More and more people today are choosing to buy or build some sort of outside cat enclosure for their domestic felines.
In some cases, indoor cat caregivers want to let their cats experience the sights and sounds of nature more directly. We know that nature is a joy for all life on earth. These pet caregivers often choose smaller, less expensive enclosures that allow their pets a taste of the outdoors.
In other cases, there are outdoor cats facing imminent dangers that exist in the nearby environment, such as wildlife, loose dogs, traffic, territorial cats or neighbours that trap trespassing cats, all of which, caregivers do not want to subject their pets to. These caregivers want to transition their cats from total freedom to partial freedom and can look to outside cat enclosures as a solution.
For years and years I had cats without any consideration or thought of a cat enclosure. We always had a dog that kept the neighbourhood cats out of our yard. Then life changed. Without a dog and with new additions to the cat household, various problems began to surface such as new bylaws that require licensing and allow humane trapping. Our venturesome kitten was trapped and neighbourhood cats that liked to fight were coming on our property). Someone who lived on a big animal farm sanctuary, suggested a cat enclosure to me, so I began investigating the idea and my options.
The portable net varieties like Kittywalk were too confining for my indoor/outdoor cats. Larger kits such as Cat’s Den were a consideration too but pricey, and I really felt that a full yard enclosure such as Cat Fence-In would suit me best and give my animals the most freedom. However our yard was so large and there were so many trees around the perimeter that would make it costly and challenging.
In the end, my husband and I decided to make our own cat enclosure on our back deck made with a wood frame and chicken wire and two in-set doors. (Here is a resource for DIY cat enclosures.) We used it to confine our kitten for awhile. Well she was not too happy about her containment, and it did not seem fair that the other cats could be free. I decided to only contain her sometimes and over time she stopped wandering off the property. The enclosure became a great resource for night time and situations where I wanted to keep all the cats contained for a period of time. They don’t seem to mind being contained at night and on occasions such as when I don’t want them to follow me on a walk or when “stray” cats are coming on the property. I really like having it now. I consider it a great resource for managing my cat family.