Description: We have 4 cats and live on a busy street. The cats go outside but I did not want to let them run free. We took two old STEN shelving unit from the garage and made a cat enclosure.
1. We purchased a cat door from the local hardware store. A friend created an insert for our dining room window with a piece of MDF wood. Using a router he cut out the area for the cat door and inserted the manufactured door into the wood. We raise the window enough to wedge the wooden piece with the door, in the opening.
2. We adjusted the shelves in the STEN unit, so they were staggered, (allowing the cats to climb up and down by zig-zagging, also cancelling the need to cut the shelves) then screwed the two units together side by side.
3. We measured the distance of the front of one cabinet and built a basic door – 2X4’s, chicken wire and some hardware. We fastened it to the “front”. (in case we had to get a cat out due to an emergency)
4. We built a “tunnel” – (a box with no top or bottom) turned it on its side so the cats could get from the structure to the cat door in the window without escaping. We screwed that into the STEN unit.
5. We purchased some chicken wire from the hardware store and wrapped the unit, stapling the chicken wire to wood where possible to prevent escape.
6. The unit was a bit short to line up with the window, so we set it on, and screwed it to a platform.
7. A bit of paint and a name – we call it a Catio and voila!
8. In the winter we remove the cat door insert and we are able to close the window.
~ Kate Wilke/Randall Seddon, Calgary, Alberta, Canada