For cats allowed to roam outdoors, danger lurks at every corner. Traffic, poisons, disease, run-ins with other animals-the list goes on. Outdoor cats also represent a major threat to wildlife in urban, suburban, and even rural areas. Many cat guardians are unaware of the impact and dangers their feline companions pose to other animals.
The greatest gift we can give our cats is the promise of a long, healthy, and happy life in the security of our homes. One way to enrich the lives of indoor cats is to offer them safe experiences outside, either by walking them with a specialized harness and leash or by providing them a secure outdoor enclosure off the house or in the yard.
Commercially Available Enclosures
Enclosures range from the simple to the sublime. They can be furnished with old tree stumps and perches for climbing and scratching opportunities; tarps to provide shade and protection from the elements; even enclosed ladders for safe access to and from the house. A variety of pre-made pens, runs, and do-it-yourself kits are available. This list is provided as a resource and does not imply endorsement by PAWS.
- The Cat's Den. www.thecatsden.net. Commercial kits for indoor and outdoor cat runs and enclosures.
- My Pet Enclosures. http://www.mypetenclosures.com/. Provides custom and DIY kits for indoor and outdoor cat enclosures.
- Purrfect Fence. www.PurrfectFence.com. Commercial kits and instructions for free-standing cat fence systems. Also offers professional installation in certain regions. And now offering "Cat-Proofer" system for converting existing fencing to make it escape-proof.
- General Cage Corporation. A folding, portable, 3-story pen available through mail order catalogs, or write manufacturer at 238 N 29th St, Elwood, IN, 46036.
- C & D Pet Products. www.cdpets.com. Commercial kits and diagrams for enclosures available in various sizes and prices. Also offers kitten enclosures.
- Safe Cat Outdoor Enclosure. www.just4cats.com. Detailed drawings and descriptions to create custom outdoor enclosures for cats and other small animals.
- Kitty Walk System, Inc. www.kittywalksystems.com. Various commercial enclosures for cats and other small animals. Most enclosures are preassembled.
- Sears. Wire pet enclosures for approximately $49.99 - $69.99. Folding, portable pens, up to 24 inches high.
- SunCATcher Enclosures. www.cagesbydesign.com. Free-standing outdoor cat enclosures for yard or patio.
- CatsOnDeck. www.catsondeck.com. Modular indoor/outdoor cat enclosures. Expandable and portable for RV use.
- Wild Whiskers. www.wildwhiskers.com. Portable, light-weight, non-permanent cat enclosures.
- Pet Enclosures Northwest. www.petenclosuresnorthwest.com. Located in Shoreline, WA.
- Catio Spaces. www.catiospaces.com. Located in Seattle, WA.
Window Boxes and Perches
Another option is to install a window box that provides a protected perch for cats to enjoy a panoramic view of the great outdoors. Window boxes can be ordered from the listed sources:
- Anibode. Custom-designed window boxes. Write 339 Pape Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4M2W9.
- The Cat's Den. www.thecatsden.net. Commercial kits for outdoor cat window boxes.
- Several online and neighborhood pet supply stores carry a variety of window boxes and perches as well.