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Ready to put the roof on! - Page 4

post #91 of 105
I can't wait to see the new changes MA.
post #92 of 105
I have a question Hissy. Right now I have 15 cats and three kittens. I am keeping at least one kitten for Jimmy. Which will bring the total to 16.

How large should my total enclosure be for all these cats?

I am using a kitty door for their entry and we are putting a gate on the outside like yours is fixed now. Right now we plan on making it 6 feet tall.

But at this time I only have the total area space 10 x 20. At least that's what I have the post holes dug for. But we had planned on this being for three cats when I initially dug the post holes.

It would be easy without clearing land to make it 20 x 20. Is that large enough to house all my cats? Or should it be larger. It would not be that difficult to increase the size to that at this time before we actually start putting the wire up and framing it in.

The 20 x 20 would still be 6 feet at one end and I guess for a slanting roof one end could be 8 feet. The type of roof you have is exactly what I was telling my husband I want for our cats but I plan on only roofing a portion of it so they can also get sunshine on one side.

I was reading at http://www.thecatsite.com/Care/36/Cat-Enclosures.html
about enclosures and it said size does matter but it doesn't say anything about how large it should actually be..

Any suggestions on size for the amt of cats I have? And there will be at least 16 grown cats when they grow up. I would like it ultimately large enough so they never go outdoors except in the enclosure. But I want them to have enough space to have fun and lay in a corner solitary if they choose.

Thanks in advance, Jenn

ps. And I can't wait for the new pictures either. I subscribed to this thread so I can see the updates.
post #93 of 105
Thread Starter 
Guess we better get busy then. It isn't how large as it is that matters, it is how much space you can give them inside. That doesn't make much sense so let me try to explain. Within this enclosure there are levels of space. Each cat in a colony- and you my dear, have a colony- needs to have different levels of space to get away from the others and off the floor. Have plenty of ramps, shelves, platforms, beds, all at different levels. Be sure to have ceiling rails that go around the enclosure, your Alphas will spend most of their time up there. Have the beds elevated at different levels and if you enclose them such as the first photo of our cat beds, be sure you provide each cat an "escape hole" out of the cave, besides just the opening, otherwise they won't go inside to bed down.

I am sorry we didn't put a foundation down, because that would have helped to have a cemet floor with a big drain in the center. The cats, even with the three kiddy pools of sand, will relieve themselves in the dirt from time to time.

Another thing, if you can, leave a sunroof of sorts so that you have a patch of grass for them. With our roofing, the grass has died inside and I have resorted to using hay for the most part for them to play in. Plus when they do relieve themselves, the hay soaks it up and is easy to remove to the burn pile.

Also if you have coons, possums or skunks, be sure that you have buried your wire deep and covered it with gravel then dirt. Also have an elevated feeding platform to keep bugs out of their food, and to put their water at a higher level to keep it fairly clean.
post #94 of 105
ok, those are great suggestions and I am taking them to heart "for my colony"......

Now, if it is 20 x 20 how tall should be be for levels.

Also it is funny you said that about the rails at the top of it for alpha. My husband plans on putting some of those in our living room for the cats just so they can lay away from us all and the dogs if they choose. We are going to put triangle shapes carpeted boards in the corners.

I guess we could do that as well in the enclosure.... The males, Jimmy and Toe and Yellow are all laid back but fixed males are like that. JJ is going to be fixed whenever he has his leg fixed so he will be the same way.

The females are another story. They are all fixed as well but........several want to be dominate. Dovey, when she is laying on me when I am on the couch refuses to let another cat near me. She is vicious about it. She swats, scratches and claws and has a very mean meow. She is young but a very dominate little girl. She is only 15 months old. And Kissy is very dominate too. She is 2-3. But they each have certain cats that they dominate. They have a click that they are each head of. Kissy is head of the adult females. And Dovey is head of the young ones.

Both of these females are my talkers too. They talk to me in many different type of meows and tones and have human personalities and understand human words. I guess they just rule. One was nursed with a bottle from birth with no mother and the other grew up from birth in my house. So that might make the difference.

I can't wait to see how they do things in the enclosure. It should be up in a few weeks. Or at that time it will be secure enough for the cats but not finished yet on the interior.

I have heard of alpha dog but not alpha cat before. Tomorrow is bath day for all the animals. The next day I am going to dig more post holes. I am going to make the ground of it 20 x 20. We are using cedar posts from our land for all the corners and the gates. We have wire already bought that is welded wire 2" x 4". They will not be able to get out of it. Even the smallest ones.

We are burying the fence in the ground with gravel and quickcrete on top. The fence post are going to concreted in the ground 18" deep. That's how deep I have dug the holes. The dogs fence is out of the same material and we are using the same type of cedar posts but their fence is only 4 feet tall and the cedar post are all the corner posts. In between is T-posts.. All the cedar post for the dogs and the cats are going to be the size of 4x4's.

Thanks for the info and I am sure I will have more questions as the enclosures starts coming along.


p.s. Why is the word put in purple. I didn't do that. I noticed your word put is also in purple.. hehe
post #95 of 105
MA, How big is it ? How many kitties do you have now? It Looked great when you first had it done, can't wait to see updates.
post #96 of 105
Thread Starter 
It's 35'x18' and 6.5' high The two culverts that lead to the dining room window are a favorite place for the cats to lay in especially on hot days. Don't ask me how many cats I have right now, that would mean that I would have to list them and then count them. Flea treatment time is coming, I will know then, because I have to list them all or some would get treated twice. I only have one outside cat- a true feral to everyone but hubby and me- Cleo will be 12 years old this year- everyone else stays either in the house or enclosure. Right now, the group is in a bit of a tiff- all doors are closed to them- the bedroom is off limits because the kittens are there, the upstairs two rooms are closed off because of the two new cats that arrived today. Thankfully it is a warm night and most of them are in the enclosure or the living room.
post #97 of 105
Well, I just woken up, made husbands lunch and got my coffe brewing. I dreamed about kitty enclosures all night since that is uppermost in my mind. [Am I losing my mind?] I have decided our enclosure is going to be two rooms of 20 x 20. Right now I am just going to worry about the one room and then increase the size when we are living there. Hubby thinks 6-8 feet is tall enough so that's what we will probably do. I told him tomorrow is new fence post day. I have already moved the fence post for the dogs over 14 feet one direction. He probably thinks I'm a nut but I want my animals to be comfortable and have lots of room since we do.

We're taking your advice and only roofing a small portion of it. That portion being the area closest to the house so they won't have to run through the rain when they come indoors in bad weather. Or snow. I'll put their housing area there too. And I like the way you did yours. We will probably do the same.

I dont' know if mine will be as fancy as yours but it will work and take a while to complete.

I'm not putting a water garden in it but I am cheaply making them a minnow area so they can watch fish..

I am not to the point of putting pictures up yet. All I have done is cleared the area with post holes. As soon as I get my new post holes dug and dig some little 4" ditches we are going to go ahead and run the fence for the dogs and the cats. We just finished plumbing our cabin. We initially thought we just run in and finish everything and move but it just didn't work quite like that........hehe

But I want something very similiar to what you have but it will have to be two room due to wanting to get something DONE so when we move they will never have to roam. I will increase it afterwards when we live there.

Right now they are free roaming but we live on a dead end road and there is no traffic at all. The cats watch for cars since not many are down here. And they do not like any humans but me and hubby. Kinda like your feral.

In fact except for a couple of them, when people come over, it looks like a catless house.

Thanks for this thread. It is just truely amazing!! And has filled my head with what I want to do...

Husband is borrowing our neighbors chainsaw to cut our post in the next few days. I like that idea because the cats can also use them for scratching posts.

Thanks Hissy..........Jenn

p.s. I am fixing to install some old software I have to make my floor plans to give to hubby.

How big are your cat houses. Each one individally. And you had mentioned they needed an escape exit? Are you talking about the hole they crawl in to get inside or are there two entrances to each house?


I am editing this. Hissy this is my "tentative" plan.. Right now I am only going to worry about 1 room. I do want it bigger later on, but this is what I envision. It's not fancy but it is large. I want them to have room to run. All of it is 6 feet tall except for one area which is 10 feet long and is against the house. That I hope will be the roofed area for drainage. It needs to be slightly taller and I want it 8 feet.

But this is my dream enclosure. The reality of what we build might be different. Do you have any other suggestions on it. I emailed it to my husband to get his input. He will basically do it the way I like it but I want it to be functional and safe for them more than pretty. And fun for the cats. You have absolutely inspired me......


If I get it done the way I want, it will be large enough for a small house but I know it's one room first and layered... I am going to keep yours in mind as I work. But the 10 x 20 room one is first.. So safety.

All but Star and Toe sleep indoors at night so cat houses can wait till we move as well. Those are the porch guards. Or the opossum watchers...
post #98 of 105
Thread Starter 
When you say uncovered do you mean open to the world? You will need to put wire over it (which I am sure you will do) because of the birds of prey and other animals. We are in the process of building an introduction area inside the enclosure. This will be where the new cats will go AFTER they have been in the house and met all the cats through the special doors we have that allow cat introductions to go quickly. It will be a small area, but big enough for the cat to spend a few days comfortably and then be released into the enclosure with the rest (when I am sure all territorial disputes have died down).

Your plans look wonderful and depending on how tall you are- 6' is ample space for height. I have to walk stooped over in parts of mine, because of the ramps. I have hit my head so many times, you have no idea.

One thing we did is we have a friend with 180 acres and he was clearing some of his trees. We went over and he loaded us up with trunks and logs. We put these with great difficulty into the enclosure, using the tractor and a chain to haul them most of the distance and then with a come-along, we pulled both into the enclosure. One is about 10' in diameter and 8' long and the other is comparable. We pulled one upright, securing it with bolts to a rafter and leaned the other one on to the upright and screwed that one in place.

The beds are 2'x2' and yes, I meant one hole to let the cats in, and another hole in the back for them to escape. Especially stray cats it is important to provide them with an escape hatch so they don't get ambushed.

Good luck with your plans, you have a lot of hard work ahead. Don't forget a nice easy chair or two- that way, when it is finished you can go in with your coffee in the mornings and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
post #99 of 105
Excellent.......... I thought they were 2 x 2. That will work fine. I am going to make 20 beds.

Here is a better link




And oh yes, it will be covered with the same wire all around. The 2" x 4" welded wire. I bought 300' a while back. I even plan on putting this under the roofed area. I want no escape holes.

Eventurally the first room will be done. And yes, that easy chair will be a welcome addition. I actually thought of putting a picnic table in there. One of those plastic ones.

And I''m only 5'4 and hubby is 5'9 or round a bout. So for now, 6' will do it. It's won't be the first bump on my head!

And we do have birds of prey. I took this very recently. Nice big hawk with a 3-4' wing span in the backyard... It is really worrying me. This is exactly WHY I want this enclosure. Not too worried about cars since it is so isolated. The natural wildlife out there are a much bigger threat to the animals.

This is the hawk.
post #100 of 105
I dug post holes for my enclosure. We live in Stone County Missouri and we are starting to think the name Stone is because the land grows rocks. Boulders in fact. My hands are torn up. We had to break through with an iron bar. But we have the first portion of it layed out. It is 20x20. Every 10 feet is a post hole. We have 3 more holes to dig.

I am going to try and finish the holes tomorrow while husband finishes sheetrocking. Then he goes back to work for 4 days and I am going to tape and bed the walls in the bedroom. If I can get that all done during those 4 days, we MIGHT start putting fence up around the dog portion. Then we can finish the cat area. It is just darn exciting to see it moving along.

post #101 of 105
This is so cool! Bf and I can't wait til we have our own place so that we can do this too.
post #102 of 105
Thats amazing hissy. It looks like they are living in kitty paradise.
I love it! Great job!
post #103 of 105
Thread Starter 
Thanks! The cats love it. We just finished the introduction cage inside the enclosure to help with the newcomers

post #104 of 105
You are my hero!!!

I have followed the progress on your kitty enclosure since you started it and it is just wonderful.
Someday, (if I live long enough), I plan to build an enclosure for my kits.
I am not a person of original ideas and need people like you to lead the way.
post #105 of 105
The intro cage is fantastic! I just reread this whole link and you got some lucky kitties. It is so obvious you love them!
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