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How to Build a Cat Enclosure with Chicken Wire

Below you will find a step by step guide on how to build a cat enclosure with chicken wire.

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  • Experience Required: Medium
  • Tools Required: Protective gloves, Tape measure, Marker, Utility square, Wire cutters, Hammer, Hacksaw, Drill
  • Materials Required:  Chicken wire, Timber battens (like two-by-fours), Staples, Screws, Hinges, Latch

Step 1) Design Scheme

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  • Measure your area and plan your chicken wire cat enclosure:

    • Allocate 1-2 square meters per cat.
    • Provide feline access via window, door or pet flap & include a door for yourself.

 

Step 2) Take the Measurements of Wood

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  • Grab your treated timber battens and a tape measure. 
  • Measure and mark the pieces required to craft the structural frames of the enclosure.

 

Step 3) Cut Battens

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  • Use a stable, horizontal surface to lay the battens on as you cut them to size with a hacksaw. 
  • Remember to wear protective gear throughout the process!

 

Step 4) Connect Batten Pieces

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  • Make sure the angles are precise by using a utility square.
  • Alternatively use glue to connect the battens with wood, then secure with screws and drill. 
  • Pre-drilling and countersinking your joins will make the finish more secure.

 

Step 5) Build Frameworks

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  • Stick to your design plan and complete step 4 to make all required wooden frames.
  • Ensure the backside of the enclosure stays open for doorway access, and leaving space for an exterior door if needed.
  • Also, build a roof frame if choosing an open mesh design.

 

Step 6) Measure & Cut Netting

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  • Lay the wire mesh on the frames, ensuring it overlaps the wood. 
  • Cut along the wood to allow space for attaching with staples.

 

Step 7) Secure Netting to Frames

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  • Use staples spaced at most 15cm apart and hammer them into the wood to attach the netting to the frames. 
  • Ensure the back side remains open for easy access for your pets.

 

Step 8) Secure Back Frame to Wall

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  • Depending on the construction materials of the house, you may require various wall fixings for this stage. 
  • Ensure the open back of the enclosure is flush against the wall and securely attached.

 

Step 9) Attach Side Frames

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  • Connect the two side frames to the back frame using screws at least 4 points per side.
  • Ensure that the mesh attachments are facing outwards.
  • Remember to pre-drill and countersink your joins for a flush and secure finish!

 

Step 10) Secure Front Frame

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  • Continue with the previous step to secure the front frame to the two sides.

 

Step 11a) Build Roof Structure – Open (Mesh)

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  • Choose between weather-protective plastic or open mesh roofing.
  • Proceed with steps 7-8 to install the roof panel and enclose the cat enclosure from the top.
  • Ensure there is ample shade to shield your felines from UV rays if opting for this type of roofing.

 

Step 11b) Build Roof Structure – Closed (Plastic)

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  • Affix a batten to the back of the structure, then add several more perpendicularly on top to create a proper slope for water drainage.
  • Cut and secure a plastic roofing sheet using roof screws to prevent water from entering the enclosure.

 

Step 12) Construct Door (if applicable)

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  • If your structure lacks interior access, add a door. Consider two entryways for convenience.
  • Construct the door like the frame, but reinforce with diagonal braces.
  • Attach mesh to the exterior to make it cat-proof.

 

Step 13) Secure Door (if applicable)

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  • If you’re not adding a door, skip this step.
  • Attach three latches to the wooden frame using screws.
  • Additionally, screw in a latch to secure the door closed.

 

Step 14) Inspect for Weak Spots

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  • Your cat enclosure should be complete.
  • Ensure all sides and joins are properly attached, with no gaps for cats to escape.
  • The back frame should be flush with the wall and securely attached, and the door should close properly.

 

Step 15) Furnish Your Cat Enclosure

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  • Enhance your pets’ outdoor experience with:
    • Climbing trees, steps, ladders, and DIY scratching posts
    • Hiding spots, beds, shelves and hammocks

 

DO’S AND DON’TS

  • Avoid leaving food outside to deter animals;
  • Provide fresh water and a litterbox;
  • Ensure materials are comfortable and splinter-free;
  • Choose pavement, wood, or grass for flooring;
  • Include hiding spots and shade, while allowing sunlight for sunbathing.

 

FURTHER READING

 

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Published by

Timi K

Timi K. is an illustrator and a genuine animal lover, and she couldn't hide it if she tried: she likes to offer fencing solutions especially for animal and pet related issues.

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