Cats love to play outside but sometimes they are safer if kept indoors, thanks to busy city streets or highways. A good idea is to build an outdoor cat enclosure so they can be outside safely, without the fear that they will run off and get hit by traffic. This particular style of pen is simple in design and easy to build. It requires no nailing of components or the use of screws.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Shelving units
- Wire cutters
- Plastic tarp/sheet of plywood (optional)
- Tape measure
- String and four pegs
Determine how much space you want your cat to have in an outdoor enclosure. If you have more than one cat that needs to be taken into account as well. You can measure out the desired area using a tape measure and four pegs with string stretched between them to mark out the desired space.
Buy coated wire ventilated shelving units, enough to provide what you need to build your outdoor cat pen. Make sure that the joined panels achieve the desired size parameters. However, it is easier to go a little larger or a little smaller with the finished size of the pen than it is to try to cut the metal shelving units. If allowing the cats access to the house, you will want to attach the panels to an open window so the animals can go in and out at will.
Use wire to connect each panel of the shelves to the others, until you have a 'wall' made from connected panels. Do the same with the rest of the walls and the ceiling panels as well. It won't be necessary to build a floor panel as well.
Install more shelves inside the pen at right angles, making sure that they are strong enough to support the weight of a ten to twelve pound animal. Also, installing a climbing tree is a good idea to keep your cats entertained.
Make sure that your cats have their litter box if the enclosure is not built over a patch of dirt. Plus, a bowl of fresh water and another filled with cat food is essential. If the animals are allowed access to the house then it's just as easy to leave these necessary items in their usual places inside your home.
How to Build Outdoor Cat Pens
Tips and warnings
- Create a 'play area' in the pen so that the cats can entertain themselves if they choose. Favourite toys, climbing and scratching posts, an open area, all are good ideas.
- Protect your pets from the elements by providing them with a removable roof for the pen. This will keep out the rain and give them needed shade. This can be accomplished simply enough with just a plain plastic tarp that can be tied to the corners of the pen, or by laying a sheet of plywood over the top.
- Do not try to force a frightened cat into the pen. Cats need time to get used to new things and may be very cautious at first. Give your cat time to look the pen over carefully. Forcing the cat could get you scratched or bitten quite severely.
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