Author：Leslie Eskildsen Source：none Hits：81 UpdateTime：2008-7-10 22:45:15
In amongst all the articles for furnishing your outdoor living areas, this one concentrates on a different type of living space - outdoor cat enclosures.
More and more cat owners have experienced the problems associated with letting their pet run free outdoors. The average life span for an outdoor cat is 5 years vs. 15 years for an indoor cat. They are susceptible to so many more risks than their indoor counterpart, such as aggressive dogs or other predators, fighting with other cats, cars, exposure to diseased animals or poisons, the list goes on. A single run in with any of these hazards will probably result in a hefty vet bill, in fact for many pet owners, a monthly bill for cat insurance has become a sign of the times.
In an effort to protect our pets, it's becoming more and more common to see constructed cat enclosures that allow kitty to scamper outdoors, and enjoy the fresh air in a controlled safe environment. The challenge is constructing this cat corral in a way that is pleasing to look at and doesn't create an eyesore or lower your property value. It should also be fairly simple to remove if you're ever thinking of selling your home.
A recent article in the Los Angeles Times describes the creative enclosure constructed by Beverly Hills couple Susan and Dan Gottlieb. They enjoy watching the wildlife and birds outside their hillside home as much as they enjoy their four pet cats. However, in an effort to protect their cats from predators, and protect the birds from their cats, they devised an enclosed nature path that keeps everyone safe.
It began with a few planks of wood with wire fencing stapled to the underside, creating a tubular wire shape. Some areas are covered with dirt, where others have rubber matting on the bottom. Initially, the path wound through a small area of the yard, but due to its incredible popularity, has since been expanded to include five cat doors leading from the house to various runs throughout the property. This type of design is very affordable, can easily be integrated into the landscape, hidden amongst the hedges, and is simple to dismantle if you ever move.
If you're not feeling handy, there are numerous companies out there who do nothing but make cat runs in all shape, sizes, and customized for your pet's needs. Another option is to collect some photos off the web as samples, and hire a handyman to complete the job. Most runs begin with a cat door leading to a tunnel created out of mesh, or chicken wire. The path meanders throughout the yard, sometimes stepping up to balconies or upper windows. Other enclosures are constructed as more of a pen or a gazebo filled with small trees, shrubs, and even fountains or ponds.
For apartment dwellers, or those with limited space, kitty windows are great alternatives. These are screened in boxes that protrude from a window, similar to a bay window, which provides a safe, sunny spot for your cat. For those with balconies, netting systems can be purchased that allow your pet freedom to roam, without the danger of falling off the railing.
Whatever your situation, there are lot's of ways to give your indoor cat an outdoor lifestyle, without the added risk.