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Outdoor Options for Cats: Enclosures and DIY Cat Trees

#3
It came up in a discussion elsewhere that people who rent may not be able to attach a permanent enclosure to a porch so I thought this might be a place to share some ideas.

PVC pipe is reasonably strong, cheap, and easy to drill or join into frameworks that can support netting or wire panels. I have used 1 inch pvc pipe with 1/8 inch walls to build tough long lasting greenhouses. It is ugly, but can be sanded and painted any colour, even to look like bamboo. Often just friction is enough to hold the pipes into connecting joints but the joints and pipes can also be drilled and screwed together so they can come apart and be reused. Drill holes in the pipes can also be used to secure the pipe to building if there is places it is OK to add a few screws or those screws with circular eyes. Holes can also be drilled in the pipe to attach wire mesh in a wooden frame.

A wood frame may look better and can also be made to screw or bolt together in a way it can be easily disassembled.

I have found I can also use C clamps on a rail or something else to give me a way to attach a framework to existing structures with no screws. The places the clamps touch a railing can be cushioned to prevent any marks. Clamps come in black which is more discreet than my red one used for this picture, and could be hidden with a cat safe potted plant.

Plastic netting seems pretty tough, but 1 inch wire mesh could also be used to cover the framework. When I have attached the edge of plastic netting to a support, I wove a piece of 16 gauge wire or irrigation tubing along the edge of the netting I was going to attach so the edge of the netting is a lot stronger.

Zip ties to create connections are amazing! ( I only recently discover these exist)

If wire is used the pokey bits need to be coiled so they don’t hurt the cats.

It is important that any places along the edge of the netting is securely fastened to something cats cannot force their way under! Also that netting is not large enough to allow heads or paws to go through as cats can get stuck and hurt.

There is probably better ways to do this I have not thought of, but maybe some of these ideas will help....

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#4
There is also some Facebook groups with a wealth of information and ideas for every situation..

Search on Facebook for

Cat Enclosures
Or
Kitty Gardens, Catios, House Cats and Catification
Or
Cat Gardens, Enclosures UK
 

Ditto Girl 2019

Savannah Super Cat
#5
Thank you so much. I will certainly follow up. I even thought about making a gauze cover that I can stretch railing to railing over the deck and fasten to keep Ditto from jumping on top of the top railing. The cover would provide shade but let the sun through and contain her keeping her from getting out. When she is out there I notice how she eyeballs the roof and I can see the wheels spinning in her head to try leaping up there. It concerns me that she wants to eat all that she catches - flies, , spiders, wasps, even a Japanese beetle! She was stung one day and quickly ran inside. The picture is of Ditto searching my geraniums for bugs! You can see the top deck railing behind the geranium.
 

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Vito

Site Supporter
#6
What a wonderful idea and safe too. We are lucky that we live in the Scottish countryside, so have plenty space for Vito to explore, but for those of us that don't have option of a permanent enclosure, this is a fantastic idea.
Thank you so much. I will certainly follow up. I even thought about making a gauze cover that I can stretch railing to railing over the deck and fasten to keep Ditto from jumping on top of the top railing. The cover would provide shade but let the sun through and contain her keeping her from getting out. When she is out there I notice how she eyeballs the roof and I can see the wheels spinning in her head to try leaping up there. It concerns me that she wants to eat all that she catches - flies, , spiders, wasps, even a Japanese beetle! She was stung one day and quickly ran inside. The picture is of Ditto searching my geraniums for bugs! You can see the top deck railing behind the geranium.
 
#7
What a lovely porch space and beautiful cat too! Seeing this I am guessing C clamps and PVC pipe frame work probably are not the ascetic you would want to aim for, but you will find plenty of inspiration in those Facebook groups!

I guess a gauze cover would be better than nothing, but I sleep under mosquito net, and my 2 trash this really fast! They have even ripped it just using it as a trampoline, and a cat motivated to get out could probably do this in an instant.

I think wire mesh and wood frame can be painted white, which might work better for you? You can access a lot of combined experience though those Facebook groups, and I am sure you will find a solution that both you and you cats will enjoy!
 

Ditto Girl 2019

Savannah Super Cat
#8
What a lovely porch space and beautiful cat too! Seeing this I am guessing C clamps and PVC pipe frame work probably are not the ascetic you would want to aim for, but you will find plenty of inspiration in those Facebook groups!

I guess a gauze cover would be better than nothing, but I sleep under mosquito net, and my 2 trash this really fast! They have even ripped it just using it as a trampoline, and a cat motivated to get out could probably do this in an instant.

I think wire mesh and wood frame can be painted white, which might work better for you? You can access a lot of combined experience though those Facebook groups, and I am sure you will find a solution that both you and you cats will enjoy!
I apologize - but I get such a visual of your cats bouncing on your "trampoline" and laughed so hard I spilled my coffee on my nightgown!
 

Ditto Girl 2019

Savannah Super Cat
#9
What a lovely porch space and beautiful cat too! Seeing this I am guessing C clamps and PVC pipe frame work probably are not the ascetic you would want to aim for, but you will find plenty of inspiration in those Facebook groups!

I guess a gauze cover would be better than nothing, but I sleep under mosquito net, and my 2 trash this really fast! They have even ripped it just using it as a trampoline, and a cat motivated to get out could probably do this in an instant.

I think wire mesh and wood frame can be painted white, which might work better for you? You can access a lot of combined experience though those Facebook groups, and I am sure you will find a solution that both you and you cats will enjoy!
My HOA is on the rampage re: anything! I purchased a tarp that I have temporarily attached to one end of the deck and stretched that out to provide partial shade. I roll it up at night. Both cats enjoy sitting out on the deck in 90 plus heat observing life from the shade. I have a guest bedroom window that opens floor to ceiling on the deck providing a retreat for them to return inside and outside at will while I am home. I telework but keep an eye on both cats; It isn't ideal but it is better that keeping them inside 24/7. Am still entertaining the idea of getting wire mesh to stretch the length and width of the porch. My neighbor made me plastic anchors for tying to on his computer. I purchased industrial strength sticky tape and it pulled the paint off the railing!