A few years back, before we moved to this house and when we only had the two cats, we used to live in a three room apartment. It was on the second floor with a decent sized balcony. We put some time and effort in to make the balcony cat proof and they absolutely loved it out there. When we moved here there wasn’t a natural spot to put a cat run, so we didn’t even think about adding one. After all, the house was almost four times the size of the apartment.
Then, two years ago, when the amount of cats had increased to four, an idea of a cat run slowly took form. Instead of putting it by a human entrance we made an entrance to the enclosure by removing one of the windows and replacing it with a board fit with a cat door. The enclosure is on the north side of the house providing shadow for most of the day. Once the fences and nets were up we added some shelfs on different levels for them to lay on and also brought in some logs to be used as natural scratching poles.
Now almost two years have past since we built it and we don’t regret it. The cats absolutely love it out there. However, we now see some downsides with how we designed it. The cat door is placed so the cats enter the house on the kitchen counter. This is an issue for those who like clean floors. Which leads to the second downside. We kept the grass within the cat run, which was nice during the first summer. Last summer was extremely dry which made the grass stop growing and since cats are, well, cats they tend to do their business where there is a possibility to dig it down. Like say, dry soil. The issue isn’t cleaning this out, the issue appears when the ground is wet. Thats right- muddy paws! And not just that my friends, muddy paw prints in the kitchen.
So based on these issues we have decided to make some improvements to the enclosure this year. How exactly is still debated.