Purpose-built ‘lion’s den’ puts moggy in purr-fect comfort

LIFE is pretty much purr-fect for Marburg moggy Leo.

A new enclosure, dubbed the Lion’s Den by his owner Michelle Howarth, means Leo can now safely catch rays from the morning sun or be back inside his house whenever his heart desires.

Michelle built the space for Leo after attending a DIY workshop run by Ipswich City Council in conjunction with Bunnings and the RSPCA.

She said the workshop gave her the confidence to give building an enclosure a go.

“The biggest challenge was convincing myself I could do it but the workshop was definitely helpful for seeing how it could be done and what things I needed to consider,” she said.

With the help of a friend, Michelle built Leo’s Lion’s Den in about 10 hours over a couple of weeks.

“Once we had a plan it was fairly easy. We cemented the timber posts in, built the frame and put snake-proof mesh on. Having previously lost a cat to a snake it was important to me to make sure Leo was safe,” Michelle said.

“Cats like to be up high so I built it with two levels and steps he can climb up and down and added some fake grass, a platform he can sit on and some cat nip.”

The results have been positive.

“Leo’s been a lot more settled and has stopped trying to get out the front door, plus it’s given me peace of mind that he’s safe while outside, I like the idea that he can come and go when he likes.”

If you want to build an enclosure for the feline friends in your life, here are some tips to help along the way:

Think like your cat:

All cats are different. When planning your enclosure consider your cat’s breed, age and personality traits to help you determine how much space is needed. As a general rule at least one to two square metres of floor space is required, with some vertical space as well. Remember cats prefer to survey their landscape from an elevated position.

Think about where you live:

Do you live in an area where snakes are active? Do dogs roam your neighbourhood? A cat enclosure should not only keep your cat in but other animals out. Thinking about the types of animals you need to protect your cat from will help you work out the type of materials you should use when building your enclosure.

Ask an expert:

Once you’ve got an idea of the type of enclosure you want to construct, it’s time for a trip to your local hardware store. They should be able to help you refine your design and source the materials you need. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.

Get a friend involved:

It’s time to get building. Enlisting the help of a friend will make the task at hand that little easier. Try to stick to your plan where possible but remember it’s okay to amend your design if necessary. Have fun with it.

Don’t forget the creature comforts:

Cats are curious creatures and like to be stimulated. Consider adding items such as a scratch post, a bed, toys, supply of water and litter tray to ensure the time your cat spends in their enclosure is as enjoyable as possible. A happy cat makes for a happy household.

Did you know?

In Ipswich you can keep up to two cats on your property without the need for a permit or up to four cats on land 2,000 square metres or more.

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