I’d thought about building a cattery for my cat family (Mama Kali and grown babies: Ivy, Morpheus and Percheron) almost as soon as I had moved into my current house in 2001. It was always “Oh, that’d be so cool. The cats would love it so much!” what finally spurred me to action wasn’t the coolness, or the wow factor, it was more of an Ugh factor.
Several of my cats have a, shall we say, “way of thinking outside the box,” when it comes to certain ‘activities.’ I’ve tried multiple litter boxes, giant litter boxes, robot litter boxes, multiple giant litter boxes*, all to no avail. The room I had set aside for the cats and their boxes has linoleum on the floor and while it was nasty and a bit embarrassing, clean up was manageable. Then one day while I was cleaning up after them, Morph my three-legger hopped under an old coffee table I’d had rigged up with plastic curtains hanging from the bottom as a hidey hole and starts scratching around. I chased him out, looked under the curtain and suddenly I was starring in my own episode of “Hoarders.” Two heaping dustpans full of cat shit, and a severe case of the heebie-jeebies later and I’ve decided, it’s time to build a cattery.
So, this isn’t a project started out of the goodness of my heart, it was done to keep my house cleaner; and it isn’t really an outdoor space for my cats to lounge in the sun and enjoy fresh air as much as it is a giant effin’ litter box.
How does one go about building such a litter box? Well, it’s a good idea to look at other examples, take an inventory of the tools you’ll need and draw up some plans; or you could be like me and jump in with a vague idea and wing it.
I knew I wanted it to be next to the cat room, in the back of the house. The finished cattery would be next to the back patio, build over a planting area that had never seen any use unless you count the fine crop of weeds from years past. It would cover the whole planter making it about 4 feet by 12 feet. It would have to come up past the windows of the cat room so it would be about 8 feet tall. After the initial structure was done I could outfit it with walkways and high boxes for them to hang out in.
Does all this sound like an immense amount of work? If so, you’re FAR more realistic person than I because I thought I could do it in a weekend! Did I get it done in a weekend? Find out next time!
Next time: NOT done in a weekend.
*I probably would have tried multiple giant robot litter boxes if I could have found such things.