or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Care & Grooming › Outdoor Cat Furniture/Play structures: Help Please!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Outdoor Cat Furniture/Play structures: Help Please!

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

My new cat enclosure arrives in a couple of days... This is my first one, as I've always just had inside cats.

 

It's only small: 3.6 long x 1.8 deep x 1.8 high metres (about 12 x 6 x 6 foot) and is a freestanding aluminium frame with very sturdy net. I won't be able to attach anything to the frame (although there is a hammock which goes with it, suspended using ropes). 

 

I'm asking for suggestions for playthings, ways of adding height, cubby holes etc that are completely weather-proof and not too ugly!  Not products so much as DIY ideas, although if you live in Australia and have any ready made suggestions, that would be good as well.

post #2 of 43

The best thing for elevatioun is a cat tree. Some have strings or ropes attached. Some have sisal sections for scratching. They come in lots of shapes, sizes, and colors. Some have cubbyholes. Some have nests. Some have hammocks. Some have stairs or ramps. Whatever you like, you can get. You will be amazed what you can find on a cat tree. They come in a wide range of prices, but a good price to play is about $100. Most are completely covered with carpet. A few have real tree bark. Go to Amazon.com to see thousands of cat trees. You can also get steps but nothing beats a cat tree.

post #3 of 43
Thread Starter 

Yes, cat trees are excellent... That's what mine have indoors. Trouble is there aren't any pre-made completely outdoor ones on the market and making them is not something I think I could tackle, especially out of weatherproof material.
 

post #4 of 43

These cat trees are made of real branches: https://pettreehouses.com/ caticon.gif

post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 

They're something to think about to make up myself... I can't use the sisal, carpet, etc for outside.

They are beautifully made!

post #6 of 43
You could just put a bunch of shelves on a 4x4 and ta da! A weatherproof cat tree! tongue.gif Not much to look at though.
post #7 of 43
Another quick and easy are those large sterlite storage boxes stacked in a pyramid with holes cut in the ends so they can go through, and in the tops, so they can go up, yet still have plenty of space to hang out inside if they want and on the sides, so they can look out. smile.gif Quick and easy to wash down too. smile.gif
post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

Another quick and easy are those large sterlite storage boxes stacked in a pyramid with holes cut in the ends so they can go through, and in the tops, so they can go up, yet still have plenty of space to hang out inside if they want and on the sides, so they can look out. smile.gif Quick and easy to wash down too. smile.gif

Do you have a picture of one?

post #9 of 43
post #10 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post

You could just put a bunch of shelves on a 4x4 and ta da! A weatherproof cat tree! tongue.gif Not much to look at though.


I'd need to have a really firm base, as there are no solid walls to attach things to... but I did think of something like that... I'd I'm starting to not really care about aesthetics..I just want it to be a great, stimulating place for them.

post #11 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

Another quick and easy are those large sterlite storage boxes stacked in a pyramid with holes cut in the ends so they can go through, and in the tops, so they can go up, yet still have plenty of space to hang out inside if they want and on the sides, so they can look out. smile.gif Quick and easy to wash down too. smile.gif


This is a great idea... I'm going to work on that one.  How do you cut holes in sterlite?  And how do you secure them?  ..  Actually (thinking as I write) I could make a really stable structure by putting rivets through them to hold them into a big pyramid.

 

One website suggested just getting in a pile of firewood.. uncut stumpy bits...and making something out of them.. just a woodpile, I guess, would do it, but it would just be for climbing up ... no little nooks.

post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

Do you have a picture of one?

Of a sterilite storage box? http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&cp=17&gs_id=9k&xhr=t&q=sterilite+storage+containers&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1366&bih=683&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=anHqT7isMumR6gHP9aTwBQ

You can start with 5 in a row on the bottom, then 3 in the next row, and one on top.

Or make them just step-ups: four along the bottom, three on top of those, two on top of those, and one on top. I'd probably use the 30, 33, or 45 gallon storage totes

If someone is worried about "sturdy," then duct tape would be handy. laughing02.gif (And it comes in all kinds of "designer" colors and prints now!)

All kinds of configurations are possible.

I'm really not sure what you're asking? headscratch.gif It's like building a more weather-worthy box fort.
post #13 of 43
Here are pictures of hissy's enclosure - might be some ideas here for you. biggrin.gif I realize your stuff has to be free-standing, but...

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/197355/for-whitecatlover-caution-photo-heavy


OH!!!! What about Momofmany's (Auntie Em's) stacked cat beds? The "Cat Condo" - http://auntieemcreations.com/index.html
post #14 of 43
Oh! You're in Australia. anon.gif
post #15 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

Here are pictures of hissy's enclosure - might be some ideas here for you. biggrin.gif I realize your stuff has to be free-standing, but...
http://www.thecatsite.com/t/197355/for-whitecatlover-caution-photo-heavy
OH!!!! What about Momofmany's (Auntie Em's) stacked cat beds? The "Cat Condo" - http://auntieemcreations.com/index.html


Apparantly I have 'insufficient permissions' to see your photo bawling.gif(don't you just love computer-speak)...

post #16 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post


Of a sterilite storage box? http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&cp=17&gs_id=9k&xhr=t&q=sterilite+storage+containers&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1366&bih=683&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=anHqT7isMumR6gHP9aTwBQ
You can start with 5 in a row on the bottom, then 3 in the next row, and one on top.
Or make them just step-ups: four along the bottom, three on top of those, two on top of those, and one on top. I'd probably use the 30, 33, or 45 gallon storage totes
If someone is worried about "sturdy," then duct tape would be handy. laughing02.gif (And it comes in all kinds of "designer" colors and prints now!)
All kinds of configurations are possible.
I'm really not sure what you're asking? headscratch.gif It's like building a more weather-worthy box fort.


Whatever I was asking, that was the answer!  I can see it in my head now.  And you can buy that kind of thing so that they slot together.

It's the perfect answer.. thank you! clap.gif

 

Mind you, if anyone else has any ideas, I'd like to make this a very playable place for the two of them.

post #17 of 43
Right? Quick & easy!!!!!!!!! clap.gif

Sorry about hissy's thread - I didn't realize it was in the private lounge. anon.gif
post #18 of 43
I don't know where in Australia you are, but Ikea (or the like) may have some options for you too. Something like this: http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/50185483/ can be steadied with ramps you make/add on either side up to the top levels. dontknow.gif But open-sided book shelves with modifications can make GREAT run-leap-around play centers. Maybe steadied with tables on either side? And if wood tables, you could saw the legs off evenly of one of them, so they're slightly different heights on either side. Tack carpeting down on the tables, so they're not so slippery? smile.gif

All I know is that we live in an RV. We took out the dining area stuff, and put in free-standing cat trees next to a bookshelf that has a "top" at window height. The trees are pushed together, and have different levels, and the cats absolutely love leaping around from level to level, and they use it FAR more than they ever did an individual tree. smile.gif
post #19 of 43
Thread Starter 

That is quite serendipitous... I am heading down to Ikea today to buy a floor lamp.. I'll have a look.  They have that 'bargain' bit that I can have a browse through. It's a matter of the stuff being weather-proof. 

I've taken on board what you're saying about levels etc.- all excellent advice.

 

My enclosure arrived today, but I'm tied up till late next week, but I can start gathering the bits!

 

My next issue will be tunnels, as the enclosure won't butt up against an entrance from the house.  In another thread I've mentioned a portable cat flap that will go in windows and I'll get that made to measure, then have to work out how to get from point A to point B!  The beauty of this enclosure is that it's lightweight and portable:

 

http://www.catnets.com.au/cat-enclosures.html

 

I've bought the 3.6metre one, which includes a hammock that suspends by ropes.  I could have bought more of those, but they impinge on the space a bit.

post #20 of 43
Oh MEGA cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif
post #21 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mani View Post

Apparantly I have 'insufficient permissions' to see your photo  (Don't you just love computer-speak?)

I got that message too. What in the world does it mean?

post #22 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyMayWilcha View Post

I got that message too. What in the world does it mean?


It was a link to the Private Lounge, and LDG hadn't realised...

post #23 of 43
So, have you put it up yet? And have you gotten anything to put inside it yet? I'm excited for your kitties! laughing02.gif
post #24 of 43
Thread Starter 

The whole enclosure is still sitting inside my house, LDG.  It takes at least two to put it up and all sorts of things have happened to prevent my helpers from helping, but hopefully at least the enclosure will happen this weekend.

 

I've decided to make the entry through the wall.. I have a little old cottage with fibro walls, so I'm going to have to take great care cutting into it.  I've done the research, so it should be relatively straightforward.  The cat flap is sitting there waiting (I have a tiny house that seems to have been taken over by outdoor cat enclosure paraphernalia!) It won't go straight into the enclosure, so I'll create some kind of tunnel.

 

I'm collecting containers as per your suggestion.

 

There will be pictures!

post #25 of 43
laughing02.gif Isn't that always the way! hugs.gif I'm sure you'll get there!

biggrin.gif
post #26 of 43
Thread Starter 

OK... after much mucking around and a big health issue that has really laid me flat, the enclosure now exists!  It's not huge and has no 'furnishings' as yet. 

And the cats haven't even been in.

I thought I'd take a photo tomorrow to show the space. 

 

wavey.gif  LDG or anyone else who stumbles on this threat, I'd love layout suggestions once you see the finished product!

post #27 of 43
Thread Starter 

The first photos are the whole thing and the front.  I've left things in.. upside down containers, the wooden work horse and ladder I used, just so that it wouldn't be completely bare, but they can all go, with the exclusion of the suspended hammock that came with it.  It is strung very high at the moment and I'd like to find a way for them to access it.

 

1000

 

 

Then this is the fence side and the back.  It is very very close to the neighbours.  They are very good about it, but have a dog, so I may put up a bamboo fence attached to the net frame. However I'm a little concerned about this as then the cats only have two sides providing a view.

I'm going to plant out the strip of garden bed .. the upside down things are over the cat-unfriendly plants.  I don't like using plant poison, so this is how I deal with them.. they just cease to flourish.

 

1000

 

 

And the very boring side wall is up against the house and kitchen window.  The house is fibro.. an old fisherman's cottage that was extended, so drilling into it is not my favourite thing.

 

1000

 

 

I feel that high places, comfy places and some undergrowth in the garden are priorities.

 

Any suggestions and ideas are gratefully appreciated! 

post #28 of 43
Oh that is SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif And it looks like it was a lot of work to put up, even though it was supposed to be easy? dontknow.gifwow.gif

They are going to LOVE it! I hope the neighbor's dog won't be an issue, it'd be nice to leave that open. But really, just being out, I think they'll love it! rub.gifbiggrin.gif

As to what to put in there... I still like the idea of stacked storage boxes. agree.gif

I'm not sure how you'd make open-sided shelves work in that space. But different levels of platforms - I'm still thinking tables of different heights. I don't know how to describe it, but here there are tables - very sturdy - with pop-out legs, meant to be used for parties and such - that come in all different sizes (lengths). I'm thinking something like that - where shorter tables are used on top of each other, with carpeting glued or tacked down on them so kitties have a "grip" might provide different levels to run/jump around (and sleep!).

Let me see if I can find a picture... OK. Here's one that's 30" wide by 72" long: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/correll-cp3072fm-30x72-standard-29-granite-gray-fold-in-half-table/384CP3072FM.html?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cse&utm_campaign=GoogleShopping&gclid=CODqv7TSwrECFYeo4AoduDoAuw

And here's one that's 30" wide and 60" long... http://www.bizchair.com/dad-ycz-152z-gran-gg.html?utm_campaign=Google%20Shopping&utm_medium=Comparison&utm_source=google.com&utm_term=30%27%27W%20x%2060%27%27L%20Plastic%20Bi-Fold%20Folding%20Table%20[DAD-YCZ-152Z-GG]&CAWELAID=63972642&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CNqh-czSwrECFcne4AodxSkAww

This says 30 x 30: http://www.banquettables.com//folding-tables/banquet-tables/correll30x30inquarterroundwedgeblowmoldedfoldingbanquettable.cfm

I know you wouldn't be ordering these laughing02.gif , but just providing links so you can visualize. biggrin.gif
post #29 of 43
Thread Starter 

LDG, it took three days to finish, including putting in the cat flap in the wall and building the tunnel.

They hang around the cat flap in the morning waiting for 'opening time' wait.gifsmile.gif

 

Your table advice is excellent... They had a small size (which is all I wanted) at Officeworks and I bought it today.. It goes really quite high and is perfect - weatherproof and all! Thank you for that clap.gif

Now I can work on some stackable boxes.

 

Today when I looked out, Nilah was in the hammock.. I was amazed as it's really high and I only had some workhorses there to jump from.  She looked very happy and exceedingly pleased with herself.

 

I'll post a pic when it's 'just right'.

Thanks again.. you've been and inspiration rock.gif

post #30 of 43
Thread Starter 

OK... so not really 'just right' yet.. more a work in progress.  The table is Officeworks.. the little greenhouse is from one of those cheapy shops... the garden is growing and I have lots more plans (maybe some more upper walkways.. just need to work on 'how'...  This is just one half of it.

Of course I put in lots of lovely soft beds and things and came out yesterday to find Sundar curled up in the grotty old red plastic box..so I just left it there.

 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Care & Grooming
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Care & Grooming › Outdoor Cat Furniture/Play structures: Help Please!