Giving your cats the luxury and enjoyment of soaking up the sun and enjoy the outdoors is a challenge when you don’t want your cats to be free roaming (a wise decision). Building a custom made cat enclosure is something that many people do, but if you don’t have the time, budget or skills to do that, there are other options.
Cat enclosure kits that are ready to assemble and use can save you time and money. No, they won’t be as large as a custom made enclosure that you build yourself; but they are certainly better than nothing.
Ensuring your cat’s safety when they’re in one of these enclosures is essential. Keeping in mind issues such as predators, heat, sun, rain and wind will all weigh into the type of playpen or enclosure that will suit your home and environment, as well as where you plan to place it.
Some are easy enough to move around and relocate according to the season or time of day, while others will generally be set up in the one position. The most ideal spot for any of these is in a protective area like a patio, balcony or deck where your cat will be protected from the elements and from potential wildlife predators.
A cat should never be left in one of these enclosures at night. If they must, for some reason, it would need to be completely predator-proof, and in weather-proof protected location. Always ensure your cat has a shady position to retreat to from direct sunlight when in the enclosure, and of course, kit it out with fresh clean water.
A well designed enclosure can be a very comfortable spot for a cat to soak up the sun on a winter morning, or just to spend a few hours in everyday (ideally while you are home to supervise).
Using Dog Runs & Chicken Pens for Cats
There are plenty of outdoor cat cage and enclosure ideas out there, but many of them are DIY jobs and custom built.
Clearly building your own is going to be the best way to get the exact size and design you want for an enclosure, but if your options, skills, space and funds are limited then buying an outdoor cat enclosure kit that you can quickly get set up is the next best thing. There aren’t too many choices available in this area yet though, especially if you don’t have unlimited funds.
And that’s where dog runs and even chicken pens come into it – you can adapt some of these into an outdoor cat enclosure that is both cheap easy to set up compared to a custom built solution.
There are a good number of dog enclosures and runs out there which are reasonably priced, solidly built and of a good size for a cat enclosure.
The problem is that most of them don’t have a roof.. because most dogs don’t climb or jump. So how can we adapt one of these for our cats? Very easily, and there’s absolutely no reason you should overlook one of these enclosures just because of the lack of roof.
Some simple cat proof netting will do the job and this is easy to attach. Of course, you’ll also need to weatherproof part or all of the enclosure if you’re planning to have it outdoors.
Protection from sun, wind and rain is paramount, even if a cat will only be spending a short time in it daily, which is what their intended purpose is.
These are not for permanent housing of any cat or other animal. They’re a great idea however for some outdoor exercise (once you place some climbing equipment inside) or just for soaking up some sun on a nice day.
Chicken Pens for Cats
There are some really nice large chicken pens out there that can be transformed into an outdoor cat exercise and lounging space – if you have the room on your property or in the backyard.
Since chickens are smaller than cats, you’ll find that the size of the wire used and any gaps within the frame are adequate for cats, as they’ve been designed to prevent chickens from escaping and from having most other animals get inside.
At the top end is the awesome ChickenCoopOutlet metal coop which has 1/3 of the roof covered for shade by a tarp (most people would want to add to this for cats, depending on your climate and weather conditions).
It’s a structure that would last forever as it’s made of solid steel and has a heavy duty door up front. Measuring 7 foot high and 20 x 10 foot floor dimensions, it gives cats a huge 200 sqft of floor space to move around outside safely in, and plenty of room for you to decorate and kit out with ramps and climbing equipment.
The enclosure comes in flat pack so you’ll need a couple of people to put it together but once it’s up, it shouldn’t require any maintenance at all.