Outdoor Cat Enclosure/Catio – Part 18: DONE!!!

OMG!!!  I can’t honestly believe it’s done.  It’s consumed so much of my time and thoughts for the past 2 months.  But it’s actually DONE!  To see a SLIDESHOW from start to finish click HERE.

The last few steps were creating a base for the connector and attaching the connector to the house and catio.  On Monday after work I zoomed up to Home Depot and bought the wood and brackets I needed for the legs and base of the connector:

buying wood for the outdoor cat enclosure / catio

I bought 5 2x2x6’s [and one 2x4x8 which I didn’t need yet, but it was on sale for $2.50 so I couldn’t resist].  After returning home I cut everything down to size, including the 4 legs:

201b

On Tuesday after work I stained the wood for the legs and bottom frame of the connector, and bracketed the frame together:

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Then I brought everything outside, flipped the connector onto it’s back, bracketed the legs to the connector, then the connector base to the legs:

building legs for the outdoor cat enclosure / catio connector

Then flipped it back over to it’s rightful position, and placed it up against the house and the window with the cat door:

201g        attaching the outdoor cat enclosure / catio connector to the catio and house

Perfect fit – hooray!

I also bolted a 2×2 to the top back of the connector, which will allow for the roof to be slightly slanted:

building the outdoor cat enclosure / catio connector        201i

Here’s what it looked like from inside the house:

201j

On Wednesday after work, even though it was 95° in our back yard, I spent an hour and a half finishing things up!  By then I was feeling very un-well and had to stick my head under cold water for 10 minutes to stop feeling nauseous, but it was so worth it!

I started by staining some thin, luan slats and nailing them up over the chicken wire staples lining the perimeter of the connector:

201k        201l

Then I pulled the connector away from the wall so I could access the side of the catio.  I pulled the catio away from the house so I could cut a hole in the side matching up with the end of the connector.  After cutting some of the chicken wire away, I bracketed a 2×4 to the catio frame and re-stapled the chicken wire to that, leaving a 10.5″ wide doorway:

201n

Then I shoved the catio back to it’s regular position:

cutting a hole in the outdoor cat enclosure / catio to attach the connector

Moved the connector back into place, and bolted it to the catio with horizontal braces:

201o

Then I bolted the other end of the connector to the house:

201p

At that point all I had left to do was the roof, but I was just too damn hot.

This morning before work I got most of the roof bolted on:

201q

And I started training Bonkers on using the swinging cat door.  He is very motivated by treats so it didn’t take much convincing before he got the hang of pushing on the door and entering the connector and catio:

bonkers using the outdoor cat enclosure / catio cat door in the dining room window        bonkers using the outdoor cat enclosure / catio cat door in the dining room window

bonkers using the outdoor cat enclosure / catio cat door in the dining room window        bonkers using the outdoor cat enclosure / catio cat door in the dining room window

Darwin, however, was terrified of the cat door anytime it moved.  Meh.  Hopefully he’ll get the hang of it, too!

Today after work I bolted the final roof tile on, making the cat enclosure 100% DONE!!!

bolting the polycarbonate roof panels to the outdoor cat enclosure / catio        201w

I tied the cat door open with string and both boys went in and out about 5 or 6 times, lounging in the catio, then heading back into the house.  It was awesome!!!  Bonkers decided his new favorite spot is in the dining room, on the sideboard, sprawled in front of the cat door.  Hubby figures he’s probably making sure Birdie doesn’t get into HIS catio:

darwin testing out the outdoor cat enclosure / catio cat door and connector        darwin testing out the outdoor cat enclosure / catio cat door and connector

darwin testing out the outdoor cat enclosure / catio cat door and connector        bonkers guarding the outdoor cat enclosure / catio cat door in the dining room window

Some random shots from the yard while I was working:

drop of water on a blade of grass in our yard        red hibiscus in our yard

miniature sunflower in our yard        bachelor button flowers in our yard

Happy Darwin:

darwin enjoying a peaceful evening in the outdoor cat enclosure / catio        darwin enjoying a peaceful evening in the outdoor cat enclosure / catio

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12 Comments

  1. I just finished my giant catio last weekend and your blog helped me with ideas along the way, thank you! We have the same stain, chicken wire, and roofing. It’s amazing how much work it wound up being isn’t it?! Yours is beautiful. So worth it for our best kitty friends 🙂 Thanks again!!

    • Awesome! That’s great to hear, Kira! Soooooo much work, but so worth it. I hope your kitties love it! Do you have a website with pictures?

  2. Proud Dad too…

    • Thanks, Dad! Couldn’t have done it without your help!!! Which includes all the DIY knowledge I absorbed by watching you build stuff when I was younger, and also for your invaluable advice regarding the strong-tie connectors and door design!!! You and Mom were life savers!

  3. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    Exciting! I’m sure they will get used to the cat door quickly. Also, that picture of the bead of water on the blade of grass is awesome.

    • Thanks, Jessica! I’m loving the wide-angle lens I found in my camera bag for my Nikon DSLR – I didn’t even know I had it! It’s super fun to play around with 🙂

  4. What an awesome playground for the kids! You did a fantastic job! I have no doubt that Bonkers is blocking the way, just like my Lacy does. I hope Birdie learns to love it, too.

    • We hope Birdie gets curious and decides to check it out! Especially now that she and Bonkers seem to have declared some sort of truce… a very cold-war truce, but at least it’s something.

  5. Now that you think it is done you can add a shelf to the bottom of the connector to grow cat grass. Also put a hook in the main part and grow catnip as a hanging plant it will add shade and skunks who really like catnip wile not be able to get to it, just make sure it is close enough to the side to water. This is of course if you want more projects.

    • I love those ideas, Ab! I’m actually already growing some cat grass to put in the enclosure. I love the cat nip idea 🙂

  6. You deserve about 1,000 gold stars for this project. I’m sure you didn’t realize when you started what a HUGE project it would become. And your finished product is both functional and BEAUTIFUL. You should be very, very proud of your accomplishment!.

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