With the cat’s curious nature, the outdoors can be a very dangerous place for them. They might get lost, run over by a car, chased by big dogs, and get injured. As much as we can prevent these by just letting them stay indoors, the outdoors provide them with a different kind of entertainment.
As it’s quite obvious, the outdoors provide ample space for your cat to run around. It somehow gives them a different kind of freedom to do what they want. Plus, they get to be one with nature, which helps a lot with their mental health.
But how do you let your cat enjoy the benefits of being outdoors while keeping them safe? Well, that’s exactly why outdoor cat enclosures are made.
It offers a safe place for your cat to enjoy her everyday activities. Here, no one would be able to come near her that would harm her, and there’s no way that she can stray away.
It’s no wonder that this item is considered essential by cat owners. However, although most cats love these, some are still not used to an outdoor cat enclosure. This may not seem to be a problem, but if your cat doesn’t spend time outdoors, she’ll be missing a lot of other benefits.
Why Do Cats Need To Go Outdoors?
You may think that your home is already providing enough entertainment for your cat. However, this may not be the case. Take a look at these benefits that the outdoors can provide your cat:
The Outdoors Can Provide Enough Outdoor Activities
Cats need their exercise, and this includes running or climbing. Inside your home, your cat can’t run freely as there might be lots of obstacles in her way. However, when outdoors, there’s a bigger space for her to explore, which gives her a chance to exercise and lesser possibilities of gaining weight.
At the same time, your cat will be able to engage all her senses better. It’s not bad to leave your cat to be curious about new things at times. This keeps her healthy, and it’s even better for her mental health.
The Outdoors Provide A Different Kind Of Freedom
Since the outdoors provide a considerable space, your cat has better freedom. There are no limitations as to what she can do. She can scratch whatever she wants to scratch, which is something you won’t appreciate when she’s indoors.
The Outdoors Can Offer Your Cat Her Own Space
Another excellent benefit the outdoors offers is that it gives your cat a chance to have her own space. There are times that cats want to be alone, and being in the outdoors will provide her with that opportunity. She can create her own corner in the long grass where she can hide when needed and roll in.
As you can see, the outdoors is an excellent place for your cat to be in. But, we can’t also remove all the dangers. This is where outdoor cat enclosures come in.
What To Do When Your Cat Won’t Use An Outdoor Cat Enclosure
As mentioned earlier, an outdoor cat enclosure provides a safe space for your cat. But other than that, it helps your cat stay healthy as her environment is enriched. She can get direct access from the sun and is also able to breathe fresh air.
But, what should you do if your cat wouldn’t use an outdoor cat enclosure? Here’s what you should do:
1. Find Out The Reason
There can be several reasons why your cat doesn’t want to use an outdoor cat enclosure. Here are some things you should check:
It doesn’t have enough space.
If you have multiple cats, the outdoor cat enclosure must still be able to provide enough space for all of them. They should be able to run around as much as they want. If they won’t be able to do this, then it somehow defeats the purpose of having an enclosure.
It doesn’t fit their lifestyle.
Every cat is different; what works for one cat won’t work for another. When buying or building an outdoor enclosure, you must try to identify your cat’s likes and dislikes.
If your cat likes being in tight spaces, tunnels might be the best choice to go. If they love spending time on windows, then a window cat enclosure might be the best idea and if your cat loves climbing, you should probably go for a multi-platform cat enclosure.
It is not comfortable.
Comfort should always be greater than the design. There’s no use to have a good-looking cat enclosure if your cat is not even comfortable staying in it.
Check the air holes. Is it too small and doesn’t allow excellent air circulation? Check if it can provide shade. As much as cats love sunlight, they won’t be able to tolerate too much heat for too long, so a shade is essential.
It is new to them.
Like any other animal, it takes time before they become familiarized with something new. Perhaps the idea of an outdoor cat enclosure is new to your cat, and she doesn’t trust it yet. If that’s the case, you should introduce the item slowly.
Your cat doesn’t feel safe.
Cats would feel scared if the moment they step on a cat enclosure, and they feel unsafe. Try to check the durability of materials, especially if you built a window cat enclosure or a balcony cat enclosure. These are sometimes high up in the air, and it would be a problem if it’s unstable.
This is also the same if you’re building a multi-tiered cat cage or enclosure. The moment your cat steps on the platform or a ramp and it wobbles, she will not want to step on that again in fear of falling.
As you can see, there are various reasons why your cat won’t use an outdoor cat enclosure. Try to figure out what that is before proceeding to the next step.
2. Address the Problem
Once you’ve figured out why your cat is not using the outdoor cat enclosure you bought or made, the next thing you should do is to address the problem.
Space: If there is very little activity space inside for your cats to play, then perhaps you should make adjustments to the size of the enclosure you built. If you bought it, try to return the product and buy a bigger one.
There’s also a possibility that the space is too small because of the extra accessories inside. If this is the case, then you should probably decrease the number of toys and accessories inside.
Comfortability: Try to assess the cat enclosure. Check if you have provided all of your cat’s needs. This means the air should be circulating well, there should be access to sunlight, but there must also be some shade, and she should be able to see what’s going on outside.
Another thing you should address is if you meet all her needs. Is there a litter box inside the enclosure in case she needs to go potty? Is there a bed she can nap on? The better you address these areas, the more satisfied your cat will be.
Durability: If your problem is in the durability of materials, you should change them. If the structure is wobbling, you should probably tighten the screws. The more stable the enclosure, the more confident your cat would feel in using it.
Design: Sometimes, even if you’ve got the best materials, accessories, and size for the cat enclosure, it will not be enough. Why? Because your cat can be very particular about what she wants.
Again, try to think about your cat’s lifestyle and incorporate this into her cat enclosure. Place some boxes if your cat loves tight space or place a scratching post if she loves scratching things. Always design the cat enclosure, thinking about what your cat needs.
3. Introduce Your Cat Slowly
If you think that you have bought or created the perfect cat enclosure for your feline friend, it is possible that your cat is scared of the cat enclosure in general. Anything new can be scary for this fur baby, so as a cat parent, you should introduce the cat enclosure to her slowly.
Place her somewhere outside first. Let her sniff the cat enclosure and examine it. Then, try to settle her inside. Introduce her to the toys, the bed, the hammock, the litter box, and other things she can do inside. Show her that it is just like her indoor home.
Don’t let her stay in there for hours if she doesn’t want to. You can have her go in there for probably an hour today and just increase it gradually as days go by. Little by little, your cat will be familiar with the place and will actually enjoy it.
4. Take Your Cat Outdoor Daily
Once your cat gets familiar with her outdoor cat enclosure, don’t let this go to waste and take your cat outdoors daily. This way, she gets familiar with the environment. Eventually, she’s going to recognize the fact that nothing’s going to happen to her while she’s inside.
Benefits of Using an Outdoor Cat Enclosure
If you’re wondering why you should go through all these to make your cat use an outdoor enclosure, here are some of its benefits:
Keeps Your Cat Safe
Anything bad can happen as cats are very curious. The only way to prevent these is to build a fence around your cat so she doesn’t get into any trouble. This is what an outdoor enclosure would do.
Outdoor cat enclosures are designed to best keep your cats away from any danger, which includes:
- Getting chased by animals.
- Getting into catfights.
- Being a subject of people’s pranks.
- Getting stolen.
- Getting hit by a car.
- Contracting diseases.
- Eating poisonous plants.
- Straying away.
Lessens Your Vet Bills
Because you’re able to keep your cat away from any danger, you don’t have to bring her to the vet for any treatment. You get to save money and for the long-term. This is the perfect proof that an outdoor cat enclosure is an excellent investment.
It Protects Birds and Wildlife
Aside from protecting your cat from any trouble, you also get to protect birds and other wildlife. Cats can be excellent predators, too, and their usual targets are birds. They’re the number one reason for the decrease of the bird population in some areas in the US. So, if you don’t want to contribute to that, enclose your cat.
Cat Enclosures Keep Your Cat Healthy
Outdoor cat enclosures encourage your cat to have a healthy lifestyle. Though they can have fun indoors, the outside environment provides them a different kind of enrichment. This is mainly because they have full access to the sun and fresh air.
Other than that, the cat enclosure’s set-up contributes to how your cat can get her exercise. Basically, the roomier the enclosure, the better she can run around. If you place some climbing posts, then this will better help her stay fit.
It Improves and Maintains your Relationship With Neighbors
We would never want to be on bad terms with our neighbors. So, if your neighbor is not a cat lover, you should make sure your cat doesn’t get anywhere near her backyard. It wouldn’t be nice hearing complaints from them that your cat used their backyard as a bathroom.
Gives You Peace Of Mind
Imagine reading your favorite book on your patio without needing to take a few glances to make sure your cat is okay outdoors. Wouldn’t that be great? This is the kind of peace of mind an outdoor cat enclosure gives you.
You no longer have to worry about your cat getting lost or going back to you with lots of injuries. You wouldn’t even have to glue your eyes on your cat all the time. With peace of mind, you can go about with your daily activities, knowing that your cat will stay safe.
With an outdoor cat enclosure, your cat will be able to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors without you having to worry about her safety. So, if your cat doesn’t want to use one, you shouldn’t just leave her be and think that you’ll just watch her carefully.
Again, know the reason why and address the problems. If you think there are no problems, then you should at least introduce your cat slowly to the enclosure. It takes time and patience, but once your cat gets used to this, it will be worth it.