How to keep cats safer, contained, but happy.
These are cat walks with room for
- sitting in the sun
- birdwatching from a window
- eating, drinking
- playing ping pong soccer
- scratching/needling with claws
- rubbing fur
- utilizing upper wasted space in garage or rooms, for instance, above doorways or windows.
To accomplish this first we needed to "tunnel" the cats upstairs from their basement room.
- Wire shelving, approximately 12-inch, 16-inch and 20-inches wide, with accessories such as brackets, wall clips, rubber ends
- Toggle bolts for ceiling attachment
- Cable ties
- Bolt cutter or some kind of saw to trim wire shelves
- Rope lighting
- Carpeting or indoor outdoor carpet (white backing nice to match white shelving vs. dark carpet backing)
- Canvas, light colored with blue tarp backing worked well facing down in the utility room
- Plastic lining material
- Velcro or Wood trim to uphold plastic to protect walls and floor space
- Cat flap doors
- Power drill
- Circular piece to make round holes through walls, do not cut into weight bearing walls
- Optional cat toys or ping pong balls that do not need constant supervision
- Plastic Place mats for further waterproofing
- Pillows or kitty beds
- Scratching material or cardboard
- Optional cat or dog cages for easy entry
- Additional shelving, brackets
- Wood as needed for planking (we needed narrow ramp up the basement stairs)
- Screen or hardware cloth for optional extra tunnels
- Litter boxes and food dishes
- Industrial strength Velcro was used to hold plastic liner (wood trim might work better)
- Carbon monoxide detector.
- How about tunneling cats up and throughout the house attic space so they can drop into various rooms?
- Grass or catnip plants for cats, garnish around the "cages" for cat fiddling and looks.
- Trim would probably work better for plastic liner to protect walls, we were trying to find a way to make it removable to clean
- Beware of sharp edges where cats can catch their claws (one cat got hooked on paint screen edges more than once)
- Consider a surveillance camera that might connect to your Internet or intercom
- View to birds
- Outdoor access with roof, they will mostly likely use the litter out there due to less odors, www.youTube.com has some great cat enclosure ideas
- I keep an eye out for old kind of Christmas tree branches that might be useful on the wire for the cats to brush up against, or to put around edges of access cat doors to groom and massage them as they pass through.
- My friend's young children would probably do a great job for me cleaning the garage walks that are 19.89 inches wide, or at least they could help me get the carpet out to clean it.
- You can sometimes lock an electric garage door opener so the cats do not get out in error. Mine still opens from the keypad. A work-around is to plug the garage door opener into one of those remote controlled extension cords sometimes used for outdoor Christmas lights or hard-to-reach electrical switches. You then can turn the electric off to the garage door opener thus preventing an accidental door opening. This summer I may park elsewhere and use the "Kitty Garage" for lounging, treadmill perhaps and petting our furry friends. In this case I will disconnect the garage doors or put an insect screen in the doorway and open it up for sunshine and air.
I was inspired by a website that showed a barn with inside cat quarters completely constructed of wire shelving made for closets. http://www.theenchantedcat.com/
In addition, I looked at the California books of the http://catshouse.com/ where they had tunnels throughout the house for their cats (recently I enjoyed viewing their YouTube video even more than the books).
I wanted something contained as I have a feline leukemia cat that must be separate from the other cats. When he was subjected to a wandering cat one day, and I had TWO cats to quarantine and an extra dog that created havoc when a cat entered a room, it was time for emergency wired cat walks.
THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS X 100 TO TOM, my wish came true. He was volunteering at the Restore for Habitat for Humanity while he attended HVAC classes at the local college and also loves cats. He volunteered to manage the project. It took him at least four long days, and three to four trips to Home Depot, where the wire shelving seemed the most reasonable (when Restore store was out of wire shelves).
Some days he was assisted by Homero.
I owe these two for this fantastic inside haven. Coyotes ARE an issue in this area. They have captured local cats and also punctured my little dog's lung.
Another inspiration is the guy from Minnesota that was featured this year on Cats 101, Animal Planet, HE IS AWESOME, he spent 10k on beautiful wood catwalks throughout his nice country home for his cats. http://animal.discovery.com/videos/must-love-cats-fultons-favorite-moments/
Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Rocco and helpers (Nick, Tyler, Shawn, Frank, etc.) for the awesome digs he also created for my cats with "Restore Habitat for Humanity" doors, windows, fencing...until the cats could come into the house.
Thanks lastly but not leastly to Nancy F. who bought me my first cat tunnel book and inspired me to start searching the Internet for "cat enclosures" . Thanks to Sue J. for cat lover support.
Thanks to everyone I have not mentioned (chemo brain and age).
Thank you, www.instructables.com for having a contest DEADLINE and also for the opportunity to win a Nikon Digital SLR camera.
22 second video: