We decided very shortly after Gemma came to live with us that we would build a cat enclosure for her. We live relative close to roads with heavy traffic and there are lots of other cats in the area, so we wanted to make sure that she came to no harm when she was outside. We do not however think that the Siberian Cat is a race that requires special protection. The cat enclosure was solely for our sake.

It took us quite a while to find the correct solution for the cat enclosure and most of the inspiration came from the experience of other breeders given on the
web. The only off-the-counter solution we found was very expensive and therefore not a possibility.

We hope that our experience with building a cat enclosure will be an inspiration to others.

HaveWe had approximately 100 m2 of our garden that we did not use very much and therefore we decided to turn this part of the garden into a cat enclosure. We did not want to build a cat enclosure that was only a space for Gemma but create a room in the garden where the whole family wanted to stay. The cat enclosure is connected to the house and the entrance is either the terrace door from our bedroom or from a garden door in the cat enclosure.
IMG_0695The cat enclosure was mark out from the rest of the garden. We planted hedges were these were missing and thereby there would be hedge all around the cat enclosure leaving only the place were the door would be. The hedge that were already established was trimmed very close.
IMG_0718We calculated that our cat enclosure would require 14 poles in order to have a maximum distance of 3 meters between the poles. The distance between the poles were adjusted according to the length of each of the sides in the cat enclosure.

The height of the poles above surface need to be approximately 180 cm in order to be sure the cat could not climb over the fence. Approximately 70 cm of the pole must be below the surface so that the fence would not tilt.

stolpe1Most of the other cat enclosures we have seen has poles with a bend top piece (in approximately an angle of 95 degrees) as cats are not prone to climbing in a vertical angle. Approximately 50 cm from the horizontal level is used for the bend top piece.

We contacted a blacksmith and had him bend water-pipes (1”) in the required form. 13 water-pipes of 3 meters where bend - approximately 240 cm in a horizontal piece, 20 cm for a curve and 40 cm in a vertical piece. The 14th water-pipe was not bend as this was used to attach the fence to the house-wall.
IMG_0720It was not easy to dig the 14 holes as we have a garden with clayey soil. The depth of the holes was approximately 70 cm and the poles was set in concrete.
IMG_0746As most of the other cat enclosure we have seen, we used a fence with a net of 5 cm x 10 cm (in Danish called delfinhegn). The fence is only sold in a maximum height of 180 cm - approximately 10 cm is below the surface and 170 cm above the surface. The fence was attached to the poles with screws.
IMG_0751Finally all the poles was set and we could begin to attach the fence to the poles.
IMG_0754We had decided to put in a black cast iron gate in the cat enclosure as this would match our greenhouse. The black cast iron gate was of cause not a cheep solution but we where very concerned that the cat enclosure should not spoiled the aesthetic look of the garden.
IMG_0782For the top piece of the poles we had to cut a fence of approximately 50 cm from the original fence. We connected the two pieces of fence and attach the top fence to the poles.
IMG_0780We contacted Danhegn who had experience in designing cast iron gates that cats could not go through (addition of extra bars by the hinges). We made our own design regarding the patterns for the cast iron gate.
IMG_0768Gemma is very happy with her cat enclosure and she is practical always out there. This may change a bit when the winter comes, but we are very glad that we decided to build her a cat enclosure - we know that she is save from harm and she still gets to run around and chase after butterflies.

We are, however, far from finished with the cat enclosure……..
IMG_2649In the summer of 2012 we finally got some spare time and could work once more on the cat enclosure. We removed all the tile along the house, changed the terrace and added some bushes where the cats could seek shelter in the heat or the cold. We are however still missing to establish a big climbing tree and a proper cat shelter. We have since gotten one more cat, Althea and she enjoys the cat enclosure as much as Gemma.
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IMG_2644We had to add to the security of the cat enclosure as Gemma has proven her self to be a true Houdini in escaping. Gemma was able to jump onto the handle of the door and from there on to the ledge of the door. We have therefore added plexiglass on each side of the door as well as on the door and furthermore added pikes on the top of the door. She has not escaped since. We were lucky that she did not seek outside the rest of the garden, but that was probably just a matter of time.




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