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Outdoor Cat Enclosed Den

March 14th, 2007, 09:30 PM
I really want to raise a cat, but I can't due to allergies of my household members.I am thinking about getting a play pen with a "roof" for my kitten first and then slowly expand into a larger cat enclosure. I will include in the play pen and a cat house within this enclosure to protect the cat from the elements, as well I plan to put this enclosement under my extended garage roof. The reason for a mainly outdoor cat is because some of my housemates have cat allergies and dislike cats.
I've read up about many articles regarding outdoor cats and how outdoor cats have a shorten livespan due to diseases, traffic, wild animals and other dangers. Do you think I will be able to avoid these dangers with a cat enclosure and adequate insulation (and possibly outdoor heater) in the colder weather?
My second option is to raise the cat in an enclosed garage (with insulation and lighting). I have a pretty large empty garage, but I think it's a bit cruel to deny the cat access to the outdoors. Please let me know what you think on the matter. I would really like a more expert opinion as I really love cats and would not like to subject my cat to harm by letting it live in an outdoor enclosure.

I have visited quite a few websites about cat dens, but no information on a raising a cat permenantly in one of these fixtures.

The second website has the best cat enclosure pictures. If I plan to proceed with this idea, ultimately I would want a den similar to the ones in the second link.

March 14th, 2007, 09:33 PM
I think you'd better wait until you can have a cat indoors without bugging your family.

March 14th, 2007, 09:49 PM
Those are outdoor play places for indoor cats. They don't live outside 24/7. Wait until you can give enough attention to your cat in a place of your own where it can live indoors.

March 14th, 2007, 09:57 PM
I agree. a cat needs a home not to be somewhere where you can visit it. please wait until it can be in your home permanently and then have one of these places for it to play on occasion.

March 14th, 2007, 09:57 PM
I have inquired about this question to a few other people who are "cat experts" and they think it's a good idea because it would be better than having the cats outside and without a loving home.
Someone suggested that I connect the enclosure to the garage door and install a pet door.

March 14th, 2007, 10:01 PM
If you did this for feral cats and got them vetted and neutered, that's one thing. But you seem like you intend to bring a NEW cat into this situation. That's not helping anybody.:shrug:

March 15th, 2007, 12:31 AM
I am with Prin on this issue. I could see you creating something for feral cats who live outdoors and maybe developing them a place to stay out of the elements but your plan is no way to bring up a kitten. Cats need to be indoors!!!! No ands, ifs or buts. Unless there is some way for you to move or you can discuss this with your family so that the affected member is willing to make adjustments in his or her lifestyle, then you will have to remain kittenless. A kitten's place is in your bedroom or bed with you - nice and warm and part of the family, not outside!!!!

When I 1st saw the title, I assumed it meant an enclosure for a play place and that would be OK, a fenced in place for a cat or cats to play in so they can outside. And this notion of cats being denied the outdoors - they do not mind, If polled,I think they'd say they actually prefer living longer and healthier lives!!!

No Rescue or reputable breeder will adopt to a family where the cat is going to live outdoors or to a family where not everyone agrees on the adoption so you will have to talk to everyone i nyour family anyway.

March 15th, 2007, 01:09 AM
I agree with the others. You should wait until you have your own space before adopting.

Most shelters would love to have you volunteer to help with the cats. Perhaps that would be a good temporary fix until you are in a better position.

March 15th, 2007, 07:10 AM
And just how much time are you going to spend with this cat in his outdoor den.
I'm sorry, but one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard of.


March 15th, 2007, 07:29 AM
contrary to popular belief cats love the indoors with their people.... my cats love to be able to cuddle with me and sleep in bed everynight, i strongly suggest you wait til adopting
and who are these "experts" youve been talking to? are they qualified people or just cat owners because they is a wide spectrum of pet owners from horrrible to great.
denying a cat access to the outdoors is not horrible :it denys them access to disease, traffic, predators and many other harmful things. you can control whats in your home not whats outside. having cats near you and outdoors or an enclosed cat play area is a nice idea but they need to part of your family all of the time, not when you want them to be.
pet parenting is full time not part time, you cant choose when your pet will need you or want you. they need phyical and emotional care like all living creatures.

March 15th, 2007, 07:55 AM
I agree with the others, and think it's a bad idea.

However, as TeriM suggested, have you considered volunteering at a local shelter? There are plenty of cats in need of attention in shelters.

March 15th, 2007, 08:15 AM
Yup, I too agree, that a cat enclosure is not a full time home for a cat. It's a great idea for a place to play safely away from traffic and other animals. If you're in a roommate type situation, why not wait until you have a place of your own? Or just move so you can have the freedom to do what you want. I'm not sure how old you are, but if you're still in school and living with your parents then wait until you move out to get a cat, then you can give it your full attention indoors. It's better for you too, nothing beats waking up in the morning to a purring ball of fur lying on your chest, watching TV with a cat on your lap. Cause if your cat is outside in its enclosre 24/7 it's not going to get the same kind of attention or human contact that it would if it was inside with you, and what's the point of having a pet if you can't give it all the attention and love it deserves?

March 15th, 2007, 09:43 AM
littopyro have you had some time to think about all this advice? i would be interested to hear how you are feeling about it. Just know that we are all thinking in the best interest of any kitten you may get and really hope you take what we advise to heart. I agree that making this place for ferrels would be wonderful.

March 15th, 2007, 07:02 PM
I agree with all the others. Please do not get a cat until you are on your own and can have it inside where it belongs. TeriM's idea was a good one.....the SPCA/shelters would love you to come and spend some time with the cats and kittens there. :)

March 15th, 2007, 07:26 PM
I am sorry but i have to agree that is a really bad bad bad idea,your roomates dont like cats,are allergic to cats,i mean really what is the point???These oversized cages is no way to live to me,they need to be with you,just because they are cats does not mean they dont need a nice loving home to call there own........They cant just live in a garage,that is just ludacris.....

March 15th, 2007, 09:22 PM
I think there has been a misunderstanding. When I mentioned this cat expert, I didn't mean to say that they said it would be okay with the cat living outdoors fulltime. They suggested to me that having an enclosure outdoor would only be temporary and that if I only have the enclosure and the garage available, I can connect the two using a pet door for the cat. My garage is fully insulated, roofed and is very big. The advisor that I have spoken to says that she knows quite a few cat owners who let their cats live mainly in an outdoor enclosure with access limited access to a garage / indoor room.
Everyone seems to think that the cat is going to be lonely and household member are just going to come and "visit" the cat. This is not the case. I have someone that is at the house full time and loves cats. I spend a lot of time at home as well and the cat will not ever receive a lack of affection.
I have done a lot of research on the matter and am thinking about adopting a feral cat.

March 15th, 2007, 09:32 PM
It seems that everyone is so fast to criticize. I live in a large home with 4 levels, all of which may not even be safe for the cat. My garage is like a mini house on its own with a real roof, electricity, insulation and all.
I just wanted to know whether anyone has experience with anything like this. Any suggestions, improvements to design, improvements concerning practicality and such.
I've read up on a lot of websites about outdoor enclosures, caring for feral cats and providing it a home (temporary or permanent). It's not like I suggested something totally absurd. It has been done before.

March 15th, 2007, 10:01 PM
no one is criticising. you asked for some opinions and you got some. they may not be what you want to hear but its what we think. if your garage is so well insulated and all that why dont you live there? then its a totally viable idea. Good for you for wanting to adopt a ferrel or rescue cat, we are just concerned that its not the ideal situation. to have to go outside to visit with the cat, even if it is often is not a great deal. sorry you think we are being mean, we just have some strong opinions on things.

March 15th, 2007, 10:06 PM
I agree and I still stand by my original post.


March 15th, 2007, 10:46 PM
I don't think people are being critical; we are being practical. You came to this site asking for our thoughts and we are telling you we think it is a BAD idea. This is far from an ideal situation, particularly if you are seriously thinking about adopting a feral cat. In the environment you suggest the cat would likely always remain a feral.
If you can't find a place for a cat in your home, perhaps you should be looking for a more suitable pet.
Do you have any experience with cats? Volunteering at a local shelter is a good idea. I think what you are contemplating is a terrible idea with no benefit to the cat. The enclosures you provided the links for are indeed beautiful. They are also extremely expensive. Our cats are part of our family. I don't know how you would establish a loving relationship with a cat who is living separate from you.
Adopting a cat is a long term commitment. If you're unable to commit to having a cat as part of your life, full-time, please reconsider.

March 15th, 2007, 10:57 PM
Sorry, I don't know who your cat expert is, but I wouldn't go to them for any advise. I've had cats for over 40 years and that's no way to keep them. What difference does it make how big your house what if it's 4 stories. What makes you think it wouldn't be safe. Feral kitten or regular kitten, you really need to get some good books on kitten and cat care, they do not belong in cages. Wait until you're in a situation where you don't have people around who are allergic or don't like cats.


March 15th, 2007, 11:36 PM
My garage is like a mini house on its own with a real roof, electricity, insulation and all. And we're saying that's not enough. Where are the people? In the house. So that's where the cat should be. You're in Toronto. Do you really think you're going to go spend hours and hours in the garage with your cat?

Maybe wait till you move out and can get a cat of your own. It's just not fair to the cat. :sad:

March 16th, 2007, 01:25 AM
No offense intended, but do you come from a culture where cats are not kept as pets? because your idea is a bit crazy. If you want the cat to become attached to you - and surely that's the point - it isn't going to happen if it lives separately. There are enough lonely animals in this world.
And forget about attracting ferals, they are not cuddly, your food bills will be horrendous, the males all spray so your garage will me, it will end badly.
Volunteering at a shelter is an excellent idea, you'll quickly see that cats need human contact to thrive and THAT is the point of having one.

March 16th, 2007, 10:41 AM
I dont' really have any advice about the enclosure, sorry, but did want to comment about the garage as living space for a cat. Please be very careful if you do this... I don't know about your garage, but mine is not very safe for a cat. Cat-proof your garage to make sure it is safe (and kittens especially will get into anything and everything). I know if a cat consumes even a small amount of car antifreeze they can die, so be extremely careful with this substance, make sure your car does not leak any fluids, etc! Cats have also been known to seek shelter inside cars (areas accessible to them from the outside) in the winter to keep warm and can be killed if the car is started w/o knowing the cat is there. Also, of course make sure the cat won't get out if you or your house-mates opens the door. I'm not sure the situation, but sounds like maybe the garage is not used? But, if you have a house-mate who doesn't like cats, chances are they will not be as careful as you. I do think it is nice of you to consider adopting a feral and are looking for ways to protect it from the elements rather than letting it roam free. Rather than a kitten, though, perhaps consider an adult who has lived outside all its life, as that is what it would be used to. I grew up in an area with a lot of barn cats on farms, although not indoor cats many of them were very friendly although likely to have a shorter lifespan than an indoor only cat.

March 16th, 2007, 10:43 AM
Oops, forgot... this is just an idea, but with a large 4 story house, could you have a cat indoors but restrict it to one or two of the floors to minimize allergens in the rest of the house and keep it away from the house-mate(s) who doesn't like or is allergic?

March 16th, 2007, 12:21 PM
I stand by my post as well - a kitten, especially a tiny young kitten, needs to be WITH you in the house!!! This garage notion makes no sense - I am not being critical, just stating the facts as they apply to how to raise a happy healthy kitten. if you adopted a child, would you place the child in a room off to the side and visit the child on;ly occasionally? I doubt it. Well, a kitten is a baby and needs you - all the time!! Not just now and then - and placing any animal, kitten or grown cat, in an outside enclosure/garage/ whatever you choose to call it -o is cruel and not at all acceptable.

The ONLY ;people I have ever heard ow f who have separate living quarters for their cats are some breeders who have a separate place for their Tom and even then - if they are reputable and know what they are doing , that is inside and not too far from the other cats. And there is time for the Tom to interact with other cats like himself. In that case, it is keeping the intact Toms away from the Queens. Sadly, though, most of these instances are actually back yard breeders and hopefully that is not what your intent is. I say that because the way you describe your experts is how back yard breeders often explain their layout.

I just think if you really want a kitten, ask your family and see what they think, You still need to get one and no reputable adopter (breeder of purebreds or rescues or someone whose cat accidentally gave birth to tiny cute moggies) will give you one under those circumstances. Either get the agreement iof your family or find somewhere else to live if you really want a kitten.

March 16th, 2007, 01:54 PM
Forgot who said it,but i loved it,Why dont you live in the garage then??And i agree people are not here to make you feel bad,but maybe could you posts some pictures because i am not understanding why you would say your 4 story house has some levels that woudlnt be safe??Why??And good luck rescuing a feral cat and making it live like that.....

March 16th, 2007, 02:08 PM
we really are not trying to critize but dont ask for opinions and then get all up in arms when you get them and they're not the same as yours.
my cats are alone usually for a few hours a day, but when chris and i are home they can choose when they want love, attention, food, water, need help etc. your cat living the way it does does not get this choice, making it unfair to your cat, pets should be able to choose when your home how much of that time they require to meet their needs, we honestly dont think its realistic to think that people are going to spend enough time in the garage for the animal to have its emotional needs met. also being out in the garage gives your cat less supervision, when i am home i know if an animal of mine if sick or injured, with the cat in the garage your not going to find out until its too late.
many people here have been through many tragic experiences with a pet and they can attest to how quickly something can go wrong no matter how much "cat proofing" you do

March 16th, 2007, 05:04 PM
Taking your considerations into my decision, I have set up an area within my home where the cat can stay. Mainly it is my office where I spent most of my time. That way interaction is basically a constant thing if the cat would prefer that. My office is the midpoint connection between the basement / laundry room as well as the outdoors (where I am going to set up a pen).

March 16th, 2007, 05:06 PM
I am sorry but I would have to say no as well. Kittens need constant attention and even adult cats hate to be alone. Cats want to play with you, sleep with you and just be with you! So please wait till you have your own place where your cat can be indoors and spend many years giving you love and affection.

Please don't adopt a feral cat. Feral cats have lead tough enough lives already and they are not pets! Ferals are wild and most are terrified of humans and especially of being confined. Some can be tamed but it takes months and even years of hard work to do that. They are not going to let you pet and cuddle them. Feral kittens can be tamed at a young age but they deserve to be in the house with you just like any other cat.

March 19th, 2007, 01:36 PM
I 100% agree about trying to adopt a feral,i feed 2 of the sweetest ones i have ever met,and we even discussed taking in the female,but they have lived outside there whole lives and even though they rub on me and are really sweet to me,i can only go so far w/them,they DO NOT let me pick them up,how canyou take a feral who is used to being outside and make stay in a garage??I say most defintley do not try this,unless it is a young feral.....

March 19th, 2007, 02:27 PM
You must have missed the post where Littopyro said she was going to set the cat up in her office, however, I couldn't agree with you more about adopting a feral. How is she (I'm assuming this person is female) going to clip the cat's claws, groom the cat, get it into a crate to go to the vet, etc.
This hurts my heart on so many levels. There are literally hundreds of cats in shelters right now who deserve a loving home. To them, even being a 9-5 office cat would be a better life than living in a cage in a shelter.
It is beyond my understanding as to why a person with no cat experience at all would decide to "raise" a feral.
Like you, I have been involved in a feral community. You feed the same cats every single day, 365 days a year and still they run away when they see you coming. The odd one, as you said, will rub up against you, but that's about it. At the shelter where I volunteer, we are not allowed to feed the ferals - this is done by an animal care worker who dons very heavy gloves to put fresh food in the cage and when removing the cats to clean their cages.
As I stated before, there is no benefit to the cat here.
Its just too sad.

March 19th, 2007, 03:03 PM
Yeah i missed that.I couldnt imagine trying to clip there claws,i actually got a good look for the first time at them,NO THANK YOU ,those things get a hold of you forget it,and yep most of the time they love on me,but when they are not in the mood there is no petting them.Please do not attempt to adopt a feral.

March 19th, 2007, 05:32 PM
I have done a lot of research on the matter and am thinking about adopting a feral cat.

I think if you take in a feral, and have a door to your office that you spend allot of time in, then I think you can make it work.
Just be warned that when the cat becomes attached to you and you leave your office the cat may scratch, or cry wanting to follow you. Be prepared for crying al night long and maybe even some damage to the office and/or office door.

You may want to contact your local shelter or rescue, and maybe try fostering a feral first, just to see how things go.

March 19th, 2007, 11:23 PM
Why not Foster? This way you get to have a cat, cats or kittens, this area you are talking about sounds perfect for that sort of situation. And if you do invest in an outdoor enclosure when you are on your own somewhere you can take that with you so that the pet you do adopt then will get to enjoy it. And just a side note....I have had pretty bad allergies and asthma all my life and live comfortably with my 6 indoor, never set foot outdoors kitties. Praise singulair! :pray: I think for you fostering would be great especially as kitten season is upon us here in Ontario and there are thousands upon thousands of stray kittens and mothers who will need foster homes. My vet asked me today, but I have a housefull...(but I'm hitting hubby up for a shed this spring!) Give it some more thought, I see your heart is in the right place, you just really need to put the cats first. Good luck.:cat: :D