing wire remaining. I did not want to throw it away (I mean it would have gone in the recycle bin) We live in too much of an easy come easy go kind of culture, which is exactly the opposite idea I like to promote on my blog.
How I Did It?
As it turned out my pieces of wire that I had left from a former project (another long story about a pet rabbit that got away-I’ll save that one for another time) all had similar lengths – like four feet, and with extensive measuring, I discovered that I would have enough to piece them together strategically in the shape that I wanted.
I also had a deadline I wanted to stick to, complete this wire “corridor” by the middle of May at least. I live in Georgia and the God-awful humidity and heat we have here; trust me when I say that the best time to be working outside is March, April through about May 10th, but after that, only in the early morning or evening.
In addition to the wire I used the following tools to create this “corridor”: (I keep using quotation marks because I can’t think of another word that would sound right – row? hallway? piece? )
- Heavy duty staple gun
- A 2 by 4 plank
- 12 gauge wire and zip ties
- A few random sticks for added support
I used the zip ties and 12 gauge wire to loop together the wire pieces. I figured out that I would need a top part and a side; but ti was going against the side of the house…and the 4 by 4 foot lattice piece was removed and used as the endpoint of the enclosure. Using the staple gun I attached the first wire sheet down to the 2 by 4 plank so it would be sturdy enough to have the right shape. This part was attached to the now-open end of the house side of the enclosure.
But the hardest part seemed to be getting that part flush to the house without looking too weird or leave open the possibility for a feline escape. Obviously this had to come before the part where the lattice end is attached. That was when I came up with the idea of using good old sticks, yep, like the kind that stick out of trees. I gathered a few that were just about the right thickness and length.
One, close to the wall, securing the wire and giving it something to hang onto securely; as it was bowing a little in the middle. Still with me? Good; I hope these images are helping to make this scenario easier to picture than otherwise.
Then a long 4 footish long stick in the middle, also helped hold that piece well too. The good news is that by the time I went to attach the lattice end piece I had gotten over the hardest part. All that was left was to seam them together with zip ties and wire.
Boy that was work I tell you, but I’m so glad it payed off, as the cats still love the heck out of this place! I debated about having a roof top or not, but that doghouse on the inside (yes we did used to have a dog, another long story) serves as a good shelter when it rains.
And yes, once again, I know that this little structure is not exactly the Taj Mahal, you may even call it “rustic” or heck, even primitive looking…..but do keep in mind I am not a carpenter and this is the first cat enclosure I have ever put together.
The emphasis was on being secure first and esthetic second.( I did pretty it up a little with the addition of a few solar lights.)
My furkids love this place to pieces (I think it’s resulted in them bringing in tiny bugs so I have to use the pet flea and tick spray on home furnishing stuff here)
Now if I had to do it all over again? I would have gotten my hands on some of those stackable storage crates I saw mentioned in this article (Oh the time I would have saved if I knew about these then – and I probably wouldn’t have been out of pocket much either!)
If you are interested in building a cat enclosure like I did I would definitely follow the advice in that article and purchase some of those stackable cubes along with some zip ties and you should cut your workload in half. If mine succumbs to rot or termites God willing, that is where I’m headed.
I know this kind of thing only a cat lover totally understands, and that’s OK. You love your cats and you certainly want to give them as many advantages as you can, so this kind of effort is definitely worth it.
Update (again) Strange cat comes to camp out on my furkids’ cat enclosure 🙂
Check out this feline visitor I’ve got that’s discovered my furkids’ catio and is just making himself right at home…
He’s a handsome boy no? Truth be told he really likes our cats’ special space but there’s no way he can get in there. At least not in a way that could lead to an escape hatch for one of my guys… I managed to snap a quick pic of him a few times through the window in a spur of the moment thing.
I have no idea who he (perhaps it’s a she? I have no idea) belongs to, but I’ve been seeing this cat off and on trolling the neighborhood for a few years, so for all I know he might be just a transient wandering kitty.
Anyway, just wanted to share this cute scene; if you are reading this right now and you’re missing a black and white cat, please get in touch:)
Oh, one more thing….Update 4/27/19
This corridor after two years, was starting to get messed up …I decided it was time to give it a good rework. Want to know what i did next? Find out now in my Part 3 Catio story!