Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Rosiebud, May 15, 2008.
can you share your plans with me for an outdoor catio.
Basically you need one wall that leads outside on the house where you either have a door or can put in a cat door. The best is a door.
You can buy the sort of metal thin posts that you just pound into the earth and surround whatever size area you can with this-our current one is about 32 feet by 20 feet, but we have made them on balconies that were 6ft by 12ft too.
Pound in the metal posts (these cost about $3 each and if you soak the ground prior to pounding are easy to get in. The metal posts need to be 6ft high.
Then buy fox wire fencing or any lightweight but strong wire fence that has holes small enough so that cats cannot get through. The metal poles have hooks for the wire fencing. If you buy 6ft fencing you will need help stretching it. We also use wire ties we make to hold the fencing in place.
So once the area is surrounded with wire fence you then need to use 18 ins. pieces of strong but hand bendable wire and attatch a piece to each fence post sloping in towards the catio yard. You stretch bird netting across these sloped wires all around and also use wire or fishing line to tie it to the top of the fence. This makes a sort of canopy the cats cannot climb over as it tilts in and is unstable. Finally, lay some sort of stones, bricks or landscape wood against the fence at the bottom edge so no digging can occur if you forsee this may be an issue.
To fence a catio thus say one that is 12 by 12 by 12 (house wall makes one side)so three sides, you have 6 metal posts at say $3 each and a 36ftx6ft roll of fox wire fencing which is about $35. Wire will cost maybe another $4 and the bird netting small roll is about $5 (you can cut it into 18" wide strips).
So for under $100 you can do a quite nice sized outside room.
Our new one we set 4 x 4 x 6ft high once set, wood posts into ground and built a 6ft high panel board fence with 2 in gaps, then strung the bird netting onto the top of this, so it is large and luxurious, being as I said 20 x 32 x 20 with the house wall with door to kitchen making the exit from the house (32ft)
Another way we have done it is to use the plastic trellis which is 4 ft x 8ft. Sometimes you can buy it about $12 a sheet and this can be tied quite well onto the metal poles. You can take it with you when you move. If there is a 6ft high fence restriction all you do is bend over the top two feet by tying strings to weigh it down and this also forms a cat barrier. You would need nine sheets for a 12 x 12 x 12, but would not need the bird netting or wire. Also it is almost impossible for the cats to get under it.
Even the really fancy one we just put in cost less than $300 and it is really a huge area for them, part of it is patio slabs under a roof and part grassed.
You can add the bird netting trick to any existing fence to cat proof it. Just slope it inwards.
[This Message was Edited on 05/15/2008]
we don't want to make a fenced in area attached to house but wanted tips on what to do for the one area that Hamish seems to manage getting over - we have a hedge on one side about 10 feet tall and Tom has put chicken wire along it so they can't get through there.
Top garden has a huge fence covered in ivy and they can't get through there.
We have, however, a wall on the other side that is about 6 feet tall and Hamish has no problem getting over it so I think using the posts and the netting curved in would do the trick. He wouldn't be able to jump up then.
Great, thanks very much for your advice.
Yes the tipped in netting really does work, anything that is unstable will do as cats reject wobbly surfaces. Having said this Sammie, by rogue kitty, actually did climb out over the gate this morning the one place we have not got the unstable tip in (instead we put a rather stable tip in shelf) so just make it wobbly. You know that stuff they put round building sites? that could work too.
if there's a way out they will find it.
The chicken wire we have across the hedge was dug up last night, must have been a fox, a cat couldn't have done it. I suppose they have their young to feed too at this time of year but they can stay away from my kitties - they're always indoors by 7 anyway.
I haven't shown this to Tom yet but will do as he's been fighting a losing battle with the wall and its a very long wall.
Turned out there was a wee gap right behind the drainpipe. He is mad we found it!!! Annie
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