Cat Containment Outdoors - Our Expanded Cat Enclosure!
Our cat containment outdoor kitty yard is finally complete - at least the cat fencing is! We started with about 1600 square feet of outdoor space for the cats. Over the years, as time and finances permitted, we have finally completed the expansion to the maximum our property will bear. We fenced in the front area off the kitchen so they have a porch to play on and then enclosed the entire back area. The cats now have an uninterrupted area of about 1/2 acre to play outdoors!
With the cat containment fencing done, now comes the (sort of) fun part! This spring, we will be adding more plants, bushes, and grass seed. We will also be building various "kitty gyms" made out of wooden ladders, saw horses, wood planks, etc. along with kitty tunnels and condos!
While we were busy putting up the fencing for the expansion, a big wind storm destroyed the metal shed we had out there. It actually picked it up and blew it back into the tree - like something out of the Wizard of Oz! (We searched for the ruby slippers but no luck!)
So, in light of it's destruction, we got rid of the junk we were storing in there and are in the process of putting up a wood shelter just for the cats! It will be open on one side and have a flat roof so they can go inside to get out of the rain or heat and will be able to go up on the roof for a nap in the sun or to survey their little outdoor kingdom! (Will post pics when it is finished!)
We started the cat containment expansion by moving our existing chain link fence gate from the side of our house around to the back so people could come to our front door without having to come through the kitty yard. We didn't want to risk anyone accidentally letting the cats out!
Cat proofing the gate was quite a challenge. We needed to have the gate usable in case we had to have a service truck or something gain access to the yard. But, cats can easily climb chain link so just attaching the arches of the cat proof fence wouldn't work.
We finally opted to use see through outdoor panels that are used for patio roofing to prevent the cats from climbing. This enabled us to have full use of the 12 foot wide gate (6 feet on either side) yet still keep the cats safely contained!
And, because cats can climb trees, we had to cat proof them as well. To do this, we used pieces from the destroyed metal shed and wrapped the trunks of the trees that were close to the fence. We also trimmed off any branches that hung close to the fence just in case a cat could climb up a fence pole and reach a tree branch - then just jump over the fence!
We also added 2 additional pet doors for a total of 3! The original one off the screened in porch, one in the back near the back access gate, and one in the kitchen door off the front porch. All of the doors are the large dog doors with the softer, flexible flaps. All of the cats freely use the doors and we didn't have to teach a single one how to use them - not even the new arrivals!
Having several pet doors prevents any "cat bully" from keeping other cats trapped inside or outside. If a bully is stalking one door, the cats can use one of the other two! The cats that like to stalk and pounce on others at the pet door have found this to be very disappointing so pet door stalking has all but been eliminated!
We do have one tree in the center of the yard that the cats can climb without finding access to escape. We took these pictures during the winter so it just looks like sticks but that doesn't stop Frank (seen in the picture) and the others from enjoying a climb!
Since several of the kitties enjoy being outside and there is very little shelter out there now, we made them some little kitty condos to hide in. We purchased inexpensive tote bins of varying sizes, cut entrance holes, and lined them with old towels and blankets for sleeping on. The kitties can be warm and dry and still enjoy the great out doors!
The pictures show Charlie (big orange guy!) and Gizmo, enjoying a snooze in 2 of them but most of the cats have used them. And it is easy to pull the towels out for washing and clean the inside of the little houses if necessary. For those of you that have cats outside or who care for feral colonies, these are an inexpensive way to provide them with some shelter!
We also put a couple of the little houses on the porch just so they could hide there and still watch the activities. The porch off the kitchen has a view of the road and most of the time they like to watch the people walk by. They HATE the garbage trucks though and all make a mad dash for the house when it comes by!
Cat proofing the porch proved to be a bit of a challenge as well since they could climb the railing reach the fence arches, and climb up to the roof! In order to be sure the cat containment fence actually contained the cats, we left off the arches and attached the fencing directly to the roof of the porch. We also have a 3 foot wide emergency access gate there. We keep it locked so people can't come in that way but we can still exit there in an emergency if needed.
We have to rake the area each day as the cats do "do their business" out there and we want to be sure the grounds stay clean! Besides, it can get pretty stinky out there in the heat of summer so daily raking is a must! With the expansion, raking the yard has become quite a chore but fortunately, the young man we pay to mow the grass and trim the trees twice a month voluntarily comes each day to help with the raking up! He is truly a blessing!
We are very pleased with our cat containment area and we know all of the cats just love it! We take daily walks out there (weather permitting!) and all of the cats follow us around the yard as we inspect the fencing and make sure all is secure.
We hope you enjoyed this little tour of our outdoor cat containment area. If you have any questions or want more details on what we did and how we did it, please feel free to
and we will do our best to answer your questions!
We believe all cats deserve to be happy AND SAFE outdoors and we hope the pictures and description of our cat containment area offers some inspiration!
Click on the links below for more pictures of our cat containment yard and details on how we started this project so long ago!
Go to Outdoor Cat Enclosure
Go to Outdoor Cat Fence
Go to Outdoor Cat
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