Create a Cat Oasis Today!

Margaret MichelStarred Page By Margaret Michel, 2nd Aug 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/-9yxp3y4/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>DIY>Outdoors

Creating a cat friendly yard is easy to do and can be done for less than $250.

Cats

Cats make wonderful pets. They are great, loving companions and can be so funny, but I have four of these felines that love to be outdoors. And so...another great reason to own a cat is that it gives you the perfect excuse to turn your yard into a pet oasis.

This can be done easily by incorporating four fairly inexpensive and wonderful features.

Plant a Bird Feeder

My husband really likes birds and so do the cats. If you've ever been around cats, you know that they love to sit in the window and watch birds. They make this "chattering" noise when they see birds, because they perceive them as prey.

So we decided that a bird feeder would be a great addition to the yard. We found a bird feeder station (a pole with four places to hang feeders) for less than $20.00 and the birdseed feeder tubes for $5 apiece (total was less than $25.00.) Now my husband can watch the birds feasting at the feeders from the kitchen window. Plus the cats can perch on the porch railing and be entertained by the birds for hours.

Add a Bird Bath

I've always wanted a bird bath. So we installed one close to the bird feeders so the birds would have easy access. We also put the bird bath by the tree to help give the birds a place to land when they clean their feathers. Planting a hibiscus plant next to the bird bath gave them more "cover" from predators.

We happened across the perfect bird bath at our neighborhood H.E.B. in the outdoor section for $45. It was hollow inside, so we filled the inside with a 50 lb. bag of sand which we found for under $4. This way it wouldn't be knocked over easily by any animal. When we planted the hibiscus, I used some blocks left over from a different project to create a half-ring around the plant. We discovered that this also created a "step" for the cats to use to access the bird bath as they search for water on those hot Texas days..

Make an Outdoor Litter Box

The cats kept going into the raised tomato and pepper gardens to do their "business," so we decided to build them their own separate area for this purpose to try to keep them out of the other beds. We used retaining wall blocks to make a ring around a Mexican Fan Palm that we had planted in the yard. We were able to find the blocks for under $2 a piece, and since you can decide how big or high you want the area to be, you can control the price better. The outdoor litter box took 47 blocks and was two blocks high with a diameter of six feet and a final cost of almost $80.

The palm fronds, we decided, also give the cats some shade and privacy while doing the deed. We primed the new area by taking the "used" soil from the other beds. Now we just use a dog scooper to clean it out regularly and to keep the soil soft for digging.

Create Cozy Seating

Since all my cats love to nap either in the sun or the shade depending on the weather, we decided to add a few spots to do just that. We also wanted to encourage the cats to other areas of the yard instead of just laying all over the front porch. We found the right bench at our nearby flea market and at $50, it was a steal.

Since this area is on the west side of the house, it stays cool and in the shade until early afternoon, and that's where the cats like to lounge in the summer. In the winter, it is the perfect warm spot in the afternoon to catch a good cat nap.

With such a great oasis, is it any wonder that my four outside-loving cats are the envy of the neighborhood? Now if only I could discourage them from bringing home friends!


Read more by this author and her cats: The Best Reason for Having a Cat here.

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Tags

Cat Friendly Yard, Cats, Decorating Your Yard, Home Depot, Landscaping For A Cat, Pets

Meet the author

author avatar Margaret Michel
Margaret Michel writes poetry and articles about life and the human experience. She's an English teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, and lives with 5 cats and a dog and loves football.

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
2nd Aug 2014 (#)

We live rurally on a hobby farm, far from the road, and as such our cats are allowed outside and have many great places to go. In the city cats are not allowed to leave people's properties so many people either keep their cats in or have a cat section for them. For sure if your cat goes out and you have a cat enclosure it should have great elements for the cats to enjoy.

We have a bird bath but we do not want to invite birds to use it as that would be too much temptation for the cats, so it sits empty.

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author avatar Margaret Michel
2nd Aug 2014 (#)

Thanks for the star, Mark! We live semi-rurally, but the yard helps to keep the kitties close to home. I was reluctant to put in a bird bath at first, out of fear for the birds, but surprisingly, the cats just like to watch the birds.

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author avatar Retired
2nd Aug 2014 (#)

This is marvelous, Margaret! Wonderful descriptions and beautiful photos. Kitty Heaven! Congratulations on your star. Well deserved!

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author avatar Margaret Michel
2nd Aug 2014 (#)

Thank you Susan! I worked really hard to try to make this one "star" quality...doing the happy dance right now!

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
2nd Aug 2014 (#)

such a caring loving lady you are....and congrats on the star...

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author avatar Margaret Michel
2nd Aug 2014 (#)

Thank you Carolina and for all the advice!

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author avatar Retired
4th Aug 2014 (#)

It sounds a lovely idea, but I am puzzled. Don't the cats catch the birds. Mine does and I would really rather she did not. She's be in heaven with a steady supply but I would not. Other than that the seats for the use of cat might go down well, and the giant litter box.

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author avatar Retired
4th Aug 2014 (#)

ugh why can' we edit comments. I missed a question mark...

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author avatar Margaret Michel
4th Aug 2014 (#)

I know, I wish we could edit...sometimes my fingers don't work as fast as my mind. Actually, the cats have only killed a couple of birds in the 3 years we've been here. They mainly like to watch the birds.

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author avatar Sherri Granato
4th Aug 2014 (#)

(((Hugs)))...It appears that we are all coming together again. Cool article. I love cats!

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author avatar Margaret Michel
4th Aug 2014 (#)

Hi Sherri! Welcome! Thanks!

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author avatar Carol
6th Aug 2014 (#)

A great read Margaret, I love cats too

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author avatar Margaret Michel
7th Aug 2014 (#)

Thanks Carol, yes, aren't cats the best! People think I'm crazy for having 5, but each one is special in its own way!

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author avatar Retired
6th Aug 2014 (#)

Aren't the cats tormented by seeing birds at the feeder but not being able to "get" them? I thought cats were birds' natural enemies.

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author avatar Margaret Michel
7th Aug 2014 (#)

Oh, yes, I think in 3 years, we've seen the cats get two or three birds, but I saved one. Now they are pretty used to the bird feeders. They still watch, but that's all.

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author avatar Jack Goblin
7th Aug 2014 (#)

As always, an enjoyable read. Your cats are very lucky to have you as their support staff. :)

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author avatar Margaret Michel
7th Aug 2014 (#)

Support staff....I love that! Thanks for visiting Jack!

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author avatar Utah Jay
30th Sep 2014 (#)

WE have four cats, the oldest is Fat Boy he is 21 years old and 22 come spring, then Spooky Tooth, I found her on Halloween, then my cat Crybe, she never shuts up, but she loves me, and last is Mrs. Underbush, named for where my wife found her at the mall parking lot. We have lots of ground for them to roam and play, but we must keep watch for dogs now that Norda, our black lab and cat protector passed...Loved the article.

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author avatar AjaySinghChauhan
25th Oct 2014 (#)

very good post and thanks for sharing it with us.

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author avatar Bill Harbin Jr
31st Oct 2014 (#)

Great article. I used to have a cat I loved but now I have a dog that curls up like a cat on my lap. Pets are like part of the family no matter what variety you have.

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author avatar peachpurple
9th Sep 2015 (#)

Thanks for yr tips, i specially mafe a big litter box for my cat and her friends, it became a public toilet

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