Why have a cat like this? (Squished onto your tiny window ledge.)
When you can have a cat like this? (Hanging out in all spaciousness out on your exterior window sill.)
Fun DIY projects (not!) for people like me who are lumps at DIY.
You can’t see it too well (it does reflect the flash slightly, I think) but it’s a DIY catio that provides your cat with his own sun window.
Of course it’s night so not much sun.
And of course there are plenty of things I’d prefer to be doing rather than constructing a sun terrace for my cat. But he is just going CRAZY to get out there, clawing and scratching at the window, and we can’t keep the windows shut in the hot Spanish summer.
So now, even if, like us, you live in a high-rise apartment building, your cat can still enjoy a piece of the lovely outdoors and sun himself in his very own sun window / sun balcony.
Here’s how I made our DIY catio.
I went to the hardware store and got some wire mesh. You don’t need to ride all the way out to Bricomart or Leroy Merlin, our own neighbourhood hardware store (ferretería if you’re here in Spain) also carried them. We’re very lucky we have thick iron bars outside our windows, to keep thieves out!
We also have wide window sills, whose original purpose was to hold plants, not cats.
But the bars are set wide enough apart for a nimble cat to slip through them and fall to his death on the pavement below. And the window sill is not wide enough to prevent the cat from slipping off and falling to his death on the pavement below.
Hence the need for an enclosed cat space or catio.
So all I had to do was line the wire mesh on the inside of the iron bars. I made tiny holes in the mesh and fixed the mesh to the iron bars using plastic ties.
And that’s it!
The cat, whose nickname is Mr Bitey because he’s always biting and gnawing away at objects — all objects — of course at first he had to have his stint of trying to bite his way through the wire mesh.
But fortunately it did occur to me to leave one of the plastic ties uncut. I cut off the rest so they wouldn’t stick into my poochie moggie. So he entertained himself happily chewing away at the uncut plastic tie while he lounged around in his new catio.
He loves his own solitary space. He can catch cool breezes there in the evening, getting some relief from the scorching Spanish sun. He can watch the neighbours going about their affairs, and match the sounds that he hears through the window with the actions that he can now observe and which up till now had always been rather a mystery for him.
Happy cat in his sun window
In the light of day you can’t really see the wire mesh. But it’s there keeping the cat safe from falling through the iron bars.
He spends hours lounging away up there. He’s a happy cat, and we’re relaxed and at ease knowing that he’s safe while he enjoys himself.
Of course, I do have to check the wire mesh frequently to make sure that there aren’t any holes that the cat could slip through. I’d bought a piece of mesh that was 1,5x2m (European metric, in the UK or the US you’d probably measure it differently) for each window. I used up most of it, and a bit was left over which I’ve saved in case I ever need to do any patch-up work.
As a side benefit, it also serves to keep mosquitos, flies and other flying nasties out!
And while we’re at it, not to sound like a sleazy saleslady but I’ve written a few thrillers so, if you’re into creepy, scary, suspenseful novels, I’d love it if you’d check them out, here: Thrillers by Moi.
So, how about you? Do you have any cat tips you’d like to share? Have you built your own catio, or covered your balconies and windows to make them safe for cats and dogs? Do share. You know I LURRVE to receive (positive, non-spammy) comments!
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