or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Starting My Enclosure
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Starting My Enclosure

post #1 of 118
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I am going to use this thread to keep track of my enclosure and it's progress. I laid out the plans for it [on the ground] and most of the post holes are dug at this point. This first group of pictures were taken before I started on the post holes. String is laid out here for post hole locations. We have three more holes to go. It is going to be 20 x 20 with a three foot gate.. It is going to be at a little mountain cabin we bought in SW Missouri that also requires work in order to be move in ready. So we have several projects we are doing at the moment.

But we are going to love it when we get it done. It will house 18 cats and probably one dachaund....[cause she will fit through the kitty door and she thinks she is a cat]..

It's hard to say when it will be completed because hubby also works two jobs, but as long as we plug away, progress will be made.

This is the kitty door getting sheetrocked in. It is under our bedroom window so from the bedroom we will be able to see the cats at play.

This is taken from what will be the rear of the enclosure. String is laid out but it is hard to see this in the picture. The enclosure starts just on the other side of the tree.Eventually after we finish the first area, we want to expand futher in this direction. The dirt portion that you see in this will be roofed with something. This area will be 10 x 20. Husband want to put fine gravel under this portion of the enclosure.

And this is the rear view of where the enclosure will be. You can see the same tree here. In the front of this picture, if you look close, you can see a wooden marker. This is the middle of the FRONT of the enclosure. The gate will be just to the right of it. And the side are 10 feet out from either side of the marker. On one side, this goes to the house line so you can get a pretty good judge of the distance. The other side runs out of the photo.When we expand it, the three foot gate will be the entrance to another room.

We have only just started but I wanted to use this spot to keep a running tab of my progress on this...

All suggestions welcome ...... This is my/our first attempt at an enclosure.

Also, this is Cribbs Mountain. This is and will be the cats view of their new world when we eventually get moved out there. This is going to be where we retire. My 5-7 year plan is to be OFF THE GRID as well.. We want to be totally self sufficient. Electricity is the only thing left. We have no gas or water bill. We plan on one day also having a battery house and a windmill on a 120' tower. That would work since average wind speed in Missouri at 120 feet up is 14 mph... We have two wood burning stoves and a propane tank for backup. It is so far out, we can't even get television service or internet. We will be the satellite people. But we will have CH/A. Neighbor down the way is an airconditioning man in
Springfield and they spend weekends in their cabin but they have no running water or septic there.. He is going to hook on to our well for water and is giving us a new CH/A unit plus duct work for a trade. Sounds like a deal to me.

post #2 of 118
Jenn, that is going to be great. Have you seen MA's cat enclosure???
post #3 of 118
Jenn you are off to a great start! Sounds like a little bit of heaven for you and your colony- If you want good cat ramps or ladders inside, inexpensive ready made wooden fencing works. Just cover the section of fence with astroturf or indoor/outdoor carpeting, elevate it off the ground and the cats love it. The carpet is crucial because otherwise the smaller cats can get stuck in the slats- but it provides either a wide area for climbing and playing or a nice platform for sleeping.
post #4 of 118
Thread Starter 
THAT SOUNDS GREAT! I never thought of astroturf or indoor outdoor carpet. Both are washable with the hose. Wonderful idea!

As a matter of fact, as I think about it, I have a section of wood fence now that is 4' tall and about 8-10 feet long. We had two of them but one made it to the burn pile already. It would be perfect actually. The piece I have left NEARLY made it to the burn pile the other day but I was just too tired.....

I will have to start looking at my leftover wood in a different manner.

And kittylover4ever, that enclosure is where I am getting ALL my ideas now if you are talking about Hissy. That is the only cat enclosure I have seen on this site and it is great! I love it.......

post #5 of 118
It is going to be a wonderful, safe home for some very deserving kitties.

Do I see sunflowers in the background of the 2nd picture?
post #6 of 118

I had posted these examples in another thread.....




post #7 of 118
oops....I hit submit too soon.

How can I view MA's enclosure?
post #8 of 118
Originally Posted by SophieC
oops....I hit submit too soon.

How can I view MA's enclosure?
Here ya go Sophie

post #9 of 118
Thread Starter 
Those are great links..........! I like a catwalk idea. Maybe I could put a little area like this somewhere...
post #10 of 118
Sophie those are great! The only thing that would worry me is the space between the wires. Because I often have bottle babies here, I have unfortunately seen what happens when a frightened kitten gets his head stuck in large wire. That is why we went with small weave chicken wire-
post #11 of 118
Thread Starter 
I have been thinking and thinking and looking at all the links. I am going to add a sandpit area connected to the roofed portion for bathroom purposes... I am a planner. Might take several years , but I'll get it done.. The blue areas in this link are my dreams. Several years away actually.

But it would be nice.

But the reality is the 20 x 20 plus the sand pit with connecting cat walk. Husband can figure out how to put the cat walk in the air elevated against the house. I want little stairs leading to the pit itself... And since that is narrow [probably 2 x 2, I can get hubby to put another cat door in the restroom. That will be easy since that wall is not sheet rocked yet.

I guess the cheapest way to fix a cat walk is out of plywood with a plywood roof. We have a bunch of extra shingles that match the roof that we could probably put on it.. That would make it cute... The little sand pit I guess would need a 2' door so I could clean in there. It only need for big enough for sand and a large trashcan.

I talked to husband a few minutes ago and he likes the sandpit idea.

But like I said, the blue area is only a dream. May not materialize for many years. We already have the stuff to finish what I started. But the other stuff cost money. And we'll have to save for that.


post #12 of 118
Thread Starter 
Since the above link is based on WHEN we eventually add a second bedroom to our cabin and is futuristic, this is more reasonable.

This is what I want for now. We are going to do it a section at a time. We nealy have our house finished. We are taping and bedding now.


We still only have the post holes dug for the 20 x 20 area but we have walked the rest of it and measured it and have it laid out in our heads only.

We have the get the house done first, but whould only be a 2-3 weeks tops.

The house, the enclosure and dog fences are just darn hard work.

post #13 of 118
Got it - you're building it where you're moving to!

Wow - this looks incredible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We don't have a cat enclosure, but I'm glad you've gotten such great ideas.

You GO girl!
post #14 of 118
Thread Starter 
Made a little progress today. Kitty door was cut out and ALL the taping and beding are done in the bedroom, closet, laundry room, bathroom and hallway. Our shoulders hurt from the last two days.

But here is the kitty door all cut out and taped. Tomorrow we are starting the texture process of the walls. Then painting and then carpet. Then the fences for the dogs and cats..... Then MOVE..

The space above the kitty door is where our bedroom window goes but we haven't bought it yet... No money.. but after we get moved we'll get it in.

And did someone ask me about sunflowers???

post #15 of 118
Thread Starter 
Thank you LDG. And yes, we are putting it where we are moving... It will be a very exciting day when we finally get in there.

We are only building a one little area enclosure at this time because we don't want to pay any more rent to someone. This cabin is paid for. My husband is building one side a "temp side" on the enclosure so we can remove it and increase the size of it as we build on to it after we are living there. I want them to have a very large area to play in because they are used to being free and I want them happy. Eventually it might end up being larger than the cabin.

It is going to be a very special place. The cabin and the enclosure.
post #16 of 118
Originally Posted by jcribbs
And did someone ask me about sunflowers???

Yep...it was me.
I love what you are doing with your new home.
post #17 of 118
Thread Starter 
Thanks..........I textured two walls today. I am going to try to get the rest done tomorrow. I went to the vet to get JJ covered in texture and sheetrock mud......hehe We want to move so bad we are chomping at the bit.
post #18 of 118
Thread Starter 
Just a small update!! House is nearly finished. Husband located 10-15 cedar trees on our land today that are straight and about 30' tall. He is cutting them tomorrow. The entire 20x20 foot initial room will be composed entirely of cedar and the 4"x2"wire......... That is exactly what I wanted!!! He had tossed around using 4x4's and 2x4's but I always wanted cedar and I am so happy. When I came home today he told me.

It might be a couple weeks before we can actually get started on it. I have about 4 days worth of work to do in the house which will take two saturdays and two sundays.

Then the enclosure......... My cats will be so happy and I will be so relieved.......

post #19 of 118
Thread Starter 
just talked to husband. He has all the posts cut for the dog yard and 1/3 of the posts cut for the cat enclosure!!

He is hauling these one at a time on his shoulders to the house so we can use them.

The interior of the cat enclosure has 10' posts according to him. Part of that will be buried in the ground. The side fence posts are 7' tall which will be buried a foot to 18"..

It is finally happening.........!!
post #20 of 118
Thread Starter 
WE HAVE FENCE POSTS FOR THE ENCLOSURE!!!! I AM GOING TO STRIP THE WOOD AND HUSBAND IS GOING TO NOTCH IT. Some are 10 footers and some are 8 footers. For the corners and the rafters. It will be rustic.

post #21 of 118
Thread Starter 
cut for dog yard as well.......

These two are for the gate and the front portion..... He put a piece of one in my post hole to make sure the hole was the correct size and that it would sit flat and it did both.... thank god.......

I think husband is concreting them in the yard next Tuesday...

The foundation is laid........ ahhh
post #22 of 118
Thread Starter 
Husband also said we are NOT stripping the wood. He wants to keep it the way it is. He said the cats will really enjoy the bark.. and he is right. So, I have one less job to do...

Jenn and the crew.
post #23 of 118
Jenn, this is so exciting for you!! I can't wait to see how it progresses!
post #24 of 118
Thread Starter 
Thank you Tiggy and kitty lover....... We are nearly ready to actually begin construction of it.. Probably sometime next week......
post #25 of 118
Thread Starter 
I have been working so hard today. I am ready to get the house finished so we can start the enclosure. I put the posts in the holes today to just look at them.

But I got the bedroom finished....... All we have to do is lay carpet through out the house.

The wood trim the installation of the windows and door will come after we live there. So this room is finished except for laying carpet in order to be livable....

This is our carpet. We just have to get everything done so we can live there.

I textured the bathroom today also. Tomorrow I am painting that. Then all we have left in the house portion to make it livable is hook the kitchen sink up, hook the commode up and lay the bathroom floor.

This is our carpet.... and bathroom floor. Kitchen floor is already done and is exactly like the bathroom floor except it is a larger pattern. All the wood trim we are leaving natural. The enclosure and dog yard is only a couple weeks away..

I also painted the inside of "kitty door #1" so it will be ready to be installed. Oh I can't wait!!!

Nite all...........I am exhauted.....
post #26 of 118
Thread Starter 
Here's some comparison pics....

The house was a wreck. We gutted most of it.

This was what the bedroom looked like after I put plastic on it so I could walk through there. The dust was horrible. We ended up ripping all the old insulation out and ripping the closet out and gutting everything and starting fresh.....

We are so glad we butted it because the person who started this project had no idea what he was doing. The old insulation prior to me putting plastic over it was hanging down from the ceiling and you can see the black dust and gross stuff. The people used candles for lighting and they had no running water or restroom facilites so we had to add those. It was a fishing cabin.

But it has been our project house!! We are so glad we bought it. This was the realty picture. And this is where we will live the rest of our lives... It is shaped like an L so you can't see the whole house. It is a 800-900 square feet ONE BEDROOM. The room are very large.. We love it! Husband was not crazy about it at first but I fell in love with it. He thought I was a fruitloop for wanting to buy a wrecked house, but it is brand new now. Portion one of the kitty enclosure is to the left of the house.

This is the back before anything was done. I had only picked up the 5 trailers of trash at this point. It was absolutely filthy.

This was the cleanest room in the house when we bought it and so you get the general jist of things. I could see the possibilites of us living there. It is 250 yards from the lake.

And now my dream is coming true.

post #27 of 118
Thread Starter 
We have our plans made. This is our final enclosure plans.

Husband altered it to make it taller to compensate for taking off part of it. We had to make the bed area slightly smaller because we have not bought windows yet and dont' plan to until we are living in our house. And also if we ever have to dig up water pipes, this would be the location. So common sense pervails. So to access the enclosure, cats will have a ramp going to the enclosure from the cat door. Covered roof/water proof area is 10 x 10 and will be 8 feet on one side and 10 feet on the other. The other side is 10x20 with outside portion being 8 feet tall and the interior 10 feet with a wire top. So the sides with the new plan are two feet taller and the middle is four feet taller to compensate for the area of the entire enclosure. But this is room ones plans. When we clear land we can make this larger. The work should be starting on this pretty soon. Within a week or two tops. It is L shaped. Did this make sense. 10 feet in middle and 8 feet on sides. Both sides sloping down like a roof.


Alsol I have tossed around plans for putting ramps in our house for the cats. I found a site that explains perfectly what I have in mind... I am putting two links here and what I want is a combo of both of these.


But the two above I really like and am very impressed by them. It's hard to find stuff written about interior cat ramps. I don't think many people have them but we are.

And for something outrageous.......check this out. I like it but it's a little too much upkeep for my tastes.

One day soon, some real cat enclosure pics will be sitting in this thread..... And in the not too distant future.
post #28 of 118
Thread Starter 
Husband measured today and enclosing the other portion of the 20x20 will not intefere with the plumbing or anything. so as soon as the window is in, that 10x10 portion will be enclosed and then the entire thing will have a 10' pitch in the center. He said he is putting drain gutters on the sides when he makes the roof permanent.

I am finishing he dumb bathroom Sat and Sun. I need to paint it but don't have the money for paint until Friday after work....... And a week or so after that [another payday], we can start building.....

We live payday to payday. If we can get it all done, that will change. Thank god.......
post #29 of 118
Wow what a great house in a lovely spot--I'm envious!
post #30 of 118
Thread Starter 
Thank you Vic..... We are working so hard on it that it is just killing us. We have permanent back aches.. hehe

Husband got all closet shelves built today and put sub flooring down so Sat I can lay the floor in the laundry room and restroom....... Yeah!!! Nothing like looking forward to working on my days off. But I really mean that. The work we are doing is so darn hard but we are enjoying it.

It's that "fruits of the labor thing".........

Next Monday I'll have more pictures of my progress. I know this is my cat enclosure thread but since I have to finish the human house first, I'm posting those picture as well.

Soon................ and it can't come quick enough for me and my husband.

Jenn and the gang.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Caring for Strays and Ferals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › Starting My Enclosure