live in Eastern Washington,
coyote country, so we practice
"coyote curfew". Every evening before dusk we call all
the cats indoors for the night. During the day they are free to
come and go as they please through their home made cat-door.
cats have an 8 foot high, floor to ceiling, sisal rope scratching
post. It is very easy to make one of these. The post itself is
made from a heavy cardboard tube originally used for a roll of
carpet. A tube such as this can be found at any carpet/flooring
business. The tube is coiled tightly with 3/8" sisal rope.
An 8 foot long tube requires 300 feet of rope!! I have replaced
the rope on this post several times - they use their post a lot
and wear the rope out until it falls off! The cats love to stretch
and sharpen their claws on it daily, and when feeling frisky,
they will zoom straight up the post to the cat shelf at the top.
cats' dream - floor to ceiling scratch post!
cat shelves are cedar boards, 1" x 8", covered on
the top surface with carpet and trimmed along the edges with
sisal rope. These shelves line the bottoms of windows and run
the entire length of one side of our mobile home about a foot
below the ceiling. There is a series of short shelves that are
positioned like stair steps so the cats can easily walk from
the floor to the window shelf and then up to the ceiling shelves.
Our cats love these shelves and use them as lookout perches,
sleeping areas, exercise tracks, and dining areas well out of
any dog's reach!
Faith sits on one of the cat shelf stair steps.
The cats also have, of course, the couch, bed, cat-baskets, boxes,
paper bags, cat-beds, and any chairs they want! Whenever they
want! Not to mention, plenty of home-grown catnip!
can do whatever we want, whenever we want to do it!"
- The Cats
cats have a plethora of field mice and prairie voles to hunt,
as well as birds to watch.
We have a very large (approximately 10,000 square feet) area that
is fenced with a 6 foot high wire mesh fence. Most of our cats
stay in this area, as well as our dog. However, some of the cats
can fly over this fence...the catnip is always greener on the
other side! Grasses and shrubs grow high in the summer making
an excellent mini-jungle for the cats to explore. Here they make
their own tunnels and bedding areas. There is a grove of hawthorn
trees that serves as a shady, protected place where the cats like
to sleep off lazy summer afternoons. Here they also like to play
chase with each other or with the swirling leaves.
surveys the hawthorn grove.
rests in his leafy bed.
and Spooky play cat tag.
are lots of logs, posts, and beams around for claw sharpening.
A catnip patch dominates the herb garden where the cats can stop
and nibble. We harvest and dry the catnip for winter use.
partakes of the catnip.
enjoys the catnip!
Sun, Moon, Midnight, and Planet live on another part of our
8 acre farm - a little house, art studio, and greenhouse which
are about 40 feet down a hill from the mobile home. Planet spends
most of his sleeping time in the barn or in the little camper
which is heated during the winter for him. Star, Sun, Moon,
and Midnight live with me in my humble abode next to Planet's
the cats have a cat bridge suspended over a pond. Bells jingle
as they traverse across it from a teepee frame to the roof of
the art studio. Another cat bridge runs next to an aqueduct. This
bridge is actually a large amadinda (xylophone) that plays random
notes as the cats walk along its length! At night the cats can
access a large outdoor enclosure (formerly a chicken pen) where
they can hunt small nocturnal creatures. They can roam the art
studio and greenhouse at night too. I plan to make a nighttime
accessible enclosure for the cats living up in the mobile home
on the cat bridge.