An English Cat Friendly Home And Garden

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

In our country most people believe in giving our cats their freedom if we are able to, within reason of course. Personally we always keep ours in after dark and when no one is going to be home.

We live in a cul de sac so that vehicles can’t fly along the road at the front and we always keep our front gate closed if we aren’t out that way with Walter and Jozef, so that any wandering dog can’t come into our front gardens and upset them.

A cat friendly outdoors

A cat friendly outdoors. Collage by Ruth aka Kattaddorra.

We have a wooden bench each side of the door for the cats to sit on when the sun is out that way, it’s very pleasant on spring and summer mornings sitting on the doorstep out there with them and having a cup of tea. Our back garden it totally fenced off with larch lap panels 8 foot high and in the back corner we have the ‘channel tunnel’ which is a cat sized gap for our boyz to venture further afield.

We make home a happy place to be with a huge welcome when our cats ‘clock in’ which they do quite often. Walter more than Jozef, we call him a yoyo sometimes he pops in so often lol

Jozef being half feral enjoys the great outdoors a lot, hunting mice over on the embankment behind our houses here. The cats have to cross a path where people walk and they are so very clever, we see them checking out of the channel tunnel before venturing out and checking from under the camouflage of the trees the far side before they come back across.

Down the side of the house in the gate dividing the back from the front, we have the ‘granny tunnel’ which is also a cat sized gap, we made this for our late Ebony when she was very old and found it hard to jump over the gate. She didn’t go out of the gardens but had the freedom to sun bathe whichever side the sun was shining.

In the back garden we have the ‘catnasium’ the invention of Barbara’s late husband John, thankfully she learned a bit of DIY from him because over the years since he died it has needed repairing and reweatherproofing. He also made some little wooden huts so they can stay dry while enjoying the fresh air even when it rains.

When we had four cats they would sit on a level of the catnasium each, sometimes go up onto the wash house roof to sun bathe together, happy days, sadly we lost our two girls Ebony and Popsy, within 9 months of each other a few years back.

The wood of the catnasium makes a great outdoor nail file and the boyz love exercising on the upright posts. We always have catnip plants growing but at present the winter has killed off the leaves, both boyz keep on checking to see if it’s growing back yet and yes there are some tiny beginnings of new leaves coming now. The grass of the lawns back and front is growing lush again too, juicy shoots to nibble on, which cats love doing.

Indoor cats miss out on grass, I wonder how many people bother growing kitty grass for them? It’s Nature’s remedy to help digestion and to help get hairballs up.

We’ve had cats for almost 39 years now, at our old home and this one, all have had their freedom, I can’t imagine trying to keep them prisoners and I feel very sad that in some countries it’s too dangerous for cats to live as cats like to live, enjoying their freedom, grass, exercising in the fresh air, the sun on their backs.

We moved house when our old home became unsafe because of cat haters moving in next door and as much as we love living here we would move again if necessary to keep giving our cats the quality of life they have the right to enjoy.

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

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An English Cat Friendly Home And Garden — 13 Comments

  1. It is just the way a cat home should be, English style. It is a bit old fashioned and when I say that I mean damn good. I think your article is a very nice snapshot of the English way of life for two cats whose companions love them. A lot of Americans should find this interesting. I do.

  2. lol thanks Michael, old fashioned is good, yes it is and that’s me too just an old fashioned girl lol
    I hope this article will help the American visitors to PoC understand how different it is in our country to theirs.

    • I think it is an excellent idea to write an article about how cats live in England. I think a lot of people will find it interesting. Also your lifestyle and the life of your cats is what I would describe as quintessentially English (for cat lovers).

  3. What a great article telling it just as it is in our dear England,I love the pictures too Ruth.I’d hate to live in a country where cats aren’t allowed to be cats and do what cats like to do,keeping mine always indoors would be far too horrendous for them and for me,but like you I’m glad to live in a good place for cats.
    I love the catnasium,what a great invention,John must have been a cat loving man,it’s sad he died.
    I too hope this helps Americans understand our difference,it drives me insane when anyone says cats aren’t meant to be outdoors,for God’s sake they are still wild at heart and it’s not right to deny giving them what we can to make their lives happier.
    I couldn’t bear to see the sad little faces of mine seeing me and the kids going out or taking the dogs out,equality for all in our house.
    Micheal’s comment made me giggle,old fashioned indeed roflol

  4. It sounds so good for your cats Ruth mine isn’t too bad either the two older ones just go out the back garden there is my granddaughters old slide which has a hole each side where they can go in out of the rain and the 2 younger ones are semi wild and make their way over the back fence then round to the front and sit on the doormat in the porch and its a side road so quite safe so quite good for us all by chance though LOL

  5. I love your catnasium! Jeff could build something like that for Monty. Monty has quite a few trees to climb and there are some cement blocks piled by the house that likes to climb on– I call that his cat gymnasium– but they aren’t as good as the wooden catnasium made just for cats! I can’t believe you have grass growing already. We are buried in snow again here and poor Monty just hates it on his paws, so his outside time today was limited to the area I shoveled for him back there. Yesterday, before the snow, it was just glare ice all over our back yard (garden)– I actually had my skates on with Monty watching from the window while I skated in the back yard. While he was out he stepped on a place where there was an air bubble in the ice, so that the thin crust of ice broke. I heard ice breaking and looked to see Monty about three feet in the air. It startled him so that he jumped straight up. Walter and Jozef are very lucky to have an ice and snow free playground. Monty is jealous. I like the little houses for when it rains. Another project for my husband. Although Monty doesn’t seem to mind the rain– he just plays out in it and shakes himself once in awhile but otherwise doesn’t seem to notice. I’ll bet he’d like a little cat house on the back porch where he can enjoy the outside but stay warm and dry. That might even be nice in snowy weather, but I wonder how we could make it so that the snow wouldn’t just all blow in there, but so that he could still see out of it and feel like he’s outside without getting soaked or freezing his little tail off.

  6. I’m sure Jeff could make something similar for Monty. I bet he loves the trees and cement blocks though, cats just love being up heights don’t they.
    In the bad weather we bring the little wooden huts on to the patio by the window so they are fairly sheltered, we have them side by side there today as we’ve had snow overnight. Walt and Jo just love going out in all weathers.
    I was out there in my nightie clearing the snow off the catnasium early lol but can’t reach the roof without a ladder.
    Our grass never actually goes away, it just stops growing for a while and we had some mild sunny days here last week which revived it. The snowdrops are blooming too.

  7. Wow Ruth – what can I say – I am so jealous. I really have to move somewhere in a cul de sac or safer place with regard to the roads. Your place looks just perfect and I love the jungle gym and the little rain houses.

    I grow kitty grass for my cats, and, believe it or not I bring in plant matter the gardeners pile up when the mow and weed the garden. They love to sniff and chew on it. It’s a million miles away from ideal and I wish I lived in a place like you do so I could let them out. It’s going to be so hard this summer not letting them out and also the anniversary of Red dying. It’s the one single thing in my life that is totally not right and not sorted. I have no doubt it’s a great pleasure for you to spend time with them outside. Cats are alive in their element when they are outside.

    • I am thinking of buying an apartment not far from where I am now (Putney area of London) that has a private walled garden of about 25 – 30 feet square. I could make it a cat haven. Ruth and Babz’s home, though, is the classic English deluxe arrangement for cats and humans living together.

      • That sounds quite positive for being in London. You will be so glad you have the outdoor space. You can grow a bit of grass there and make it so a cat cant escape. Make sure to grow lots of stuff and let it get overgrown so a cat can have fun burrowing through little tunnels in the undergrowth. They just love that. Cats don’t like big empty spaces I think. They want clutter. It makes their world so much bigger even though it’s smaller. There are so many more little worlds within that they can spend time in. Putney – thats not bad. It sounds like you really are looking out for a place then. Well if its going to be london then outside space is imperative really – and preferrably not a main loud busy road. A nice peaceful street where you can sit outside in summer perhaps and have dinner. London can be charming with it’s orange sky on a hot summers night.

        • Thanks Marc. I am thinking about it. I am not completely sure. I know London well etc. I agree the outside space should be lush with grasses and vegetation. That is my intention. The place I have seen is fairly quiet. And the garden is enclosed by a high brick wall – ideal cat territory. Quite small for a cat but outside space and safe.

  8. Hello both!

    Your garden amd home sounds just like kitty heaven! Your boys are so loved because you totally understand cats! I imagine peace, quiet, happiness and harmony in your garden it all looks so tranquil.

    They are very lucky to have mammies who love them and to also administer so much common sense when it comes to whats good for them and to keep them safe without taking away what makes them happy; you have really thought of everything!

  9. Wonderful Ruth! My Matthew was a stray for the first 5-6 years of his life, and now, wants nothing to do with the outdoors! haha You have a lovely set up and your babies have the best of both worlds! >^.,.^<

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