Caging Wild Kittens
Making and Selling Cat Enclosures
By Steve Gillman - April, 2013
This is an excerpt (chapter 65) from 101 Weird Ways to
When we moved to our new home, the neighbor told us that three
of his cats had been killed by coyotes. We also found out that
indoor cats live, on average, three times as long as outdoor
cats. Of course, our cats, Jack and Opie, wanted fresh air and
to see birds without glass in between. The solution? An outdoor
cat enclosure. Ours is an eight-by-eight-foot cage that the cats
can enter from inside through a little door. Smaller designs
are meant to be accessed through a window.
More and more people are realizing that a healthy cat needs
a mentally stimulating environment, complete with fresh air.
Outdoor enclosures accomplish that. Most of them are currently
sold online as kits (see the resources section below), but some
fencers have begun doing enclosures and cat-proofing of whole
yards. Top-end enclosures that are about six- by- eight feet
go for $3,000 or more. Cat-proofing of yards costs more than
normal fencing because it takes special materials. This is a
great outdoor business if you like building things and working
Building cat enclosures is a relatively new industry with
little competition. Unable to find a local company, we built
our own for $110 in materials, and later saw similar ones online
selling for around $2,000. When we found a fencer with some experience
making animal enclosures, we had our whole backyard cat-proofed.
Current competition is from companies selling kits through websites,
and others selling cat-proofing fencing and related supplies.
You can go that route, but based on the amount of interest our
enclosure has generated, I suspect there is good demand for on-site
building of rooms, as well as cat-proofing of yards or existing
Since this on-site-building part of the industry is so new,
estimates of demand and potential profits are speculative, but
I can assure you that many of us cat owners do not want to buy
do-it-yourself kits. Don't limit your potential by pricing your
service too low. You need prices that allow you to someday hire
employees and still make a decent profit on each project. If
you did a job every weekend with an average profit of $500, you
would make $26,000 annually, part-time.
How to Get Started
If you have a cat of your own, build a cat enclosure for it.
Better yet, make two for your cat, using different designs. Connect
them with a cat tunnel (another product you can sell). Note how
long it takes, how much the materials cost, and whether you enjoy
the process. Take photos to start your portfolio. If you don't
have a cat, build an enclosure for a friend. The experience will
tell you if this business is right for you. You can find design
ideas on many websites by searching the terms "cat enclosures"
and "catteries." Check with local authorities to see
if building or fencing permits are needed (sometimes it depends
on the size of the room you build).
- Click on the tab for cat cages and you'll see photos that will
give you an idea of what is possible with cat enclosures.
- This site has some photos of the smaller window-cages for cats.
- Cat fence enclosure systems and components; a good supplier
if you want to offer the service of cat-proofing yards.
- A cat enclosure company in Toronto; photos from installations
in more than 40 Canadian and U.S. cities.
To see the "cat cage" mentioned in the book excerpt
above (the one for our own cats), check out my video on Youtube
Jack and Opie's Cat
Also, there is a great collection of photos and videos of
a more extensive setup here:
Enclosure With Tunnels
Those people obviously love their cats.