Cat runs are the perfect way to let your cat enjoy the freedom of the outside world while keeping them safe from the dangers (cars, dogs, feral cats, etc.) and also keeping the outdoors safe from your cat (protecting wild birds, etc.).

Our cat run was born out of nessasity and sadness as a family member's cat was recently hit by a car and passed away. Living on a main road it became very apparent that if we didn't take action the same thing could very easily happen to our cat.

With this simple home improvement we can protect our cat and give her a long and happy life.

We where fortunate for our set up that the house is close enough to the fence on two sides of the property that we didn't need to enclose much area to allow the cat all the room that she needs.

Materials for the project:
Cat Netting - http://www.catnets.com.au/
Black Rope - Also http://www.catnets.com.au/
Cat Flap
Wall Plugs & Eyelets
Timber (cheap lengths and weighty sleepers)
Zip Ties
Chicken Wire
Staple Gun Ammo
Flat Head Screws

The cat netting should be UV stabilised so it doesn't deteriorate in the sun, and bite/scratch proof. It needs to be strong enough that your cat can't break it and have a fine enough mesh that your cat can't get out through it.
We found netting to be cheaper and less work than using chicken wire for the whole enclosure (less work because galvanised mesh needs to be properly washed before use for animal enclosures).

You might have different needs and availabilities depending on where you live and what shops are available to you.

Step 1: Prepare the Net

To prepare your net for rigging you should decide which pieces are going where, and where you want your access from. For our cat run we needed access from both ends as the house gets very close to the fence and we couldn't squeeze past it if something happened to the cat at the end without an entrance. You will also need to figure out how big you want your entrances to be. It should be big enough that you can get through (encase something happens and your cat gets hurt) and possibly even big enough to get cat toys and plants through, depending on your needs.

Sewing the sip in place is a time consuming and potentially painful process. Be careful not to stab yourself with the needle, and not to get tangled in the net.

Once the zip is in place its a good idea to run a rope along the edge. This gives the edge more strength, and makes it easier to attach to your house. Weaving it through each square of netting is best as it gives a even support for the net. Again, this process is time consuming, and can be frustrating, but take the time to do it right, and not tangle the net up and it will give a better result.
Can you expain cleaning galvanized wire for animals? <br>
Many years ago my family invested in an avery for our birds (a galagh, budgies, finches and quails). When we bought it we where strongly advised to clean it before putting it together because any trace chemicals from the galvanising process could kill our animals is they lick it (and being an avery, the birds climb the sides by holding on alternately with their beak and feet (depending on the size of the bird)). <br> <br>We where told to clean it with a vinegar and water solution to make it animal safe (make up a bucket full, wipe it on and off again, then spray with a hose and let dry). <br> <br>I don't really know anything about the processes involved, but it sounded good advice to me, and the metal did visible change from the cleaning, it became blue-er and shiny-er. Weather or not it is really required I don't know, but its a simple things to do and if it will stop your pet from getting sick and or dyeing it's worth doing!
I often clean with vinegar knowing it is safe for the pets, thank you very much for pointing this out. Since even clothes should be washed before we wear them perhaps everything should get a vinegar rinse! I did read to rinse the pet water bowels out with vinegar and water regularly. Thanks again!<br>
Great cat prison. <br> <br>A few rottweilers as prison guards would really add to the ambiance. ;-)
Our car doesn't even realise she is trapped when she is in there. Occasionally she will go to the edge and try to walk through the net, but very rarely, for the most part she is happy enough that she is outside and why would she want to go further when she has a bed in the sun?
Its better then to keep cats locked indoors, but still i would think twice before changing freedom for safety. <br>I think that life is life, its not meant to be an aquarium. <br>Anyway, nicely done!
This is a good compromise. Our car often doesn't realise she isn't outside properly when she is in the cat run. She thinks she can go where she likes, it's just that her favourite places to sleep are in the cat run. <br> <br>Really it is as safe for her as being inside, as long as we check that it is in good condition every now and then,
this is a great job well done even though i dont have a cat its still cool
This is great. I did something similar with a 2x4 frame and chicken wire.
Looks good! I thought of using chicken wire fist, but to get enough for the area we wanted to cover was going to be very expensive. The netting we found ended up being much cheaper.

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