The Wyndabbey Cattery, Part 1:
General Layout and Interior Design Of The Cattery

BY ABBEY & GUY JONES
Wyndabbey Maine Coons

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When we purchased our current home in 1998, much of the features we were looking for revolved around choosing a home for our cats.

We needed a home that would not only house us comfortably, but could include a general cat area plus separate rooms for moms with kittens, our stud males, and an isolation/quarantine area.

We also wanted to provide our cats with safe outdoor enclosures.

As we live on Vancouver Island, on the west coast of Canada near the US-Canadian border, the climate is compatible with allowing our cats year round access to fresh air and exercise if we could build an outdoor enclosed play area.

 

What we bought was a house that essentially had all the basics and through the years evolved into a wonderful home for both our human and feline families as we gradually made changes, additions and built outdoor enclosures.

Our Cats' Lifestyle

One strong belief we have is that we did not want to cage our cats.

Having said that, we do still maintain some of our home as “cat free” (ie. dining room and living room).

 

The majority of our cats,with the exception of stud males and new moms, have the run of our kitchen, family room and cattery room along with two outdoor enclosures, one of which is 20' X 10' and the other is 9' X 9'.

Moms & Babies

New moms give birth in our master bedroom, where they have peace and seclusion away from the other cats.

Babies are born in a 2' X 2' “birthing box” which is roomy enough for a Maine Coon mother but small enough to keep the babies close. The box is made of melamine plywood for easy cleaning.

When the babies are about two weeks old, mom and kittens are moved into a child’s playpen.

Once the babies are about 4-5 weeks old and starting to try to climb out of the playpen, they graduate to the 6' X 8' nursery room directly off of our master bedroom.

This area has been done with laminate flooring for easy cleaning and includes small cat trees and safe toys for the kittens to explore.

Once the babies are litter box trained, they then have full run of the master bedroom.

This system has worked very well. The kittens receive lots of personal attention daily and develop into adults with excellent temperaments as a result of the socialization they receive as youngsters.

The Cattery Room

Our cattery room is right off our family room and the cats come and go freely. It existed when we bought the house. We were told it was used as an aviary, which I found amusing. It’s a wonderful, bright room that features many windows and three skylights.

For furniture we have numerous scratching posts and a number of carpeted shelves by the windows and up the walls. The driftwood scratching posts are from Phoenix Feline Furniture.

Generously sized shelves are attached to the walls using "L" brackets large enough to hold the weight of the largest Maine Coon.

The flooring is wall to wall linoleum, which is very easy to keep clean.

The light color makes it easy to see any dirt or stains so that no spot is missed during cleaning.

 

We have a large, deep laundry tub set up for bathing the cats.

A roomy countertop is perfect for drying and general grooming.

The generously sized cabinets below are handy for storing cat food, shampoos, supplies etc.

There is a 9' X 9' outdoor covered deck that leads directly off the cattery room.

Numerous cat trees, shelves and toys encourage the cats to play, jump climb and lounge - providing lots of exercise for the healthy development of feline muscles and minds.

The Boys

Our stud males have a separate area - a 12' X 9' room directly off of our den.

The floor is linoleum and the walls are made of plywood instead of gyproc to better withstand the challenges of big male Maine Coons :-).

The walls are painted in a scrubable kitchen/bathroom high gloss paint.

The room is divided into two by a "wall" made of PVC pipe and deer fencing that can be removed if need be. It serves as a separation between two males who don’t get along, or a female in for breeding.

The PVC divider is made of 1.5" PVC piping. PVC can be purchased at plumbing shops, hardware stores etc. and comes in a variety of sizes. For our use, 1.5" worked best.

The wire is deer fencing. Because the roof line on this room is pitched, we framed in the top with 2X4's then used the deer fencing to screen. This left us with a 7' X 9' area to install the PVC wall in. The PVC was done in 3, three-foot sections for stability. The deer fencing was then cut to size and fastened with cable ties.

In one of the three foot sections we framed in a door (again in PVC). It was hinged with regular door hinges that were carefully bent to work around the round PVC poles. The PVC partition sits on T & X connector pieces, this lifts it off the ground and allows for cleaning underneath.

This also enabled us to avoid screwing it to the floor, as I didn't want to damage the linoleum in case we wanted to take it down. Therefore, it is secured to the ceiling and the two end walls.

The furniture in the stud quarters consists of carpeted shelves, driftwood cat scratchers and goofy, plastic kitty armchairs.

The plastic kitty armchairs are great as they can literally be hosed down and the seat parts are washable.

 

The stud’s room also has an attached outdoor enclosure that again is split in half and accessible from both sides of the room. The size of the enclosure is 9' X 20'.

This completes the description of the main indoor cattery areas of Wyndabbey. We have developed these areas over time and have been pleased with the way the design makes it easy for us to maintain a breeding program while still allowing our cats to live a comfortable lifestyle as of our family.

Part 2

The Design & Construction
of the Outdoor Enclosures
of Wyndabbey Cattery

 

Photo Credits: Photo #1 by Tetsu,
All other photos by
Abbey & Guy Jones

 

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