Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Outdoor Cat Cottage and Garden Ideas

An outdoor cottage with a plant friendly garden for your cats will provide your pets with an area where they can play and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. 

Cats love being inside when it rains or when it is cold outside. However, when the sun is out and it is warm weather, cats all dream of going outside to play in the yard. 

Normally I allow my 5 cats to lounge on my sun porch however they are always scratching at the door to get outdoors.  From the looks on their face I know that they would prefer to roll around on the grass and watch the birds and butterflies.

I talked it over with my husband and we decided to install an enclosure and cat garden for our cats. Our yard has a privacy fence, however wildlife still enters our yard so we needed to install a cat enclosure, which would serve the purpose of a cottage for our beloved kitties.  

My husband did a cost estimate; he totaled up the price of wood and all supplies needed to make the enclosure and decided that it would cost less to modify a chicken coup kit. 

What we like about the chicken coup is that it made from quality lumber and galvanized wire that will keep our cats paws inside and will prevent outdoor cats or dogs from having access to our cats. Also there is a covered shelter for the cats where they can go to get a bite to eat or drink of water and to rest.

My husband thought the Ware Manufacturing Premium Plus Chick-N-Pen that we bought at Amazon.com was a  good savings because for him to buy products and then install it would would end up costing him more plus time and labor.

We set up the outdoor cat enclosure for our cats in a shady area in the yard that was close to our flagstone patio.  This location would allow us to interact with the cats while resting on patio and I could also view the cats from the kitchen window.  

 Before installing the outdoor cat enclosure, I designed a garden for the cats.  This garden would be inside the chicken coup. 

Installing Outdoor Cat Enclosure
After we finished the design for the cat garden we then set up the chicken coup around the cat grasses and other cat friendly plants.  Assembly was easy and because the grass was planted as a seed under soil we did not worry about walking on it. 


Tips:
  • We insulated the indoor section so that the cats would be protected from extreme heat or cold.  The shelter is where the cats could lie or get a bite to eat or drink. We needed to modify this section so that it was comfortable for cats.
  • The cat grass grew in and was rather tall.  We did not clip it back because it provided the cats with a fun area where they could hide.
  • In the summer we provided the cat's with an oscillating fan on the outside  of the coup to provide the cats with air circulation.
  • The cats loved going outdoors to play in their cat garden and enclosure.  We would allow them to spend the morning outdoors but on days when the heat was extreme we brought them indoors. 
  • Clean sandbox daily and change the sand one to two times monthly. 
  • If you have a small yard you could consider a small safety playhouse for the cats.  This cat enclosure will provide your cats with fresh air and will keep them safe provided stray dogs do not enter your yard.  It is best to set up the this playhouse in a yard that has a fence or in an area where you can keep a watchful eye on your cats.  This cat playhouse is not recommended for cats with claws or for aggressive cats that do not like to be confined. 
  • Be creative and paint your cat cottage so it will be eye appealing for your neighbors.