How did I end up with so many cats! Well, eleven years ago I brought home three kittens from the pound. Then five years ago I was wanting a kitten and ended up with three. Then four years ago I adopted four from a rescue (why four?) and a year after that two strays came. There is a stray in the barn as well!!! So, it is becoming extremely hard to keep up with cat hair. While some cats come and go outside on different schedules there are some that are totally indoor cats. We had a problem with a dog that didn't like cats so I was afraid to let them out. I decided I needed a place for these cats to be outside in a safe environment. There had to be whimsey involved out in the garden. And so the Kitty Cottage came to be.
Do You Love Cats? Come Visit My Kitty Cottage
This is where I decided to put the cottage. Inside a grove of redwoods. Nice and shady and protected. At first I was actually looking at cat houses and then chicken coops. They were made of wood and were kits and just seemed like too much maintenance with painting, plus the wire seemed iffy on the chicken coops. So, I decided if a dog kennel could keep a dog contained in, it would keep a dog contained out!
The kennel measures 8x4x6. Using two pallets on hand a base was created and then OSB was screwed onto the pallets. The OSB was painted to help with moisture and also got a coat of Olympic watersealant.
Assembly is fairly easy. Two people would be a big help when you put all the panels together. The kennel comes with a canvas cover/roof. Rain can still blow in, but it does provide some cover. My husband built a small cat house several years ago (even our doxies used it) so I painted it and it will provide complete protection if the cats are out in inclement weather or cool nights.
Here's the shell ready for the canvas top. I added vinyl poultry fencing across the top using zip ties because I'm a bit worried about the cats squeezing out between the canvas and bars.
This is not the top that comes with the kennel. I had this on hand from another project and I like it because it has a scallop. The door on the kennel had a dog emblem so ...
a cat magnet makes a good camouflage. Can't have a dog greeting my cats!
Remember, I needed some whimsey so a window, door knob and a wreath help make a cottage complete.
Doesn't hurt to have a few mice.
No vacancies! Two bedrooms, one bath, separate dining and lounge areas. Update: I've added two shelves for the cats to jump up to and a dog crate (with door removed) is now on top of the little house with a bed inside, plus some cat scratchers. All the comforts of an inside home only now outside. I added the mailbox to hold brushes, ant spray, litter scoop, etc. Three cats currently reside at night, but I think five would work because I have that many individual sleeping quarters.
Knowing I like cats, my dear friend gave me this beautiful kitchen towel. She also knew I had made the Kitty Cottage and thought I could make a banner with the towel. But when I folded it in half it presented a whole different look . . . .
…. that little kitty at the top became a lookout.
Having the scallop allows the rain to drip right down the tarp. While it will be damp it won't be wet and the kitties have the insulated beds to stay warm in.
I thought I would do an update. Since I first posted I have several cats that actually want to be in the cottage. They run to get in at night so I'm happy that they're happy. Today I decided to do some cleaning and discovered that the "grass" vacuums up quite well. I didn't realize how messy redwood trees can be; there are a lot of dried twigs/leaves. I've also been using pine pellets in the cat box and wish I had discovered them sooner. No odor and less mess. I decided to use tarps (Harbor Freight 7x9) to enclose the walls against rain. I used bungees to hold them on. Lucky for me that the canvas roof dropped over the back and I just need to do the south and north sides. I made it so I can roll up the tarps when it isn't going to be rainy. So far the temps where I live have been mild at night. Two of the beds are insulated and that's where the cats have been sleeping although my barn cat (who actually wants to sleep inside) takes the bed up top for himself. All in all this has really been great for my outdoor cats and SAFE. For those who worry about how small or no climbing space it hasn't been a problem. Now that I don't have to worry about dogs I am only containing the cats at night!