We have recently moved from Colorado to north Georgia into the woods in a tiny home. Not super teeny tiny like Tiny Home Nation but less than half the size of what we were living in. It’s been quite the adventure! The cats have weathered the changes well with lots of Reiki, essential oils and dehydrated turkey treats ha! Every time you move with cats you have to redo their fun zones in the new house. Catification is an ongoing process. In a new house you have to take time carefully assess your new furniture placement, where the windows are and what the outside conditions are like. Where will the food bowls go and litter boxes and scratching posts?
We have an outdoor enclosure so being aware of the wildlife in the area has been important. We are in the mountains at the tail end of the Appalachian range and literally right at the edge of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. For the first time we’ve installed an electric fence around our cat enclosure as we now have bears and dogs who run loose as well as feral cats of which I’ve seen one so I know there are more. There are also raccoon, possums and snakes – whee! Ugh! We were able to get a Havahart electric fence for around $60 that was very easy to install and will repel unwanted critters but not wound them. Believe me, we steeled ourselves and tried it. It’s a surprising sting and and a zing but it doesn’t linger.
The cats now have access to a 28 foot long and 8 foot wide covered porch in which we’ve installed 1 inch chicken wire all around as well as new shelves. We placed a couple of litter boxes outside as well. Our new house is very tiny, 650 sq. ft. and finding places in the outside areas for litter boxes has been critical. We have 4 cats now and will soon have 5 meaning we need 6 litter boxes. Although they do have access to the outdoors too I don’t want to take any chances! One of my cats, Grit, likes to ambush the others in the litter box so I like for them to have lots of choices in where they eat and where they go to the bathroom so that she can’t cut off access to any one place the little brat!
We installed a trapdoor in our deck and a ramp leading down to a table underneath the house which then leads out to their catio. It took us a couple of weeks to figure out how we were going to design their new area. I wasn’t sure I wanted them to have access to the full area under the house so what we did is divide a section to give them a place to be on the ground also secured by the chicken wire system and the electric fence.
Their outdoor catio is designed by PetSafe and can be set up as 5 x 12 which is what it is now, or you can also set it up as a 10 x 10 square which we’ve done before. We’ve moved this now 3 times and it’s holding up incredibly well! I chose the 12 x 5 foot arrangement this time so they had a longer area to run.
Overall it’s been an exhausting few weeks setting ourselves up and then setting them up all the while preparing for BlogPaws in Nashville, taking a quick run to Texas to help my dear sister, babysitting our twin granddaughters, keeping up with my custom artwork and Young Living oils but the cats having outdoor access is important to me. This entire arrangement cost about $150 (not counting the PetSafe pen which we had previously bought years ago for $185.00) and several hours of work but watching them roll in the grass and chase bugs and each other around their areas makes it all worthwhile!
If you need help figuring out how to catify your own home contact us. We can work with you through pictures and measured dimensions to help you design budget friendly ways increase happiness for your own cats. Even if they can’t get to the outside there are many options to create areas in the smallest of apartments or tiny homes to make their life fun!