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Our cat is a senior citizen.
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.
His old age did seem to sneak up on us.
Why does he needs to be contained on the front verandah?
There are several reasons. 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 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.
There are many wonderful cat enclosures, however a home handyman will always come up with his own solution as you can see in the photo below. This photo only shows half of the enclosure.
Another home handyman cat idea is the raised cat feeding stand for the same senior kitty.
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 all out the front. They might be rolling around, waiting for someone to come by and give them a pat or sitting on a pillar keeping an eye of the state of things from afar or 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, although to give him his cat escaping dues, he has tried.
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 foolproof plan.
He did indeed escape several times when we thought it was 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 but he isn’t able to do that anymore.
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, 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.
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.
Some cats live well into their twenties, so 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.
If you don't have a home handyman, what are the options?
A portable enclosure is good for the front porch. Firstly, it will be 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, so if you need to take it somewhere else, that is an easy thing to do.
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.
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.
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.
We would also love to hear about any modifications you have made in your home for your senior cat.
Senior cats do have special needs. This articles outlines what to look for when buying a bed for a senior cat.