Our cat is a senior citizen. We needed a secure senior cat porch enclosure where we knew he would be safe but he could still bask in the sun on the porch as he has always loved to do on warm days
We think he looks quite youthful but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and maybe we are seeing and remembering the cat we have had for the last seventeen and a half years.
Keeping Our Old Kitty Contained On The Verandah
Why does our cat need to be contained to the front verandah?
His hearing isn’t as good as it used to be and if he wandered onto the road, it is quite possible that he would not hear a vehicle.
Our street is very quiet, however an elderly cat strolling across the road is not a good idea. He is also not able to run and jump as easily as he did when he was younger.
It is for his safety that he is now enclosed, when snoozing out the front of the house. He does absolutely love being out the front of the house, in the fresh air.
This meant that we needed an escape proof cat solution. Even aging kitties, as we discovered, can perform mighty escape feats.
We could have purchased a senior cat porch enclosure, however a home handyman will always want to come up with his own solution as you can see in the photo below. This photo only shows half of the enclosure. The enclosure has had many modifications to cater for – “the cat has escaped again”.
Another home handyman senior cat idea is the raised cat feeding stand for the same senior kitty.
Why Out The Front Of The House?
I don’t know what it is about the front of the house but there is a definite ‘out the front’ thing happening with the cats of this neighborhood.
Around 5 pm the cats are out the front of their homes. They might be rolling around in the dirt, waiting for someone to come by and give them a pat. Sometimes the cat may be sitting on a pillar keeping an eye of the state of things from afar. Some are just peeking out from underneath a bush ready to make a hasty exit if necessary.
Our cat, like the others, also likes to be out the front of the house however as he is now old we can’t allow him to go wandering about on his own.
He does love sitting out the front and once summer is over and the heat has gone, the front verandah is a nice warm spot to stretch out and have a nap. For his safety and our peace of mind, he can’t escape. To give him his cat escaping dues, he has tried.
We want to keep our elderly cat comfortable. What can we do? Here are ten tips to keep your senior kitty purring into old age.
This enclosure has had several modifications to make it cat proof. Although it looks simple and it is a simple idea, it did take some trial and error to come up with the now fool proof plan.
He did indeed escape several times when we thought it was totally invincible. Although he is elderly, he can be mighty determined and managed to squeeze through some very small spaces much to our amazement.
If he was younger he would be able to jump over the barrier or jump from the chair and over the railing in seconds but he isn’t able to do that anymore.
Practical furniture for senior cats is a set of cat steps or a low level cat tree.
How Long Does He Stay In His Enclosure?
How long he stays there really does depend on the weather. On warm days he can stay out there for hours, nodding off in the warmth of the sun. He is able to access the house so he is free to come indoors whenever he is ready.
He does have a habit of just popping back through the house occasionally to check out if his food bowl has miraculously been filled while he has been away. He can keep up this backwards and forwards pattern of behavior for hours and hours.
The needs of an older cat something that all cat owners have to face. Even the bed your cat is using. Will it now serve as a good bed for an older cat? Older cats tend to have more difficulty accessing high places and need beds that are easier for them to access.
What Happens When Someone Comes To The Front Door?
It can be tricky when someone comes to the front door. If any deliveries are expected I am conscious, that someone may come to the door so I am hyper aware of noises at the front of the house.
A couple of times I have heard “hello” and found people standing on the front lawn laughing at the cat. Most people seem to take it in good grace, even though it can be frustrating getting to the front door.
This is not a permanent solution however we are doing what we can for our senior kitty knowing that his days are numbered.
Is your cat an escapee when the front door opens? This article has some solutions to the escapee problem. There’s never just one solution with a cat is there?
Some cats live well into their twenties, so we could be keeping this up for quite some time. What comes next is up to the cat and his health. In the meantime, we continue to make physical modifications at home that will help to make his life a bit easier.
He has a brand new comfy bed. I thought he would most certainly ignore it but oh no, he has taken to it and it is his new favorite place.
Senior cats do have special needs. This articles outlines what to look for when buying a bed for a senior cat.
Portable Cat Enclosure Options
If you don’t have a home handyman, what are the options?
A portable enclosure is good for the front porch. Firstly, it is quick and easy to set up.
Anything too complicated tends to not get used in this house. Another cool thing about a portable enclosure is that it is just that, portable. It can be taken and used somewhere else.
If you find a perfect place in your yard for senior kitty to have a siesta a portable enclosure means that kitty can live it up and enjoy the warm sun or the cool shade, depending on the season at your place.
Just pop a comfy, washable bed in there, or in our case his futon and he will be set for a few hours rest and relaxation. Just keep an eye on him so that he can come back inside when he has had enough.
The portable enclosures here have been chosen for ease of assembly and disassembly so that it will actually be used plus from the kitties point of view, one that he can observe what is going on but in a safe environment.
Portable Senior Cat Porch Enclosure
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Another Catio idea
This catio can be moved to other locations. it is not portable in the sense of the enclosures shown above, however it can still be moved to another location. If you are moving house the catio can go too.
Some like this one, conveniently allow access from inside the house directly into the catio.
Do you think cats with missing teeth can’t eat properly? Cats don’t use their teeth like we do. An older cat with missing teeth or even no teeth will amazingly, still be able to eat quite satisfactorily.