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Outdoor Enclosure

This forum is for discussing all topics related to the challenges (and joys!) of keeping your house clean while living with cats. Here you can share tips, recommendations for products and techniques, and more!

  
Midas

'cause his touch- is too much!
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 19, '13 5:12pm PST 
So now that Midas has been an indoor cat for a year now (woo!) and things are going pretty good and I have my own house, I have started to build a temporary outdoor enclosure for him and my dogs. My dogs are small, so that is pretty easy to do, and without the cat would have been done in an hour. However, with the cat, it pretty much has to be enclosed on all 6 sides. I got an inexpensive gazebo from Lowes, and have screened it with lattice on three sides, with the fourth side being the house with a sliding door. It still needs some more zip ties and concrete blocks around the base so the dogs and him can't push out, but it is nearing completion. My only concern is with the size of the lattice. I chose not to get the privacy lattice, which has much smaller holes, as that would have added at least another $100 and required cutting and tools I don't have. Can the average house cat fit through a lattice hole and will I have to screen it? My dogs are smaller than the cat and they can't go through, but cats are much better escape artists. He isn't a fat cat at all either, probably weighing between 8.5 and 10lbs. Thanks for any input and suggestions!
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Sterling

Go Gently Into- the Night

moderator
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 21, '13 10:19pm PST 
Wow! That sounds like a pretty nice place for your cat and dogs to be able to hang out. way to go I'm not sure about the size of the lattice. I know my cats can't get through the lattice I have on the bottom of my deck. One thing you may not need to worry about, depending on where you live, but living in the country it's not so much me worrying about if they can get out but what creatures can get in. I have my front porch screened so rodents can't get in and we have the occasional garden snake passing through the yard. My cats love being on the front porch to watch the birds and squirrels.

Midas

'cause his touch- is too much!
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 21, '13 10:54pm PST 
Some of it is just for practicality. My dogs need to be able to go to the bathroom during the day once I start working, and a regular dog door into the yard won't work because Midas would just use it and then go and get into all sorts of trouble! Plus the dogs are so tiny, I do worry about predators such as large birds of prey, coyotes, and bobcats. Or people just stealing them... Though we are pretty much near the middle of the city, so I am not as worried about predators as I have been living previous places. I am really hoping that Midas just doesn't try to get out, and we can all live happily ever after for the next 6 years. Haha.
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Midas

'cause his touch- is too much!
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 22, '13 1:42pm PST 
So far he hasn't been able to get out. His head can fit through, but he seems really cautious about trying to get anything else in. He did try to chew a hole wider, but the lattice took no damage. It seems like he doesn't think he can get through without making the hole bigger. I am hoping that if he doesn't manage to get out in these first few days he will just stop trying completely.
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Sterling

Go Gently Into- the Night

moderator
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 22, '13 2:06pm PST 
Well, if his head can't get through I don't think the rest of him can. Hopefully, he will relax and enjoy being "outside" in your gazebo. kitty

Cali

The Most- Beautiful Girl- In The World
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 22, '13 3:36pm PST 
You said that his head can fit through, personally i would be worried that he could get hurt trying to pull it back out. Im not being critical, just thought you may want to consider that.
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Little Boy- Blue PAWS

The Blue Dude
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 24, '13 11:57am PST 
If you're really worried, try stapling some claw-proof screening over the lattice. A staple gun can be bought at any home improvement store, which might also have the claw-proof screen. If not, it can be ordered online. I have some on a screen door, and it IS claw-proof!
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Midas

'cause his touch- is too much!
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 26, '13 4:02pm PST 
Well it has been a few days, and he has not managed to get out. His head definitely cannot get stuck because the way the squares are turned, but he also couldn't get his body through. It is really weird, but I think it has something to do with the flexibility of the lattice (the whole thing shakes, but each square is rigid), and him being a generally cautious cat, meaning he doesn't want to get stuck by trying a maneuver that a younger cat might try (I think there is a reason it is mostly kittens that are found in people's walls!). He has had complete access, day and night now. He spends most of the days, even when it is ridiculously hot, just sleeping out there (and he can come in and out freely). Sometimes he sleeps so deeply and comfortably I freak out because he looks dead, but he's not.
I will try to figure out how to post pictures soon!

Also, I actually did order some of that screen last week! Haha. I am going to re-do all of the windows so I don't have to worry about him trying to push out or mess them up. He is messing up the blinds, but they are in pretty bad shape anyway, they can't even be pulled up. Otherwise, what I have done in different houses is just pull them up and hang curtains he can walk behind. They are something we eventually want to replace anyway, so no biggie.
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