Features of an Ideal Cat Enclosure

When selecting a cat enclosure, there are many options and features to choose from. Safety should be key in your selection and choosing an appropriate enclosure for your cat's size and age are also factors. Below are features to look for when making your purchase.

Before Making Your Purchase

Before you head to the pet store, consider your cat's needs and environment. Is your cat primarily indoors or outdoors? Answering this question is key in deciding what type of enclosure to purchase. If your cat sleeps during the time he will be in the enclosure, consider purchasing bedding and other plush items to make it a more comfortable environment. The amount of time your cat will spend in his enclosure should also determine how large a water bottle and food dispenser be placed in the enclosure as well as if any enclosure safe toys are needed for entertainment. If it is necessary your cat wear his collar inside the enclosure carefully inspect it. If it does not have a break away clasp, purchase one when buying your enclosure. This safety feature will lessen the risk of strangulation.

Outdoor Enclosures

Most outdoor enclosures are large runs built with wood and wire. Because of their large size, cats can roam, play, lay in the sun and enjoy the outdoor scenery. Other types of outdoor enclosures include window verandas and cat walks. Window verandas are attached to a window and act as a window box. This should be used for only short periods of time because of their small size. It is ideal for cats who live in apartments and allows them to get fresh air and enjoy the outdoors without a yard. Cat walks and portable net systems that allow cats to walk and play without escaping. If you plan on purchasing a veranda or cat walk, remember that these are intended only for use when the cat can be attended to. If you need to leave your cat alone in his enclosure, consider an outdoor cat run. Be sure there is a place your cat can take shelter in the rain or sun and never leave him in extreme weather conditions.

Indoor Enclosures

A crate is a great way to keep you cat safe while unattended. Purchase a crate that is large enough to fit your cat's litter box so he can eliminate in a clean space. Purchase bedding so your cat has a comfortable place to sleep. Bowls for food and water specially made to clip onto the crate's wire front door are needed to prevent spilling. Clean their litter box inside the enclosure daily to prevent odors. Do not buy a crate with a wire bottom for a cat as this can damage the paws. Crates with plastic bottoms and sides are ideal. Remove your cat's collar before he is placed in the enclosure and never leave him for more than a few hours.

What to Look For

Whether you purchase an outdoor or indoor enclosure, consider the following features:

  • Room to stretch and play
  • Bedding
  • Clip-on bowls for water and food
  • Shelter (if outdoors) from rain and sun
  • Room for a litter box