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Old 10-29-2021, 05:00 PM   #1
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Added a Catio to our Micro Minnie

I recently added a catio to our Micro Minnie. It worked out very well. We recently went on a 10 day trip and it was a big hit with our two tortoise shells, Sadie and Sophie. First thing in the morning they wanted the window open to get to the catio and were upset when we closed it before going to bed. I also added screening around it so we could keep the window open throughout the day so they could come and go as they pleased. This is a great addition to the other two cat specific mods we've done, a loft above our bed and a screened enclosure we setup under the canopy.
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Old 10-30-2021, 12:23 AM   #2
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Hi Fred,
Even as a dog person, I must admit this is very clever. I'm sure the cats love it. Well done!
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Old 10-30-2021, 05:47 AM   #3
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Great job, copied it and sent to a friend who is trying to figure out a way to take their cat.
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Old 10-30-2021, 07:54 AM   #4
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Thanks Eagle5 and be happy.

be happy, if your friend wants more details on the cat mods, let me know.
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Old 10-30-2021, 08:19 AM   #5
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Hi Fred,
Our tortie seems happy when left behind with just the windows raised on our 2108ds. But your Catio is the cats meow, so to speak. Did you fab it yourself?
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Old 10-30-2021, 11:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine359 View Post
Hi Fred,
Our tortie seems happy when left behind with just the windows raised on our 2108ds. But your Catio is the cats meow, so to speak. Did you fab it yourself?
Hi Jim,

Yes, I built it myself. Let me know if you want to more info and pictures on how I did it. I think, I've already thought of at least one way to simplify the build.
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Old 11-03-2021, 06:13 PM   #7
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Great idea on the catio! I would like to do something similar. Did you install a cat flap for the window? I would be interested in more info and photos!
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Old 11-03-2021, 09:15 PM   #8
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Very cool. When’s the cat awning go in?
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Old 11-04-2021, 12:10 AM   #9
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Great addition! Lucky cats! :-)
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Old 11-04-2021, 08:46 AM   #10
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Thanks Flashman, Wyatt and macnut!

Flashman, I'll post additional info and pictures by the end on the weekend. No, I did not install a cat flap. I use removable screening on the catio to keep the bugs out and use the curtains in the window to slow down the temperature exchange between the inside and outside.

Wyatt, that's an interesting thought, I'll have to think about a catio awning for those rare occurrences when we don't have our MM awning extended. The window that has the catio is under our MM awning which is extended and tied down nearly 100% of the time when we're camping.
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Old 11-07-2021, 03:27 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Fred 2106DS View Post
Flashman, I'll post additional info and pictures by the end on the weekend. No, I did not install a cat flap. I use removable screening on the catio to keep the bugs out and use the curtains in the window to slow down the temperature exchange between the inside and outside.
Flashman, you may want to grab a cup of coffee and a snack before reading this post. It turned out to be much longer than expected.

Here’s how I went about adding the catio to our Micro Minnie’s kitchen window. I picked the kitchen window because it is the only window that is protected by our awning.

To maximize the sidewall space I had to work with, which was flanked by the stove’s vent cover and the door’s grab handle, I used this 30” L x 22.5” W x 23.5” H double door wire dog crate. I also purchased this crate mat.

See picture #1 below. To prepare the crate, I removed the side door and additional wire sections around the side door opening to clear the kitchen window frame. I also removed the round rubber feet from the bottom of the crate and moved them to the back side of the crate so they would rest up against the sidewall.

See pictures #2 and #3 below. Next, I cut a piece of 1/8” x 1 ½” X 1 ½” aluminum angle to 33” long and smoothed the edges. Prior to mounting it, I covered the backside of the aluminum angle with butyl tape and then drilled through the sidewall and mounted the aluminum angle using ¼”x 3” stainless steel machine screws, flat washers and locknuts. At the same time, I made sure the top of the aluminum angle was level and at the proper height so that when the rear of the crate was resting on the top of it, the crate opening would clear the kitchen window frame. With some additional planning, I was also able to use the kitchen cabinet framing for additional support for the machine screws. I drilled my ¼” holes from the inside out, making sure I kept my drill bit as level and perpendicular as possible. Mounting the aluminum angle is the most important step since it is the foundation for the catio.

See pictures #2, #4, #5, and #6 below. Next, I drilled through the sidewall to mount the two ¼” eyebolts using butyl tape, fender washers and locknuts. These eyebolts are used as anchors for the screen door braces that support the top of the crate. I also drilled these ¼” holes from the inside out using the door frame and ceiling as initial reference points so the eyebolts would be in close alignment with the outside edges of the crate and 8” below the ceiling. There was nothing special about these eyebolt locations, except they allowed me to drill holes without interference from inside structures. I also shorten and dressed the eyebolts so their threads would just extend past the locknuts.

See picture #9 below. A note about the two screen door braces, after some trial and error, I ended up only using the left-hand threaded rod from each kit. I replaced the included aluminum turnbuckle with a steel one and I replaced the right-hand threaded rod with a long threaded J-Hook. I used a vice to bend the hook on the end of the left-hand threaded rod.

See pictures #2, #6 and #7 below. To anchor the bottom rear of the crate to the aluminum angle, I used #10 J-Hooks with spacers and wing nuts. With the rear of the crate setting on the aluminum angle and the screen door braces supporting the top of the crate, I made sure the kitchen window would open and close properly. I then marked where the bottom outside wires of the crate were located on the aluminum angle and used those marks to locate where I wanted to drill to mount the #10 J-Hooks.

See pictures #6, #8 and #9 below. Next, I added window screening to cover the top, sides and front of the crate. The screening that covers the top and sides is one piece and wraps around the crate and is held in place by three bungee cords. To get the length of this piece, I added the length of the top (30”), bottom (30”) and the height of both sides (23”+ 23”) and then subtracted 10”, this gave me a total length of 96”. I made the width of this piece 23“. After cutting this 96” x 23” piece of screening, I enclosed both ends using Gorilla duct tape and then added three tarp eyelets to each end. I place this screening over the top and down the sides and around the bottom and connect the ends with bungee cords using the tarp eyelets. To cover the front of the crate, I built a framed window screen using a window screen kit I picked up at HD. To keep this screen in place I used two pieces or bungee cord which are attached to the top and bottom of the crate.

See picture #10 below. A final picture looking from the kitchen area out to the catio.

Some additional thoughts…after building this catio and thinking about how the build could be simplified, I believe you could simplify the build by using double sided VHB tape to mount the aluminum angle instead of using machine bolts. The same is probably true for the eyebolts; I would think you could use short pieces of aluminum angle mounted vertically with a ¾” hole drilled through the one side to act as the eyebolt would. As long as you have a smooth surface to mount the aluminum angle to and covered the whole contact surface with VHB tape. I haven’t researched which VHB tape may work best, but I would probably contact 3M and ask for their recommendation.

I hope this information helps and gives you some ideas for adding a catio. Let me know if you need additional information or if something isn't clear.

Fred
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