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The Best Cat Gift Ever
Pens Give Cats Time Outside!
Good health again would be the best gift we could give our cat Tia. Since we couldn't give this back to her, our vet advised us that she should become an inside only cat, due to the risk of infections, etc., if she was still allowed to run free outside. An outside pen was the answer, as Tia loved being outside.
Outside runs are great for cats, but they can be very expensive. Luckily, we had an old chicken run which was no longer used at the back of the garden, so it became Tia's outside area.
I took this photo of Tia, but she refused to face the camera! She loved lying under the raspberry canes on hot days, and decided to stay put. It was one of her favourite spots.
All images are mine, and are copyright, thanks.
An Old Chicken Pen Is Ideal For A Cat Run
Since there was an old run and a chicken coop left over from the time we had chickens, the coop was cleaned out and carpeted, which made it a roomy shelter for the cat in wet or very hot weather. The run was cleaned up and made suitable for Tia. A small under cover area at the rear, which was a daytime shelter for the chickens was dug over and some kitty litter added, and this has become the toilet area.
Although the run looks bare in the photo, it is really different now, as there are raspberry canes, cat grass, catnip and cat mind growing in it, which make a much more cat-friendly place. There are also some geraniums and violets, which add to the shade in Summer.
In the picture below, you can just see the covered kitty litter area behind Tia. We have planted geraniums behind the fence to give it a shaded and private feeling.
The Old Chicken Coop
Cats Love To Be Outside
Unfortunately, it isn't always possible for a cat to be allowed outside. My cat, for example, is FIV+ so can't be allowed to roam free, as she may spread the disease, or get an infection from fighting. She used to be an outside cat until she was found to be FIV+, and for the first few months inside, was extremely unhappy. She used to stand on her hind-legs at the backdoor, batting at it to make it open, or pushing her head at the locked cat door.
The very best gift I could give her, would be her health back, but since that isn't possible, the next best thing is allowing her to have at least some time outside. A cat pen is the only answer, since leashes and harnesses don't work. We tried a leash, but she became hysterical.
At first, the cat didn't appreciate being carried to and from this pen, but she came to realise it was the only way to get outside, and seemed to enjoy her time out there.
Tia Enjoying The Sun
With her white nose, Tia needed shade, and we also put a pet sun-screen on her for protection against skin cancer. You can just make out the strawberry flowers to her right, and there are violets behind her. There were a couple of grass plants in front of the coop so that she could eat it as she wished.
A pen isn't true freedom for her, but it was the very best we ccould do in the cirumstances. She looks happy enough in the photo, and I could see part of the pen from my study window as I worked, to keep an eye on her.
Got a cat pen?
Do you have an outside pen or run for your cat?
A New Use For The Pen!
Well, it's not really a new use, but a new cat now has the pen as her very own.
Tia is no longer with us, but Magic has happily taken her place in our home, and enjoys being outside. She would also like to be able to run free, but it's too risky, with far too many un-neutered and FIV positive cats in the area. We want her to be healthy and have a long life.
You can read more about FIV here.
Magic Enjoys The Pen
Here's another photo of Magic enjoying her outside time in the pen. Shortly after we took this photo, she discovered a way of escaping her captivity. She only managed it twice though, and the escape route has been permanently blocked, and she has settled well into her outside home.