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I had no choice but to build a cat enclosure in October. I live in a rural area and last year, to my horror, someone came on my property and set a leg-hold trap for coyotes. My cat Stubby was trapped. His leg was severely lacerated. I rushed him to the vet and though he spent six weeks nursing his injury, he did recover fully.
The DEC removed the illegal trap. I spent November through February monitoring the area to make sure there were no more traps.
This year I vowed that such a thing would never happen to any of my cats again. Five days before trapping season began (Oct. 24) Stubby and some of his far-ranging pals began to have their outdoor time limited to the enclosure.
It's given me peace of mind. It really wasn't hard to build - just 8x8 construction. The mesh is plastic and attached simply with a staple gun. I put one inch strips over the staples so the cats couldn't pick at them.
The most important thing was to give them plenty of high runways and places to perch. In the middle there's a cedar post that they can scratch and climb.

Well - the good news was that this year there's been no trapping activity on adjacent vacant lands that border my property. I know because I patrol constantly. The cat enclosure continues to see a lot of use, especially once I get all the cats in for the night and some beg to go back out. I just open the window and out they go; they sit on their perches in the winter air and before long they are happy to be back in.
 

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Oh my goodness! I cannot imagine how horrifying that was to find Stubby in the trap. :( I am so relieved to hear he recovered. When I read the first sentence, I was fearing the worst!

That enclosure is incredible! I love the real cedar post in the middle. And look at that beautiful country view they have! :D

I bought a house a few months ago and am really wanting to build an enclosure just like the one you've built. Only downfall is that my fiancee and I are not handy whatsoever. Did you cut the wood yourself, or get it cut at a store like Lowes/Home Depot?
 

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You could do it! There was almost no cutting at all. 8 foot lengths are standard, so once the structure was laid out to be square, it was just a matter of screwing the boards in place. It was the kind of project that was fun - not fussy, not perfect, but functional.

My brother once told me, and he was right - "Always use screws. That way it's easy to un-do."

Yes, when Stubby came home injured - the person released him, I didn't find him -- it was one of the worst moments of my life. All of a sudden their paradise turned life-threatening. It was awful.
 

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Oh my goodness, poor Stubby! Thank goodness you were able to get to him to the vet in time for him to recovery fully.

That enclosure is really impressive! I remember that you built a shelter, either last year or the year before, that was pretty spectacular too. And believe me, there is no way that I could make either of them. The whole thing would come crashing down. :p
 

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They just released him injured like that?! I don't know what's worse - to have found him IN the trap or to see him come home like that :( Thank goodness he had the wherewithal to come home, the poor thing! So glad to hear he's recovered.

That enclosure is wonderful. Simple and functional and I love it. Wish I had the room for it. Samus is certainly jealous of your kitties :)
 

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The whole horrible incident changed everything. I know some people will say "Well, never let your cats out then - keep them in." But with 8 cats in a small house, that's simply not possible. The cats would be unhappy and it would lead to so many issues - not getting along, marking - and they wouldn't be the same well-adjusted cats they are now.
 

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It looks like you have a lot of land in a pretty low-traffic area - in other words, far fewer potential dangers for kitties. And who would expect someone to come setting traps on their own property?! Maybe that person didn't realize it was private property?

Now which one is Stubby? (a good excuse to see a picture... :D)
 

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Aw, he looks like such a sweetheart! I love the very thin strip of white on his forehead and the black on his chin. It's so amazing how every black and white kitty has his/her individual markings.

Snow...wish we had some!
 
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