Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Making of Our "Catio" (Outdoor Enclosure for Our Cats)

Ever since I decided to keep Tiger inside, I wanted to try to figure out a way for him to still go out but not roam our neighborhood. I searched the internet looking at all kinds of outdoor cat enclosures. Wow, there are some pretty impressive enclosures people have made for their animals. And some people enclose their whole yard. I wish I could do that for my cats! I know I don't have the energy to take that on.

So after lots of research and thought, I remembered that I had used PVC pipe to make an art booth for a craft fair a couple of years ago. The booth size was 8'x10' and I still had the PVC so I decided to use this for my outside cat room.

First thing I had to do was figure out how to put the PVC structure back together again. That took me about 4 hours. I must have put the pieces together together 4 different times before I got it right.


I put the PVC bottom together first, then the PVC top. After the 2 halves were constructed, then I wrapped chicken wire around the structures on 3 sides. The 4th side is my house. My back studio door is inside the enclosure so the cats can go in and out as they please. Tiger has always liked doing that. That way he can come get me, or just come in to find out where I am.






After the top and bottom was wrapped, the top was lifted by me, my husband and nephew and placed into the PVC piping on the bottom. I was going to hammer the piping together to tighten the connecting parts but my nephew, being stronger than me, just tightened the PVC by muscle power.


This is the final structure. Not as pretty as many I have seen on the web but it is functional. Actually I will take more photos so you can see what I have put inside the cat room for the cats to climb and relax with. My idea is to add on to this original room with an enclosed path for the cats to walk to a larger space in the yard. I just haven't totally figured out how I want to do that.

9 comments:

Angel said...

Thar is neat! I want a cat encloser for my cats!

Quilt Works said...
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atul said...

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ATUL BRAND - PVC Pipe, PVC Conduit Pipes said...

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Judy said...

Thank you for posting this. I'm planning to use a similar structure as an outdoor "tent" to use if/when our power goes off for days like it did this past summer (after a major storm) when it was 99 degrees outside. Our air-conditioning runs on electricity, and after the first day of the power outage, it was cooler outdoors in the shade than in the house. At night it was cooler, but the house was too hot for sleeping comfortably. I will drape fabric over the top and sides to protect from sunlight and nosey neighbors. Thank you for sharing!

Jjane said...

That is fantastic. We lost one cat last summer and our cat really needs the enrichment of being able to go out in a safe environment. Thank you so much for sharing.

Jane

Frances will do said...

What size pipe did you use, please? That's all that's stopping me from having a go at building something for myself! Thanks, Fran

Digna Irizarry-Cassens said...

I've been browsing through and studying You Tube videos and postings such as yours for a month now. I'm Au Pair for my g/son's cat while he gets business taken care of, finds a new apartment, and a new job, so he's in and out. Our cat Testi is a good cat, and behaves more like a semi-trained dog. However he'd lived in apartments for 2+ years after growing up w the freedom of my large house, 1 acre gardens and a very safe neighborhood. Now we live in the middle of the Mojave desert with our closest companions being coyotes. Hungry desert wild coyotes. They live in packs nearby, have chased and grabbed our small Bishon (12#) and Chi (7#), but thanks to my husband the dogs were safe. So our cat would not be safe and I want him to have outdoor time safely in our property. We now keep the dogs enclosed in fenced in areas, the back one a 10 ft block wall since coyotes can jump up a 6 ft wall. They're never outside if we're not at home to keep our ears open. But ... cats jump and climb and mine is a tree climber and loves lounging on roof tops. He used to love dogs too so that's not safe here either bc most dogs chase and kill game. So... your catio is perfect for me. Now if I can just build mine... it's not as easy as it looks with my limited skills. My good hubby is my adviser but he's not touching it bc we want it to be all mine. My dimensions, changed 3X now, are going to be 8X8X4 feet. A door I can walk into so I can clean the litter box and a back opening about 16" square so Testi can just jump in from the hall window and come in and out at whim. Since it's on cement I can just hose off daily. Shade cloth and bamboo shades will provide much needed shade and make it a happy place for him. Thank you! great ideas and gives me confidence.

Tania T said...

Did you need to put a roof on this, or did your cat stay in there?