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Many felines across the globe are now lapping up the life of a luxurious, spoilt indoor cat. However, the drive to enjoy the great outdoors can be too much for some breeds and owners. So how can you allow your indoor dwelling cat all the advantages of the outside life in a safe way?
There are ample reasons why people choose to keep their beloved cats strictly indoors. Feral cats and cars normally top this list, not to mention the pressure outdoor cats can have on the local bird population. The need to keep our felines enclosed has increased over the past 10 years, but luckily so have all the amazing products that come along with this popular trend.
The most impressive are the massive array of cat enclosures now available to the public. These once primitive designs were previously created by desperate cat owners and clipped together using backyard scraps and netting.
Today however, you can go as glam or as simple as you like. You can purchase kit-set designs or leave the planning to your imagination. Things to consider before you get started:
- Entry point – This can be off the side of your house, or perhaps you are considering building a conservatory-like enclosure? You can even pick one window and install a cat flap into the window. You are only limited by your imagination and your budget. Enclosures can even start at an upstairs’ window and your cat can climb down using the stairs.
- Locking – make sure you install a cat flap which has a lock or doors and windows that close. Some owners have reported their cats bringing in mice/ rats through the door at night. Due to the most adventurous rodent finding its way into the enclosure.
- Size – How big is the enclosure going to be? Will it be one level or two? You can wrap an enclosure around the house or keep it as one simple area. If you are making tunnels, consider your cat’s height and ensure that they are not just walking in a cage.
- Materials – think wood, galvanized steel and chicken wire. Anything that can sustain the weather.
- Creative – get creative and ensure you make the enclosure a pleasure to look at. You can revamp an old, large bird aviary, or build from new. Think about incorporating a tree that your cats can climb, and plant lush green grass. Having a larger entry point is also a good idea so you can clean up any mess, and also mow the lawn when needed.
When your cat enclosure is built consider popping some cat grass and toys inside. Also add perching points, so your cat can get a good view of the world around them. Including some bird feeders around the outside of the enclosure will add hours of entertainment for your cat. It also allows your feline to watch and chatter to the birds without anyone being in danger! As well as allows your cat to play with butterflies who are attracted by the flowers.
A BIT ABOUT THE BLOGGER:
Nadia Crighton is a well-known and accomplished Australian Journalist and pet magazine Editor. As a busy mum of four humans, two dogs, 50 sheep, one cat, a handful of chickens and a goat named Billy (not forgetting the three axolotls!), she simply adores pets of all shapes and sizes. These are her personal thoughts and advice from many years of pet-ownership and working within the pet industry.