Did you know that an outdoor cat has an average like expectancy of two to five years, while an indoor cat can live for 15 years or more?
Preventing Trips to the Vet
I have four cats and it can be a little overwhelming at times. So they go outside a few hours a day. But as it turns out there are many dangers not only from cars but also from raccoons, coyotes, foxes and even other cats. And with these dangers can come very expensive vet bills. Believe me, I know! One of my cats got into a fight with something and had a abscess that had to be lanced - $450! And because we didn’t know what bit her she was quarantined inside for 6 months just in case of rabies.
A Little Innovation
I just happened to have an old metal shed frame, that didn’t have a tarp anymore. So I bought some inexpensive chicken wire and started wrapping. I left one end open and remembered to not have any sharp edges. I made a door for me to get in and out using PVC piping also wrapped with chicken wire and strapped with safety ties. When I was done building the cage I moved it up against a back window and cut a kitty door in the window screen. I also added Plexiglas to keep out most of the cold in the winter. I used a tall cat condo so they could get up and down from the window and also use as a scratching post. Now add some toys and maybe a cat walk and they are back to chasing the bugs and everyone is safe.
A few more ideas--
This was a very inexpensive quick solution for me but not everyone has an old frame lying around. So here are some ideas:
- The wire fencing material that you use depends on the look, your budget and the difficulty of working with the material.
- Chicken wire is easily bent around piping whereas a heavier mesh would be great for the wood panels.
- Vinyl coated black is less noticeable, more attractive and will last for many pets to come.
- There are a wide variety of welded wire gauges and mesh openings to choose from. Choose by the size of your pet and what you’re trying to keep out. 1” x 2”, 1” x 1” meshes in 14 and 16 gauges are good choices to eliminate predators.
- PVC piping can be used to make panels all the way around. You can have them cut to any size and fasten them together with glue and safety ties. There is also a PVC primer that can be used for welding pieces.
- Pressure treated 1” x 3” strapping can be used, wider if making large panels. Sandwich the fence in between and staple or nail the strapping together, using the same method for the top and door.
Your cats will now have the best of both worlds. And no more expensive vet bills. You can leave the money in your wallet!