Add a new dimension to your cat’s life

Reprinted from


Aside from leash-training, there is another way to let your cat enjoy the stimulation of being outdoors without the risk of being lost, stolen, or injured–build an outdoor enclosure. It can be any size, but a 6′ x 6′ x 6′ area is sufficient. The vertical space can be utilized by attaching perches to the sides of the structure. If the enclosure is against the side of the house, then only three sides plus a wire roof (cats are great climbers!) are necessary.

A pet door will allow the cat free access to the enclosure and eliminate your job as doorman. Solid redwood two-by-fours and 2″ x 3″ galvanized wire makes a very attractive play area, but you can choose the materials that best suits your budget.

The primary requirements are that the structure be sturdy and escape-proof. A wire door will provide access to the inside to clean it and to rearrange the decor from time-to-time. Wooden cat trees, logs and other natural items placed inside the pen will give Kitty choices for perching and scratching.

If the enclosure is not attached to the house, there should be a solid wooden box, or “dog house” inside to provide Kitty with a safe, dry, place in which to hide, take refuge from a sudden rain shower, or just take a catnap.

It only takes a little bit of effort, a small financial investment in materials, and a little bit of imagination to add a wonderful new dimension to your cat’s life!


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Cats and Birds

Cats are frequently blamed for the diminishing populations of various species of songbirds. While domestic and feral cats can be bird hunters, most research shows that cats are not the primary killers of wild birds. Wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and opossums take a greater toll on birdlife. However, humans are without a doubt the birds’ worst enemies. Habitat destruction, pesticide use, air pollution, even plate-glass windows in skyscrapers, kill vast numbers of birds every year. (According to recent estimates, the yearly toll for window-deaths in the US is 975 million birds.)

The following are a few suggestions to help prevent bird kills:

  •  Be sure bird feeders are high off the ground and are not close to foliage which provides the cat with a hiding spot from which to launch ambushes.
  •  Attach a bell to a break-away collar and make sure your cat is wearing it before going outside. The bells with the little dingers in them, not the jingle-bell type, work the best.
  •  Avoid letting the cat outside during the peak feeding times for birds–dawn and dusk.

All cats, and feral cats in particular, have become convenient scapegoats for the loss of many species, especially songbirds. However, we can no longer ignore the role that we humans have played in this process. Before we can sentence cats to death for being carnivores, we need to take a hard look at ourselves and what we have done to our ecosystem.