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Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by MoggyBaby, Dec 28, 2011.
No she moved back to the UK about a year or so ago.
My cats were acting very nervous of going in the back garden on Monday and Tuesday, and last night I found out why - 2 large foxes outside! I think all the willdife is getting bolder now that many people are indoors a lot more.
First time poster here and I don't know whether this is going to sound daft or not but: I am about to build a standalone enclosure for my cats and I wondered for people who don't have them connected to their homes do you carry them in and out or use a carrier to get to and from the house?
Ooohh how exciting! That isn't a daft question at all, it's quite reasonable.
Back in the day when my youngest (now 10!) was tiny and not yet ready to run loose in my protected fenced in yard, I let her come out in her (large dog) crate. I set the crate up in the yard and carried her from the house to the crate in her carrier. When it was time to go back in I opened the door of the crate, put the carrier in front of it and she trotted back into it.
She learned the routine very quickly.
If that isn't practical for multiple cats, could you build a little run for them to take them safely from the house to the enclosure? I think this thread may have pictures of things like that as well.
I used to take my lad out and back in but found after a while it wasn't practical .When he was in he wanted out and vice versa so in the end we had to build a tunnel to allow him the freedom to decide whether he wanted to be out or in.
If you can I would try to put your run somewhere that you might be able to connect the run to the house at a later date if necessary.
This is what we ended up with.............
The original run................
with the tunnel added.................
In my experience one of the biggest benefits to indoor cats when they are given an outdoor enclosure is the bit of valuable independence they also acquire to come and go as they please from the house to the enclosure. (at least during daylight hours).
If it is not possible to build the enclosure next to the house (with access for the cats through a cat flap) then making a safe tunnel (from wire mesh and wood) to run from the house to the enclosure is the next best thing. e.g. like buffie has done (see above)
If you are thinking of a very large freestanding enclosure, the size of a small garden perhaps your cats would be happy either being carried out or taken out in their carriers and put in their enclosure. An enclosure the size of a small garden filled with large shrubs, grass, outdoor cat trees, a place to shelter etc. would keep them occupied no doubt and they may not mind being shut in and left there for a couple of hours.
But if the enclosure is going to be small, say 7 or 8 ft square, a similar size to a cat pen, I can't see the cats being happy shut in and left on their own. If you plan to stay with them, the entire time they are in the enclosure, possibly it might be more acceptable to them. But I wouldn't be surprised if they were soon to ask to go indoors.
Thank you @lorilu, @buffie and @chillminx that was very helpful and has given me great food for thought.
This looks incredible! I wondered how do you get around the problem of twigs and branches falling on top of the enclosure? Do you like regularly remove them? The problem I had is that my enclosure is close enough to a dying fur tree, so there are a lot of small (and not that small) twigs fall on top. Things get more complciated by the fact that they are almost inaccessible without propping up a ladder against a pillar of the enclosure to sweep off all of those twigs. If, however, I don't do this regularly, strong gusts of wind can move the fallen twigs and damage the net.
Its not obvious from the pic of the run but there are 2 tree's close to it ,a Hawthorn which has been reduced in height recently and also a fairly high Yew tree which sheds needles and broken branches from time to time,especially just now as there are wood pigeons nesting in it.
I don't have much of a problem clearing the roof of the run as it consists of 16 gauge galvanised wire mesh 1/2 inch by1" it is very strong and is easily cleared of branches, also half of the run has a Perspex roof which prevents anything falling in
I carry them out in my arms, no carry box. They are fine with it and line up at the door waiting to for their turn.
They never ask to come in, I'm the one who tells them I want them in.
I like your pen. I think I read you used 1.6 mm /gauge 16 wire, was that ok? Do you think 2 inch x 2 inch holes would be suitable? Or could an animal stick its paw in and claw my cat? My timber has just arrived and we are ordering the galvanised wire mesh. (Hoping for next day delivery). The cat flaps and mounting adapters are arriving Saturday and my tunnel inners are on their way. I’m hoping the timber frame will be made tomorrow or this weekend. It’s soooo exciting!
Hi @TriTri we used 16 gauge galvanised weldmesh 1/2" x 1" mainly because it is far more rigid (we have foxes around) but also because it is safer as it prevents paws getting stuck/prevents easy climbing and also doesn't allow small birds or mammals access.
I think it would be possible for another animal to get a paw through 2" square mesh and cause injury if your cats were close enough .
I would never forgive myself if an animal or bird couldn't get out in a hurry.
It has withstood both cats and foxes running across the roof and even fox cubs trying to chew their way in to get a closer look at Mr M (adults have to my knowledge never tried.)
Good luck with your venture it is so worth it when you know they are safe but outside in their own space enjoying the fresh air and taking in all around them.
Ted has decided that he likes to pee outside. I'm not sure if this is because he's marking his territory from the cats that come in our garden but I suspect it might be.
At the moment, our catio is decked and I obviously don't want him peeing on the wood. He currently stands in a flower pot and pees in that (kind of odd), and I'd like to put a proper outdoor tray for him. I tried a litter tray but he prefers the flower pot... For those that have outdoor litter trays - what do you do?
I have 2 covered trays in my cat run. The run has a Perspex roof, so that usually keeps them dry. I also have a large plastic kennel style shelter in the garden and you could put a normal tray in there. If I manage to secure my garden one day I would do that.
Just like Ted , Meeko suddenly decided to toilet outside in his run which initially resulted in a visit to the vets as I thought he was constipated (he was still peeing in the indoor tray ) . I felt a right twit when I found a pile in a corner of his run. He had a tray out there for months which he never used so I had taken it out .
As part of his run is covered it is a bit easier to keep a tray protected but I have got round most of the problems by placing his tray under an old pine table which is protected on 3 sides .This seems to be working well as the litter is staying dry and isn't being affected by wet /damp conditions.
I'm not sure why he is okay with this arrangement as there is absolutely no way he would use any kind of covered tray .
It is working so well that he now prefers to use his out door facilities although will if desperate use his indoor tray .
None of our run is covered, so I guess I will try a covered tray and see how he gets on!
Hope his lordship appreciates the trouble his staff are going to .
Me too! Since we had his stress peeing just before this whole lockdown thing started his toilet habits have changed so we've been adjusting to his new normal. At least he isn't peeing in cupboards any more!
Poor Ted and poor you too , stress is not an easy thing for us or them to deal with.
Hope you can find away that works for everyone x
Thank you @buffie
That’s very helpful; I hadn’t thought about birds flying in. In the end I decided on 1 & a half inches x 1 & a half inches, but if it’s not ordered I may reduce that. If it’s been ordered, we can alter an area of the pen, if need be. I wondered if Tessy might need a second exit, in an emergency? Or is that ott? I could add one later if it bothers me. The builder seems to think it will be fox proof. I think I’ll need some lighting added, as my outdoor light misses the area where the pen is going & I’m hoping Tessy may use it in the evenings or over night during the summer. Tessies climbing days seem over, but she could surprise me & I’ll add shelves etc.
I think she will go indoors to use her litter trays, but I am considering one of these @Psygon: