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Caterpillar cage

June 30, 2008

What types of cages or enclosures do you raise your cats in? My big aquarium has been thrown away and I have been using large collapsable laundry baskets covered by a heavy folded towel. I kept it in my garage. I had a frog move in for a week. He stayed by the basket watching. Yesterday I caught a lizard in the basket. I never caught cats escaping but the lizard was able ot get in. He was pretty fat, too. What do you all use? Do you buy them or make them?

Comments (16)

  • mboston_gw

    I used to be able to find the collaspeable laundry hampers with a zipper lid at Lowes. They were perfect! The best thing I have found to replace it was one of the collapsable pet cages. It is nylon with a net type opening in the lid and on one side for air. It works and is large enough for tall host plants. I don't like it as well, not as easy to see into but for large quantity of cats, it does work well. I didn't get the smallest one so maybe it would work too. I got mine at Target.

    I still rely on my aquariums and my two old laundry hampers. I do have a reptile cage that belonged to my son and I just kinda borrowed it permanently as he does my things too!

    Maybe you can check Goodwill or the classified ads to see if anyone has a cheap one for sale.

  • Michelle Reynolds

    I have 2 reptarium cages, they are black net with plastic pipe frame.
    I found them fairly cheep on ebay, they were new but used would be ok.
    if you are handy an old bird cage would work for the frame and use nylon netting or tule from the fabric store and make a cover.
    or small pvc pipe and netting


  • tracey_nj6

    DH, the master carpenter, built mine for me. I did the screening; what a pain. It's not perfect, and I'd lose a cat last year (must've snuck out the crack between the front doors). I put a piece of tape on the inside of the one side, then close the other, which took care of the gap. I keep begging for a 3' extension, as to fit my milkweeds that are 5'+, but it's doing great for the 8 BST cats right now. I have my potted fennel and 2 pots of parsley in it right now. I also put a piece of burlap on top of it, to keep the cats from frying during the heat of the day. I overwintered a BST chrysalid in this cage, which was out on my deck all winter. When we had the deep chill spell, I only covered it with a sheet, to offer a probably useless bit of protection.

    For my monarchs, I simply use Glad containers, cutting out the center of the tops and using to snap a piece of tulle in it. Luckily I don't have quite as many cats as some of the guru's in this forum. 8 containers at a time, in my house, really pisses of dh (like I even care, lol)...

  • tdr4

    Tracey, Your homemade cage looks like what I asked my hubby to build me. I even planned on no bottom. It looks like it will work perfectly. I already have the screen. Now I need to get him on the move.

  • bernergrrl

    Thanks Tracy for posting your cage--showed it to DH, and he may build one for me now too--he said he'd do it if it got the cats out of the house (like your DH, I suppose). :)
    Is yours right on your deck? Could I keep mine on grass--or would that put cats at risk?


  • MissSherry

    I've got reptarian/butterfly cages - they sure work well for me, keeping out wasps, stink bugs, and tachinid flies, and they're so convenient!
    I have some little 'critter keepers' for lep eggs - I put the critter keeper inside a reptarian cage, so eggs and hatchlings are doubly protected! :)

  • tracey_nj6

    Well, I WAS planning to lay it on the ground, but I have a horrible termite problem. I once put a wooden windowbox on the grass. When I went to move it a few days later, it was infested with termites. Same with using newspaper as mulch; lift that stuff after a while and there's termites everywhere. Unfortunately it's all part of nature though. Thankfully the lower half of our house if brick, LOL. When DH built the shed, DH didn't skimp and had a cement truck come in.

    Back to the cage. I simply refused to use treated wood, due to the nature of the contents. I might put down on the ground in the future; I can always build up the bottom with a nice stack of bricks or cinderblocks. Well, I did want a few feet added, right? I actually don't like the dual doors; one would've been better, & easier IMO, I don't really know. I saw somebody elses picture that had one door, but of course, that was after the fact. The main problem I have is that it's warped. Well, it was warped from the beginning, but over time, it only gets worse. The left side I permanently close using a long screw (after adding plants & cats), otherwise there's too much of a gap and the cats could escape. I believe I used fiberglass screen, although I don't know if I can verify that or not. It was very easy to work with & flexible, and I didn't shred the skin on my hands, lol. I actually had one part that seemed to have the edge of a cut exposed, and I started freaking out when one of my cats started wandering. She was right on the jagged edge, and I thought for sure she was a goner, walking back & forth over that part. Surprisingly, everything went well & she pupated elsewhere.

    My cage is heavy & bulky, and I always have the wheels turning on how and when I'll build a better, bigger one. When and if that day comes, I'll be back. I do currently have one idea in mind, something to do with one of my dd's old playhouses, which has a tubular frame that just has to be snapped in place. If I could manage to make some sort of screen or mesh cover to replace that plastic cover, it just might work! Of course, I can't find a picure...

  • tdr4

    My husband built a cage. I had him leave off the doors because I was afraid they would not close tight. He's not really a carpenter either. It is too big but seems to be working. It has no floor and I have to lift it up to feed and clean up after the cats. I have it in my garage with the garage door open. It is 3' by 4'. It is lopsided but like I said it seems to be working. I would like to try more later.

  • MissSherry

    I saw a cage at a native plants nursery in Sarasota, FL several years ago that must have been home made. It was square shaped and lifted up on one end like a waffle iron - must have had a hinge or two on the opposite of the "lifting" side. I'd like to try and make one like that some day.

  • rjj1

    Amber and I built this cage last year. We communally raise 43 cats this spring. Lost one cat because it just wouldn't eat.

    It was a blast. It was so much easier to clean than multiple plastic containers. We kept it in the garage so it got air and some sun, but didn't get rained on.

    It's double walled to keep wasps at stringers length away.



  • tdr4

    I had my laundry basket with 15 chrysalis in it. Three butterflies emerged this week end. I took it out and sat it on top of my cage in my garage. I had 11 left this morning. When I checked 2 or 3 hours later I only had 6 left. It looks like something ate them. It made me sick. I had already had a lizard eat one earlier this summer. That is why we made the cage because I caught the lizard in my basket more than once with my cats.I used to put sticks with a chrysalis on it in potted plants which I kept in my garage. That is where the first lizard got it. I even used to bring in plants with cats on them. Now it seems that lizards have discovered this. Anyway, I have positively discovered the hard way that lizards are a real threat, not just to the cats! Nothing is safe from them.

  • carolinagirl13

    thats crazy but, i mean that in a good way!!!

  • garnet69

    DH made me this cage last year. It nestles into a secluded corner of my raised herb garden. Essentially its untreated 2x2 and window screening. The front screen I velcroed (not shown) to allow for easy access to plants. I put potted dill and fennel in but it's not tall enough for potted milkweed so I bury a large yogurt container, fill with water, cut a small X in the lid and insert cut milkweed. Keeps it fresh and I don't have to change it everyday. Last year I went away for a week and left about a dozen cats that way with lots of extra food and when I came back they had all formed chrysalises and there was still edible food. So far it's worked great.



  • tdr4

    I like the velcro. Mine is just like yours minus the velcro, which means that I have to pick it up to get in it. I am going to make another one soon using the velcro.

  • liljagster

    I bought 2 like these (the jumbo size) but from livemonarch.org which I can not get to right now.


  • tracey_nj6

    Ah, garnet69, YOU were my inspiration! I remember printing out your cage and handing it over to DH! Too bad I didn't recall VELCRO; it would've made my life soooooooo much easier, LOL...

    rjj1; that's just sick, all those chrysalids. Absolutely incredible photo!

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