Sent to the Cat House? Make it a recycled one!

My wife some time ago desired to get a cat.

We ended up getting two of them.

Apart from the predictable concerns such as de-sexing, registering, getting collars with bells, vaccinations and all related phenomena which come with pet ownership, the issue of getting some sort of shelter for them to use also arose.

You don’t have to look too hard to find cat and dog houses for sale. Usually plastic or preassembled timber of unknown origin, it is easy to find yourself making a purchase without much thought.

Although it would take some time to do, I decided to try to make my own from recycled materials, particularly from found materials that would otherwise be destined for the tip.

And the magic of hard rubbish day and improperly discarded materials suddenly surrounded me.

Everywhere I looked, there I found useable materials on the side of the road.

And the (almost) end result is this:

The base of the cat house is a pallet with a particle board on top. The structure is some 4 by 2 wooden planks I pulled out of a rubbish skip, and was simply built by making two rectangles (which is partially viewable in the photo below of the cat house with the roof open) and screwing this to the pallet.

What appeared to be some type of skirting board found in the same skip was used for the walls, and some corrugated iron secured to a very basic angled structure made the roof.

The local tip shop had some old rubber-backed carpet squares that I used to line the floor and the inside of the walls, and which are all removable so they can be cleaned. Some hinges were used to attach the roof to the main structure so that it could be easily accessed.

Finally, some disused exterior paint was used to give the cat house some colour and to protect it from the elements.

Initially, I used the old fashioned manual saw to cut the materials to size. That was until I found a power saw being sold at a garage sale. This elderly man and his saw have their own history and now it has a new life (and has been used a number of times since).

A cordless drill was used for screw the materials together, an angle grinder (used quite cautiously) cut the roof to size, and a wood chisel created the grooves for the hinges to be attached in.

The only thing left to find? Some small diameter pipes. One of these will be cut in half and fixed to the side of the cat house as a gutter to collect water draining off the roof, which will force the water down another pipe to be used as a down pipe, and into a drinking bowl.

And, alas, an environmentally built, water saving cat house will soon be finalised!

This project has, and still is, taking some time to complete, purely due to the time taken to source the materials. But old pallets, discarded furniture, rubbish skips, are all great sources of materials that can used. It only takes a keen eye to find them!

I’d like to stress that ‘green’ pet ownership goes beyond the products you buy for it. As I said above, the cats have been de-sexed, registered, and have bells on their collars to reduce the likelihood they will attack wildlife. They are also locked in my shed each night as night time, for cats, is apparently the time when that are most likely to ‘hunt’ and cause damage to native, wild, fauna.


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