Bobby’s Outdoor Cat Enclosure

From the Journal Kept by Bobby’s Owner, Bruce Lee Wilson


Bobby, my orange and black Toyger, has energy galore! After “catifying” his room last year, I noticed that he loved looking out the window at the birds in our yard. His eyes would fix on one bird, tracking it’s movement from tree to bird feeder to ground and back again. When that bird flew away, Bobby would tilt his head, looking for the next bird to come into view.
 
After watching him for a few minutes, I thought he might enjoy going outside. I knew that I could not open the door and let him wander off. I had to have some type of enclosure that would keep him safe.
 
So, I went online to get some ideas. I found hundreds of websites that offered cat enclosures for sale. There are also businesses that can design and build them for you. I, myself, enjoy the DIY approach. I found several websites that showed how to build your own cat enclosure.
 
I wanted an enclosure that was portable and easy to move. I thought this would benefit Bobby, so he could enjoy both the front and back yards. I decided to build one from PVC pipes and chicken wire. I found the building plans on Instructables.com and it looks like this:
 
 
As soon as I had the cat enclosure built, I brought Bobby out to get his “seal of approval”. At first, he stood still, with his head raised. After a few seconds, he looked around, smelling the fresh air and sniffing the sides of the enclosure. He made his way to the lower platform and jumped onto it, touching the carpet with this nose. He looked at me and leaped to the next platform, stretching his long body and laying down.
 
Bobby turned his head toward the sounds of birds chirping. He looked toward the bird feeder, gazing at the finches and sparrows crowding around. Bobby watched the birds flit from tree to feeder to ground and back again.
 
As Bobby was enjoying his time in the enclosure, I decided to bring out Sissy, our 12-year old short-hair. She had the same reaction as Bobby, sniffing the ground and chicken wire. As soon as she noticed him, she jumped onto the lower platform, looking up at Bobby. He bent his head to touch noses with her. He looked like he was assuring her that it was safe. They both turned their attention back to the chirping birds.
 
Since that time, Bobby and Sissy have been able to enjoy the outdoors for several hours a day. Even the light spattering of rain does not seem to deter their pleasure. They merely drop to the ground and use the platforms as protection from the elements.
 
If you are a cat lover like I am, you may find an outdoor cat enclosure beneficial to your cat’s well-being. An article on InstyleCats.com explains the benefits of your cat being outside. Besides fresh air and sunlight, your cat has a chance to watch wildlife from the safety of its enclosure.
 
I know of two people in my area that have pet enclosures:
 
My neighbor screened in her porch, so her cats and dogs could be with nature. She told me that they spend more time on the porch than indoors.
 
A friend who lives in an apartment turned his little patio into a cat enclosure. He used the frames from two old room dividers and replaced the panels with cat screen. He did caution me that he does not leave his cat unsupervised. As the dividers are not mounted to the wall or floor, his cat could move them and escape.
 
Do you have your own cat enclosure ideas that you would like to share? If so, please leave a message in the comments section of this page.
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