On yesterday’s Caturday post I showed the cats exploring a new platform with two cat cabins, that I built and installed under our main deck.
Here’s more info on the construction and installation process. It was a very simple project, taking only a few hours. I didn’t paint it or do anything fancy; it’s basically just a 4×5’ sheet of OSB, with some treated 2x4s underneath for rigidity, and some blocks on top to hold the cabins in place, plus a camera housing.
Since it’s not painted, the OSB will degrade over time, but it should hold up for many years, probably longer than the cats’ lifetimes. If it is still in use when it eventually falls apart, I can always whip up a new one.
Other than the second cabin, the camera, and my time, there was no cost (though of course those are non-trivial costs). The OSB sheet was one left from the chicken coop project, and the 2x4s from various other projects.
Here’s building the platform in the (messy) workshop. I used the new cabin as a template for the blocks, which were nailed to the OSB from the bottom. The two cabins are angled so their doors point towards the camera, for a better view inside:
I included treated 2x4s underneath to give it a bit of strength, plus hooks to hold the wires (some of which I didn’t end up using):
Me being me, of course I wanted to include a camera so I could watch the cats in the cabins. I bought a new one (I’m currently up to 18 cams!) and mounted it on some blocks at the edge of the platform, with a couple of bits of plywood to enclose it. The camera is waterproof, but I wanted to prevent the cats from knocking it out of position. The plywood forms a steep triangle to stop cats from sitting on top:
Here’s a shot of me about to cut a bit of wood, taken by that camera:
I then brought the platform, the new cabin, and various tools from the shop on a cart:
When I got there, a cat was in the old cabin, but departed after a moment:
I put the platform on the ground to prepare the site:
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I decided to install it under the deck, below the gazebo, to shelter the cabins from rain and snow. The corner near the swimming pool area is a few feet off the ground, providing enough room for the cabins. I excavated a few inches of the dirt to give a bit more headroom:
Here’s a closer look of the dirt:
I put the platform in place, propped up on some wood to get it fairly level (a slight slope towards the front for drainage):
Here’s the back corner, sitting on a rock:
Hooking up the electrical cords for the heating pads in the cabins, and the camera:
The power cords are mounted underneath with hooks:
I attached 4×4 posts as legs on the front:
Then used a spare bit of stained cedar (leftover from the pool deck extension project) as front trim, which serves the dual purpose of giving the platform more rigidity, and making it look tidier:
I also used another bit of the same OSB sheet as a wall, to provide shelter from the wind and rain on the pool side:
Here are a couple of closer looks at the cabins:
The finished platform:
As I said, a very simple project. But they seem to appreciate it; the cabins have been well used by the cats so far.
A picture from yesterday’s post, of Porcini exploring the platform:
A view of our deck and the platform from farther back (and if you look very closely, two cats visible: Pumpkin in a cabin, Porcini by the pool steps):
Here’s a closer view, with Pumpkin looking at me:
No doubt you’ll see lots more of the platform and cabins in the weekly Caturday posts!