Filled under: Miscellaneous

Date posted: January 1, 2014

A few months ago my mother tells me she wants me to build her a cattery. A cattery? Yes, I too asked the same question. A cattery is basically an outdoor cat house with plenty of space, high perches, and dorms where cats can be in safe solitude and away from the elements. This cattery’s purpose is housing rescued stray cats from our local community.


The requested specifications was clear; build a contained space of 8′ x 8′ with a leaned roof along with cat dorms, perches, and a feeding hatch. Having some construction experience from other household projects I designed everything by internally visualizing all aspects of the structure at it’s intended location.


First my dad and I marked out the post holes.


After a few hours of digging with the help of my brother-in-law, we had eight ~12″ x 20″ holes in the ground.


With a little patience, a bubble level, and a measuring tape the posts are vertical and ready for the cement.

Lesson learned: drive stakes into the ground near the posts and screw the posts to the stakes when the posts are decently level.


Quickrete is awesome! But, it’s dusty.

Lesson learned: wear a respirator mask!


Here’s my brother-in-law helping to dig a small trench around the base so I can set in a wood footer for the future chicken wire fence.


I enlisted the help of three friends to assist in general constuction. Ethan is performing the task of screwing down truss brackets.


I am glad to have their help, I am not sure how I would be able to do this alone.


Lesson learned: don’t assume everyone is capable of working without explicit step by step instructions. We had to fix a few errors.


Ok, now we have something here!


Here’s Ethan working on the future cat dorms.


And Emily hammering a wall into alignment.

The cat dorms are triple layered with insulation foam sandwiched between two sheets of plywood.


Here we have the roof completed and the main section of the cat dorms installed.


A few days later the side and rear fence, the baseboard footer, and a few perch elements have been installed.


Here is a picture of the internal insulation foam of the cat dorm doors.


Job’s done!

The chicken wire fence actually was rather difficult to install… lots of stretching to insure a tight look. My dad laid the concrete slab path.


Here are the four cat dorms.


The dorm system, with entrances/exits on both ends, was designed so a cat would not get cornered in the event of a hostile animal entering the cattery.


Here’s the cat ramp. It works rather well.


I decided to install electricity to make the option of adding heating pads to each dorm an easy procedure. Digging trenches is aways difficult, but it was worth it.


The side of the cattery has a feed hatch. This makes feeding the cats easy and also reduces the chance of escape by reducing the need to open the full size door.


The fence around the rear helps protect the cats and structure from the weather.


The first two rescues are here! Olley and Olive. This sure beats starving in the woods.

The cost in materials was roughly $800. The project was completed over the course of two weeks with a few hours a day.

UPDATE – 8/10/14

Due to limited perch space inside the structure, we decided to build an external perch.


The external perch turned out to be awesome.  Now the cats can have space from each other, see all of the yard, and feel the warmth of direct sunlight.

The ramp leading to the ground will soon be opened up to allow the cats to free roam.


Here is Olive enjoying the view. The external perch was originally only going to be single level, but during contruction the idea of making it double level proved to be worth the extra time and material.