Playpens provide a safe, enclosed space for your kitty to hang out in, both indoors and out. While you can purchase these pens ready-made in a pet supply store, you also can make one yourself, customizing it to Fluffy's needs. Create a pen as simple or elaborate as you like.
The Indoor Playpen
During parties with friends or home construction projects, it's best to keep your feline companion confined to a room of her own to prevent her from accidentally escaping outdoors or bothering your guests. That may not be possible if you have limited space. Fortunately, an indoor pen helps provide a safe and secure place for Fluffy. Create your pen using either wood or polyvinyl chloride pipes to build the frame and some wire mesh to contain your kitty and prevent her from escaping. For more than one cat, make the pen large enough to accommodate each of them comfortably. Use hinges to create a door from one of the sides that you can secure with a bolt to contain your kitty.
You can create an outdoor cat playpen to allow your kitty safe access to the outdoors without having to worry about the dangers that come along with roaming around outside, recommends the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. When building such a pen, use weatherproof materials, such as wood sealed with waterproof varnish, PVC piping, vinyl or corrugated metal. Completely encapsulate the pen with chicken wire or metal mesh that is tightly woven and securely attached to the playpen frame to prevent Fluffy from escaping. Create an opening through the wire and connect it to your home through a mesh tunnel secured to a pet door that Fluffy can access when she wants to.
Fun Furniture to Include
Inside the pen, whether outside or in, make the space comfortable for your kitty by attaching some carpeted shelves to the enclosure's supports so that she can sit on them and use them to climb on. Leave enough room for a litter box she can use while confined and some toys she can play with. Add a bed or two, depending on the size of the enclosure, for her to nap in. Include food and water dishes for her to eat from, either placed on the bottom of the enclosure or on a wall shelf. For easy cleaning, cover the base of the playpen with vinyl or ceramic tile so that you can wipe it clean.
Portability and Recycling
To build a playpen that you can use inside and outside, attach wheels to the bottom. This way, you can wheel it outside to allow Fluffy time outdoors and back indoors whenever you choose. If you don't want to start your playpen from scratch, look for playpens for children that you can redesign and repurpose for use with your feline friend. You also can use plastic wire storage cubes or even several pet gates to create the walls and top of your cat playpen. Remember to include a waterproof roof made of vinyl or metal for outdoor pens to protect Fluffy from inclement weather and provide her with some shade.
- Paws Companions: Outdoor Enclosures for Cats
- CatandCaboodle.com: Build A Do-It-Yourself Outdoor Cat Enclosure Or Run
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Preventing Your Cat from Getting Outside
- This Old House: How to Make Your Home Pet Friendly
- The Humane Society of the United States: Home Makeovers to Meow About
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.