Pumpkin does paperwork

Pumpkin does paperwork

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Rafter-mounted cat enclosure and "catzebo" give indoor cats a taste of the outside world

Cats love high places. This project gave our three cats a lot more protected places to hang out and safely watch their world from several vantage points.

Binky Inspects the new "rafter cage."
This rafter-mounted cat-safe enclosure is constructed with 2 x 2 cedar and pine, and hung from the rafters under the eves of our house. The bottom of the enclosure is about 78 inches off the deck outside the house so we can walk under it and still see out from inside the house.

Rafter cage is hung with 3/8" lag bolts.

In the window behind the enclosure, I have installed a DIY-modified cat-door designed for a sliding glass window. The rafter enclosure is 60 x 23 x 22 inches, is lined with 2-inch by 3-inch black-plastic-coated welded wire, and has a 1/2-inch plywood floor.
Baxter and Brodie enjoy their new view of the world.
There will be additional components added to this project as I expand our cats' domain, which is why there is an arched opening apparently leading to nowhere. See below for image of the completed 12-foot mesh-enclose cat-walk "bridge" between the rafter enclosure and a 7-foot gazebo which has already been made cat-friendly and cat-safe with welded wire mesh and perching shelves.

Inside the "catzebo."

In the video above, we introduce our cats to their new real estate. Since completion of the rafter enclosure, they have been enjoying the extra space every day and evening, and new view of their world.

Completion of the catwalk

After the catwalk was constructed and installed, all our cats now enjoy extra space and things to do.

The completed and installed catwalk.

Everyone enjoys the view!

Kitty Porch Protects Indoor Cats from Undesirables for under $50

This was a weekend project that was fun to do, looks good and protects your indoor or semi-indoor kitties while affording them a taste of the outside world. There are commercial products like this which can be purchased for hundreds of dollars and have limited customization options.

The total cost of this project was under $50 (not including the kitty door which was already installed.
The 20" x 36" x 72" "cage" allows our cats to step outside and observe the critter highway in back of our house

The tricky part of this project was that the whole thing had to be secure, but the sliding screen door behind it had to still function.

Since kitties love high places and afternoon sun, I also built in three sunning shelves for them to lounge around on. The "front" or large side of the cage is hinged and has two barrel bolt latches. The entire panel can be opened for access. The primary materials are 2 x 6 wire fencing and redwood 2 x 2s.

The enclosure is constructed of redwood 2x2s, 4x2 wire fencing, pine shelving and plywood. The 2x2s were slotted down the middle on a table saw, and the wire fencing was "inlayed" into them for a secure fit around the entire perimeter of each panel.
The hinged wide panel open for access

I only had to construct two sides and a top. The top is a piece of plywood which also acts as a storage shelf. I also added a spring to the hinged side as safety measure, in case one of us need to get into the cage for some reason, and stepped away from it, leaving the side panel open by mistake.

The spring closes the door so if a forgetful human opens it up and leaves without latching it, the door will close by itself. It's up to the human to remember to latch the bolts. The theory is, that if the door is just closed but not latched, a cat who ventures out into the cage will see that there is no opening, and not try to get out. The barrel bolts prevent cats who try to get out from escaping.

Construction detail
Its very secure, durable, cat and critter-proof. I stained the wooden parts before assembling the whole thing with brass hardware, so it looks nice as well.

See additional images below for more views of the project and the security inspection team hard at work.

Baxter approves

Inspection team at work