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Cat Runs & Cat Proofed Gardens

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by MoggyBaby, Dec 28, 2011.


  1. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    E6FFFB01-DD9F-4839-83A5-0731092C8737.jpeg 8A3D5C97-7FFB-4511-9898-A51D97B4B9C6.jpeg 29AF6829-5274-4C37-BD5A-F1E03DEB6515.jpeg BDEA46AC-7559-43A3-A51E-7EA8C5C920A2.jpeg Tessy’s new cat enclosure isn’t quite finished, but it can now be safely used by her. A few minutes work is left on the tunnel area and the gate, a piece of timber needs removing, the timber shelves etc needs making/fitting and I have to remove some plants that are unfortunately toxic to cats. I had the pen specially built around the plants & Tessy loves to sleep amongst them, but some will have to go.
    Thanks to @buffie I went for a smaller wire mesh and got the 1 inch x 1 inch in the end. The mesh was quite difficult to source with the Coronavirus lock down. Thanks to @Charity I managed to get a cat flap that will restrict which cats can access the pen from indoors (as well as restricting access from the pen). Unfortunately the tunnel inners from EBay weren’t approved by the builder and so he used something else, something that is used by builders for cavity walls, instead. I’ll post a few more photo’s as & when it progresses. Let’s hope Tessy loves it.
     
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  2. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    Hi @Jen8971
    Do you need any permission to build on the balcony and would there be any restrictions on what you build? Which country are you in?

    I think you have two options, the first, something free standing, which I personally wouldn’t be keen on, I think there’s a company called Omlet that sell them, or the second option is to build a timber (or metal) frame, attached to the four corners of the balcony. Then securely attach galvanised wire mesh to the sides and the roof. It must have a roof or Ash could escape. You’d need extra timber battens for the roof. It might be best to get a builder in to make it. Everything will need to be very secure and regularly checked for any wear and tare. I’m no expert, so it’s just a suggestion and the internet should be full of ideas, though sadly not all will be good or safe ideas. Please do let us know how you get on.
     
  3. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Looking good , I'm sure Tessy will love it .
     
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  4. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    Aww thanks. I’m so pleased you replied to my post and like you said, I’m going to need lighting put in as well. Tessy loves it, she has been in and out the cat flap and tunnel without coaxing. Max hasn’t tried, so they are both happy. Once his new dual scan cat flap goes in and the timed feeder is set, I’m hoping for nights of uninterrupted sleep :p
     
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  5. Jen8971

    Jen8971 PetForums Member

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    Thanks for your reply! I'm in the UK but I seem to remember when we bought our flat there was something in the terms/conditions about building - I think we would need some sort of permission, at least from the factors and other residents, if not the council. I'll look into the free standing ones to see how they are. In a worst case scenario we will get him a harness and he could come out under supervision, but that's not ideal for us or for him really. I'll have a scout around and let you know how I get on.
     
  6. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    Yes, it’s worth checking your lease and contacting the freeholder for permission and run it by the council. It may be fine? Be warned that harnesses can’t be relied upon to not undo :Nailbiting. I read that on here about a year ago and I don’t know if they have improved since then. Good luck.
     
  7. Jen8971

    Jen8971 PetForums Member

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    I'm in Scotland so it's slightly different (We don't have freeholders etc), but hopefully the property managers can advise. Wouldn't want to spend lots of money and then have to take it down! Had no idea about the harnesses either! I'll need to research those too so much to consider!
     
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  8. GingerNinja

    GingerNinja PetForums VIP

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    Looks brilliant @TriTri :)

    Tessie is a very lucky girl!
     
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  9. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    Thank you! The shelving beds etc are going in this weekend. Her favourite place to sleep outside for the last 5 & half years has been under the wisteria plant & amongst the crocosmia, with both plants toxic to cats, so I need to find replacements for them, or she’ll be upset. But what?! Hopefully she’ll move along the pen soon to the Canterbury bells when they flower, allowing me time to change the plants over. What a nuisance, especially as the wisteria was a special gift from a dear friend.
     
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  10. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    I love your run, I think Tessie will love it! :)

    Can you please tell me where you got your sloping roof panel, or was it custom made? I'm hoping to extend my cat run over the summer and am looking for something like that to cover the top of my back door, as my run is about 1 foot lower than the doorway!
     
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  11. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    B0CBA4B9-95D6-41C5-89EC-6C0BCD1780C7.jpeg E1952BA2-E6CC-4062-8742-76BFD175F448.jpeg 73777552-FC1E-43A7-8689-84ECE073A55E.jpeg B61F5A10-5A9B-4696-AF75-2A007726424C.jpeg A47E5747-2FB6-4711-A20C-D45658D581FD.jpeg
    Hi! I’ve just taken some better shots of the sloping roof area. My best friend made the sloping roof and pen. It was custom made, built away from the garage to accommodate plants, cover a side gate and I didn’t want it built across my window. The last picture is my view from indoors. Tessy loves it and is out there now, bless her.
     
  12. Flori

    Flori PetForums Newbie

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    Hi! I was wondering if anyone has tried gutter pipes around the garden to cat proof it. My family want to get a British shorthair as a new pet. I am not ready because we have lost our beloved cat exactly 3 months ago but maybe it will be for the best. We want to cat poof our garden. I have read lots of your post but was wondering about this idea.
    Thank you
     
  13. Jen8971

    Jen8971 PetForums Member

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    Hi again,

    We have come up with an idea for a sort of temporary fix to the balcony. The plan is to permanently attach mesh to the railings to have it cat safe, then have a 'roof' of mesh attached permanently to the wall below our drain pipe. The plan would be to pull this down on a diagonal and attach it to the top of the low wall opposite on a hook. It will restrict out head room a bit but we should be able to unhook it at the wall and put it away if we are out and the cat is inside or having a BBQ or something which might be a fire hazard having mesh above. It also means there isn't a permanent structure which the neighbours might not like, but it will be secure when Ash is outdoors.

    We don't think it will take long to do so hoping we can set it up and if it doesn't look secure enough we can go back to the drawing board.

    Has anyone used this mesh from Zooplus before?
    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/cat_flaps_nets/cat_nets/cat_nets/357363

    Edit: I realise this isn't the most accurate description without drawing on a photograph- apologies!
     
    #1433 Jen8971, Jun 1, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  14. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    Hi @Flori, the problem with the drainpipe idea, is that it doesn’t stop other animals getting in your garden and if they do, they can’t get out! This means animals are likely to fight and become injured, or worse, IMO.
    To buy the proper materials to build a catio, only costs about £350 (for the same size as mine), plus labour. I expect you could get a chippy, a builder or a handyman/woman in to build one.
     
  15. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    How is it cut to size? With a razor or razor sharp knife? Cats’ claws are known to be razor sharp and for this reason I would not risk it. Going back to the drawing board might not be an option if your cats claws (Or anything else, or wear and tare) have made a hole in it and the cat has escaped... or worse. I do see 100 people have added photos of it in use, but that doesn’t mean their cats have survived it. Securing it safely is another issue and to use a hook could be catastrophic, no pun intended.
     
  16. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    I used plastic deer fencing on my 2nd floor porch (but it has a roof), I suspect it's much the same thing as your link.. It's been installed for 6 years now and is just as sturdy as ever. The cats know it isn't strong enough to hold their weight so they don't try to climb it. I do have a few safety features, because my porch is open all the way to the floor. At the bottom I have the fencing tucked under rugs, and the bottom all around is lined with old window screens, so they can't lean on the fencing itself. On one of the perches where I realized one cat would lean a lot I added an extra support, a bit of plant trellis so she leans on the trellis instead of the fencing material.

    I am sure all this is difficult to picture. It's night time now though, but if you want pictures I'll take some tomorrow.

    What are the dimensions of your balcony? The picture makes it look too narrow even for an adult human to stand on. How high is that wall? I would install the netting inside the wall, so they could not jump on the wall. Put a few perches inside for them instead.
     
  17. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    As promised @Jen8971 here is what I have done with my second floor porch. I used to take them out into a fenced yard, but had to stop that because of Mazy cat's IBD, she would eat the grass and it would mess her up for weeks. So I thought and thought and finally came up with the deer fencing after seeing it wrapped around my friend's garden (to actually keep the deer out haha)

    You can see how I have the screens on the floor and the rugs as described in my post above. usually there are more cardboard box beds out there, but it rained and they all got wet except the one under the chair, where you will see Mazy cat. ~more to come~
     

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  18. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Here is the trellis I told you about with Queen Eva modeling. Jennie (now an Angel) was the one who used to like to sit up there and lean against the webbing. It just made me so nervous, so I got the trellis thing for added support. Then I had to tie it to the porch railing because when the wind blows it was blowing the trellis over and making a mess of everything on my porch! Also, Mazy cat in her current preferred corner.

    Queen Eva likes to sit on the perch when I am in my chair, then leap over to the edge of the chair back and sit on my head. :D
     

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  19. Jen8971

    Jen8971 PetForums Member

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    Thank you TriTri and lorilu for your comments. I hadn't thought about cats claws cutting holes, I had more been thinking about the hook not being the best idea- I would worry it might become unhooked. I think the alternative would be 1 pole in the corner where the low wall is (I see Zooplus have a wall clamp which would mean not having to drill) and have 4 permanent sides. The roof is the difficult part because we occasionally use it for BBQs etc in which case we wouldn't want anything directly above for fire risk. Either way I will need to find a secure netting -TriTri what is yours? Is it metal?
    This is the video I got the idea from:


    Note I would spend more than $30 to make it safe! But used this as she doesn't have a roof either.

    I will go outside after lunch and get dimensions and take some more photos to try and make it more clear.
     
  20. TriTri

    TriTri Standing up for cats

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    Hi!
    I’ve used galvanised wire mesh. To be fair, I’ve never seen the stuff you are suggesting and I don’t know how strong it is and how well you would secure it. I just looked and thought, would you be happy leaving a baby out there, if you nipped indoors? I guessed no-one would think it safe enough for a baby, but many willing to risk it for a cat, which saddens me. If @lorilu knows the same netting and if she says it’s safe and if you can find a way of safely securing it, with no gaps whatsoever, and if you are going to regularly check for signs of wear and tare, then maybe it’s possible? It would be great for your cat to be able to enjoy the fresh air in a safe environment. Please let us know how this progresses as it will be useful to other people. Cats can jump pretty high, so obviously that’s an important factor.
     
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