You Won’t Believe How Easy Building Awesome Outdoor Cat Enclosures Is
You only live once! That’s one great reason why we go on epic adventures - to do things we once feared and go to far-flung places we have never been. But while you can go on awesome travels around the city, the country, or the world, will you let your feline pal just stay within the four corners of your home?
Don’t be such a meanie. Build him an outdoor cat enclosure!
Top 3 Benefits of an Outdoor Enclosure for Cats
Why exactly should you go the extra mile and make an outdoor cat enclosure?
For one, it gives him more space where he can move his body and play, regardless if you’re at home to engage him or not. This serves as a great form of exercise and may even be an alternative behavior remedy.
Aside from extending the territory, it allows your cat to see more of the outside world. It will let him feel the gentle spring breeze, soak in the summer sun, play with fallen autumn leaves, and dig the fluffy snow in winter—simple yet relaxing activities that we all enjoy!
Finally, an cat enclosure will provide your buddy with greater entertainment and happiness. With multiple levels attached to your home, either through a door or a window, your cat can rest peacefully and observe his surroundings. He can freely roam without becoming a threat to local flora, fauna, and neighbors’ pets and property. Which are common arguments people use against cat families, by the way.
5 Tips for Building an Outdoor Cat Cage
If you have decided to make your cat’s life happier and enrich your bond by building outdoor cat enclosures, there are five things you have to keep in mind.
Tip 1: Ready-Made or DIY?
Building outdoor enclosures from scratch isn’t for everyone; it requires certain skills to guarantee that it will be able to stand the test of time and the change of seasons. After all, you don’t want kitty to painfully fall to the ground the first time he jumps into one of the cage’s perches, right? However, DIY enclosures remain to be the cheaper option as prices for ready-made ones start at almost a thousand bucks, going higher based on coverage and design.
So before you think of setting up an enclosure, consider how much time and money you can allot to the project. Also think about how many cats will be using it, how much of their days will potentially be spent in it, and what sort of activities they will engage in while inside. These will help you decide whether purchasing pre-constructed sets will be worth it or if you and/or your family can build it using any of your choice materials.
Just to give you an idea, wooden planks, plastic boards, and wire panels are the most common materials used for DIY enclosures.
Tip 2: Sun Protection
We all need vitamin D from the sun. However, there will always be days when the scorching heat becomes unbearable. To keep the temperature balanced within your outdoor cat enclosure, consider dividing the roof in two parts—clear plastic and wood or steel. These sections will let your cat do some sweet sunbathing without being roasted. Building cat enclosures is a way to keep your pet safe.
Tip 3: Winter Heating
When the cold season comes, you have two options: keep your cats indoors or let them appreciate the winter wonderland. Of course, unlike us who are protected by thick-stuffed jackets, our cats mostly rely on their own fur for warm.
But a cat’s fur can only provide so much heat, especially if he’s not from a winter-ready breed like the Maine Coon.
To keep your cat cozy while out in his outdoor enclosure, install any or all of these heating systems:
- Heat pad covered in thick cloth and placed under beddings
- Incandescent bulbs with wire mesh protector
- Radiant or under-floor heating securely installed, protected, and hidden from immediate view
Tip 4: Food and Bathroom
For most people, outdoor cages are merely play areas. However, if you want to let your feline buddies enjoy their outdoor adventures longer, give them access to food and drinks. You can bring food during their set meal times and perhaps install a fountain as a water source.
Don’t forget to add cat litter boxes, too, especially if your cat enclosure reaches the ground. Otherwise, they might be tempted to go au naturale during their bathroom breaks, and you certainly don’t want your cats to ever think that!
Tip 5: Cleaning
I know. This is the bummer part that most people avoid. But here’s the thing, you love your cat, right? If you do, then you surely want him to be happy and healthy. One way to ensure that is to keep his environment clean.
For outdoor cat cages, these are the best cleaning practices:
- Scoop litter once a day
- Wash food and water bowls daily
- Sweep dirt and hose down boards once a week
- Clean decorations and change bedding weekly
An outdoor enclosure can bring you and your cat much joy and more happiness, so stop thinking twice and start working on one for your furry pal.
Have you tried building outdoor cat enclosures before? Maybe you’re at the middle of making one? It doesn’t matter which stage you’re in, just be sure to share your experiences with us in the comment section below!