Kittens and cats are playful, charming, and altogether adorable. With that said, they can also be destructive, invasive, and downright annoying. Cat cages & playpens can be solutions for common problems encountered by people who have felines as part of their family.
Indoor cats can do quite a lot of damage to your personal positions and can sometimes even endanger themselves by chewing on cords, falling into containers or getting trapped in household mechanical items.
Outdoor cats are less harmful to your possessions, but if you love them, their safety is almost always in the back of your mind. When you go out to feed that big tom that has been hanging around, will he come to breakfast?
What are the benefits of cat cages and playpens?
Cats love the outdoors, just as they love a house with an open floor plan. A cat cage or playpen provides the means to gently restrain and protect your darling fur companion. It can be the means of making sure that you can locate a beloved elderly cat to administer medication or special food, or to protect a lively litter of kittens from their own curiosity.
Restraining your cat is very much like the loving limits a parent might place on an extremely well-coordinated two-year-old human who has teeth, claws, an incredible sense of fun, and an insatiable curiosity. All your kitty lacks to fit this description is opposable thumbs.
Utility items for cat restraint range from a basic carrier of the sort used for transporting a cat from home to the veterinarian to spacious indoor/outdoor sunroom porches that are almost like adding a room to your house.
What are the important things to know before purchasing a cat cage or playpen?
Key things to consider before buying are:
Kittens can fit in a smaller cage that will accommodate an adult cat. Three-level kitten cages are ideal for the first ten weeks because it provides a protective barrier against other animals in the house as well a way to separate sanitary facilities from feeding spaces.
However, if the mother cat is housed with the kittens, a larger space might be needed. Furthermore, kittens will quickly outgrow a “kitten cage” so unless you do rescues or breed for show or resale, it’s an expensive investment that can only be used for a short while.
Adult cats can be all sorts of sizes, ranging from petite breeds such as the dwelf, munchkin or mini skin, right on up through Siberians, Ragamuffins or Main Coon cat breeds. Main Coon Cats will continue to grow until they are five years old, and the adults can grow to be as large as twenty-five pounds.
- Area Available for Placement of the Cage
A large indoor cat cage can require rearranging the furniture, at the very least. If you have a small apartment, the space for an adult Maine Coon to be comfortable might take up as much as half a room. Even with a small cat, remember to allow room for the cat to play, and provide plenty of toys.
- Amount of Time the Cat Will Spend in the Enclosure
If your cat will only be in the enclosure for an hour or two while you run to the grocery store it doesn’t need to be as roomy as a cage intended to restrain your fur friend while you are at work for a whole day.
In the latter case, you might consider simply designating a room as “reserved for the cat” and make it a kitty safe space.
- Is It Indoor, Outdoor or a Combination of the Two?
Outdoor enclosures such as a porch, sunroom or roofed patio are marvelous spaces for your cat. If your home doesn’t have such a place, a sturdy cat kennel that includes its own house might be the answer. Your cat will probably be happiest with his or her indoor/outdoor if there is a cat door that will allow entry and exit from the “people house.”
Some things to keep in mind for your cat’s safety include that other animals might try to come into your cat’s space from the outside. Also, if your cat has claws, he or she can make quick work of bug screens.
For these reasons, you will want a small mesh, sturdy wire such as that used on rabbit hutches, or even a double layer of wire such as an exterior layer of welded wire to keep out invaders, and a layer of smaller mesh on the inside to keep your cat from escaping.
Can I Purchase a Ready-Made Cat Cage or Playpen?
Yes, you certainly can. If it is to be placed outside, look for the models that include a weather-proof house at one end, even if you only plan for your cat to be in it while you do yard work or similar chores. Cats love having their own spaces and truly love having a den.
How to Make Sure the Cat Enclosure is Safe and Durable?
All cat enclosures must be durable enough to brave the claws and the elements. Outdoor enclosures with solid wooden frames will stand stable on a windy day or even when large predators try to tip it over. Metal frames, especially wrought iron and heavy duty steel are also recommendable in this respect, but they are prone to rusting. Therefore, they will require regular weather-proofing.
Most cat enclosures will be made from a wire mesh. To prevent the paws from getting caught in it, line the bottom of the cage with a plastic tray or cardboard.
Most importantly, pay attention to the quality of the metal used in making the mesh. If it's stainless steel, then 304 and 316 grades are your best choices. If it’s galvanized steel, then get one coated with PVC.
How Much Time Should My Cat Spend in His Playpen?
For good socialization, as little as possible, unless it is an indoor/outdoor kennel where the kitty has the freedom to go in and out. Remember, even the most loving domestic cat retains a little bit of the wild. They are tiny tigers who willingly share our homes.
Cat cages & playpens are tools for keeping your cat safe and for protecting your fine furnishings. With that said, they are short-term solutions, much like training cages for dogs. With the exception of the indoor/outdoor free access kennel, caging your cat limits the ways your darling can interact with you.