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PandEcats

The Premier Online Magazine
devoted to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Search
Close this search box.

PandEcats

The Premier Online Magazine devoted
to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Search
Close this search box.

Wyndabbey Cattery Design, Part 2

(Construction Of Outdoor Enclosures)

In the article, Wyndabbey Cattery Design, Part 1, we introduced readers to our general cattery setup that evolved from our philosophy on the lifestyle we wanted for our cats.

We designed specific quarters in our home for stud males, for kittens, an isolation area and a general cat area. With the comfort and enjoyment of our cats in mind, we also constructed three separate outdoor areas for our cats.

The Cattery Room Deck

This is the 9′ X 9′ covered deck which leads directly off our cattery room. It is constructed of pressure treated wood and welded wire with a typical floor of pre-existing wood decking.

In addition to providing lots of fresh area, the deck area contains numerous cat trees and toys which provide lots of exercise and mental stimulation for the cats.

Our Other Outdoor Enclosures

After screening in the covered deck we built two more outdoor enclosures. The first run we built was off the kitchen. It measures 10′ X 20′. We built it using pressure treated 2′ X4’s, welded stucco wire, and wooden lattice.

The second enclosure we built for our boys off their stud room was constructed in the same manner, except we substituted plastic lattice for wooden as the plastic is more durable than wood.

The stud run is 10′ x 20′. Like the stud’s indoor area, their outside run is divided into two to accommodate two males separately.

 

Details of the Construction of Our Outdoor Enclosures

We put a great deal of thought into the design and building of our outdoor runs. We wanted to ensure the runs were safe and that absolutely no cats could get out and no animal could get in.

In addition, we wanted the enclosures to be pleasant to look at and as natural looking as possible.

The footings are concrete block that were set slightly below ground and leveled.

On the lower half of the run, an additional layer of lattice was added.

This not only serves to make the run more esthetically pleasing, but also provides a barrier between the wire and the lattice in case other animals come up to it.

The wire we used to screen in between the wooden supports is stucco wire that has square holes that measure approximately 1.5” square. Both the sides and roof are screened in with the wire.

The wire was installed with galvanized steel U-shape nails.

We built a step down from the interlocking brick patio to a “natural” area with some “cat friendly” shrubs, a big piece of Arbutus tree and several lounging shelves. The shelves are made of 2″ X 8″ pressure treated lumber. The entire run can be hosed down and/or pressure washed and is accessible both from inside our home or through an exterior door to the enclosure.

As finishing touches, we landscaped the outside of the run. We planted a vine to climb up the trellis, added a row of small evergreens along the length of the enclosure. And finally we hung baskets of flowers from the overhang of the roof rafters.

Conclusion

I believe our outdoor runs have made a significant impact on the health of our cats. Very rarely do we have cats develop an upper respiratory infection and (knock on wood) we have never had a case of ringworm. I believe the fresh air plays a significant part in this. In addition, our outdoor play areas contribute to the continued emotional and mental health of our Maine Coons. We encourage anyone who has the room to build, to consider adding an outdoor cat enclosure to their cattery setup.

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“It is very inconvenient habit of kittens that, whatever you say to them they always purr.”
*Lewis Carroll (Author, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

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