Keeping Your Cat Safe: Outdoor EnclosureJuly 19, 2017
Considering installing an outdoor cat enclosure for your feline friend? We talk with experienced landscaper and cat enclosure builder, Shaun Wilby from Stone & Garden to get the rundown about your new project.
There are many reasons why cat owners decide to keep their kitties inside. However, for many felines, the desire to get out and about can drive owners batty. Constant meows or escape attempts can leave many cat employees (AKA you) throwing their arms up in the air and swinging the door open. After all, when the cat manager is demanding some ‘outside’ time, the persistent and precious furball normally wins. MEOW!
So, what about outdoor cat enclosures?
“Outdoor enclosures have become quite popular in suburbia,” Shaun Wilby from Stone & Garden says. “With cat safety and wildlife preservation motivating many owners to keep their cats happily contained.”
On the plus side, when done correctly, many indoor dwelling cats quickly adjust to having restricted outdoor time. The benefits of keeping your cat indoors are:
- No risk of traffic injury and car accidents
- Encourages bird life back into your yard
- No more dead animals in the house
- Keeps neighbours happy
- No injury from catfights
- Can help prevent skin cancer in light coated cats
- Protects wildlife (more on preventing your cat from killing here)
- Indoor/confined cats live longer
- In some councils – cat confinement is now a legal requirement
Looking for ways to keep your indoor cat entertained? Read this article.
“Providing their basic need are met, cats can enjoy a longer and healthier life when safely contained in their property,” Shaun says. “They won’t be injured in fights, hit by cars, become lost, or catch a fatal disease.”
What cat enclosure is best for me?
“Before assisting a client with choosing the right outdoor cat enclosure, my two questions are; how much space do I have and what are your cat’s needs?” Shaun says.
He advises monitoring your cat and coming up with a comprehensive list of your precious kitty’s favourite things. For instance;
- Does your cat like laying in the sun all day?
- Do they like to run and jump around?
- Do they have any specific needs? Ramps? Or keeping out of the sun?
“Cats love to move around and keep watch over their territory,” Shaun says. “They need a nice warm, dry bed and somewhere to laze in the sun, so you will need to tailor the cat enclosure exactly to the needs of your cat and the space that you have available.”
The only restriction is your imagination. Even in the smallest of spaces, you can create a very interesting space for your cat to play and watch the world.
There is a huge amount of cat enclosures on the market. You can have these enclosures custom built or invest in a kit-set for a little DIY (cue…tool-belt and hammers!).
“You can get a 2m x 2m cat enclosure with a hammock for approximately $800,” Shaun says. “Or you can opt for a two-room enclosure with a connecting tunnel for approximately $2,500.”
But if money is not an option and you’ve had a lottery win you’d like to share with your furry friend you can opt for a hundred-meter racetrack around your entire home and yard, with slides, tunnels, towers and two stories high for around $40,000! MEEEEEOOOWWWEEE!
“The most basic outdoor enclosures can be assembled in around half an hour,” Shaun suggests. “If you can put together flat pack furniture, you won’t have a problem putting up a basic cat enclosure.”
However, Shaun is quick to note that for the more advanced designs, they can take days and dollars to assemble.
The Final Point
Keeping cats contained is a good thing, not only for their health and wellbeing but also in terms of upholding the good name of the neighbourhood feline.
“Containing cats to the property helps protect wildlife from predation and prevents neighbourhood disputes about cat nuisance issues,” Shaun says. “Cat confinement is also a legal requirement with an increasing number of councils.”