April 2009 Issue

Create An Outdoor Enclosure For Your Cats

You can enrich the life of your indoor cat considerably with a little space and creativity.

Some cats seem to pine for sunshine and fresh air, despite all the arguments in favor of keeping cats indoors. Cat enclosures are the perfect way to give cats access to the outdoors without compromising their safety. In an enclosure, your cat wonít be able to wander away and get in trouble with cars or the neighbors. An enclosure with a roof is far safer than a fenced-in yard, because although fences can be adapted to keep cats in, they wonít necessarily keep other animals out. But in an enclosure your cat will be able to enjoy the sunshine and youíll be able to relax, knowing your cat is safe inside. Everything from small, pre-fabricated enclosures perfect for limited yard space to giant, custom-built models that enclose entire yards can be bought on-line. Or use your own imagination to create an outdoor play space for your cat, attached to your house or free-standing. Donít neglect vertical space in your design; cats love to go up as much as they love to explore the ground. When building your own enclosure, use only sturdy materials that your cat canít destroy and that wonít degrade too quickly from exposure to weather. Plan your design carefully; as the saying goes, measure twice and cut once. Donít forget to include an opening big enough for you in the design ó youíll need access, too. Youíll probably want to add a lock to this human-sized door, to discourage unwanted entry.

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