Sunday, October 12, 2008

DIY: Wood Pet Enclosure

Meeps has an appointment this Tuesday to be fixed (or spayed or neutered, whichever is the correct term), and was recommended by the veterinarian to confine her in a pet cage for 10 days. Reasons being to prevent her ripping off her sutures after the surgery. Now, both our cats are indoor cats. That already eliminates Meeps from getting an infection or tear her wound after the surgery. And after the surgery when the anesthesia wears out, she'll most probably be sore from the big cut in her abdomen, hopefully to keep her from being too hyperactive.

But then again, Meeps is a very hyperactive cat. I mean zooming up our row of sofas, then down to hubby's home office, up my old office chair to claw to the top, down the cubby holes of the coat hangers, then off to the sofas and repeat until hubby comes and stop her. This goes on for the entire day (claimed by hubby)until 3-5pm where she will take a cat nap. So, just in case this happens, we'll have a cage already in hand.

Bedframe crossbars in the background

I got these discarded crossbars from a bedframe to make the cat cage. In fact, two of these bedframe thingies of different wood quality and some unfortunately had grown mold on them. Minus the moldy planks, I have just enough materials to work with.

After taking the plank pieces apart, sawing them in half (from 3 feet long to 1.5 feet), I lay down the pieces on the floor like railway tracks. Partly I'm making this up as I go along, partly I want to see if the cage would be big enough to hold a cat litter box and room for her to roam in. Some of the planks are hard wood, and sawing with a handsaw is not that fun. A circular saw would have cut down the time I took by 80%. I'm expecting to have a sore shoulders+arms+legs for the next few days.

I sawed a lot of wood that day... -_-;

Next I cut up the thin wooden bar by half, that gives me the crossbars to hold the vertical planks as shown. Nailing seems to be a pain on the hard wood. Looked almost like a dwarf's picket fence if you ask me.

Each step as it progressed

The cage is not great, but good enough for its possible function to serve for 10 days. I could have marked, measured, drilling to precision, but I didn't. My initial plan was to have a swing door with two latches (top and bottom) to lock her in. In the end, since the cage is bottemless, we figure we'll just lift the cage up, while the other grab the cat litter box to clean out should be sufficient. Thus, we nailed the last side of the crate.

Of course, after fabrication, need to test them out. The cage itself weight almost 8Kg. Sufficient to keep her from tipping it over. Next, test subject: Meeps herself. Little Meeps is always curious every time I work on the balcony. So, we let her out and kept her in crate and it seems to hold. There are 1 spot where the gap is slightly too wide. Will need to fix that.

"Lemme out..."

Otherwise, it's good enough to keep her in, with enough space to lie down and rest. It is afterall, an enclosure to recovery, not a playpen.

Panya checking things out as well

Now we need to wait till Wednesday to pick her up after the surgery and keep her there. Fingers crossed and hope everything will go well. End of another weekend.


mark said...

great re-use of bed frame, bed/futon frames good source of lumber!

Lex Then said...

Thanks, I'd like to have a workshop/studio like you have but I guess hand saw will have to do.