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4 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2010 - 10:07AM #1
appy20
Posts: 10,165

I am going to convert my tractor shed into a cattery.  I am afraid that my cats, as they mature, are going to be stressed by having so many in the house.  Some cats will not get along with others and there may not be room enough in a 1400 sq. foot house for them to get away from one another. 


My tractor shed is a large, high quality steel building.  It has a 20 inch concrete flooring.  It is about 30 by 30 feet.  It may be larger. I have forgotten the exact measurements.  You can put 12 average cars in it easily.  It has windows and a shelf goes around the entire building past the windows. It has a very high ceiling and excellent flourescent lights. 


The cats may not stay out there all of the time.  I will keep some cats in the house all of the time.  Only a few will go out there.  Here is the Plan and the challenges:


1)I have to get a new storage building to store my tractor. 


2)Have to remove the junk and get it to a landfill.


3)Have to air condition and heat it.  A/C is more important in our clime.  We don't get much cold weather but the heat can kill.  I plan to put two window units in the building. I may get the units that heat as well as cool. I was considering central a/c/heat unit and may go with that. However, I have had window units in my house when my central a/c was out that was excellent.  Window units would push up the time frame to complete this.


4) I want to include a yard with cat fencing in front of the building. 


5)I have to get someone to replace the flourescent light bulbs.  They are so high that I can't begin to get up there.  An ordinary 8 foot ladder is not high enough.  This may be my greatest challenge. I don't know anyone who can do this.


6)Pack some crevices with insulation.


7)place some kind of cushioning under the windows because they are high up and it would be a bad fall on the concrete. 


8)Get some cat trees. 


9)There is one regular door to the building. I would like to put in a door with a glass window in it and outside that door, put some bird feeders.


10) the lighting is probably good enough to plant some kitty grass and catnip inside the building. 


11)Would have to repair my barn feed room so that I could use that again for horse feed.


12)I will put the sofa and loveseat that the cats ruined with slip covers into the tractor shed and get new ones for the house. 


12) Maybe put a recliner for me so I can take my laptop or kindle out there and spend time with the furry folks especially in the beginning.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2010 - 10:09AM #2
appy20
Posts: 10,165

For the record, I have lost my mind.  Moderator feel free to delete this post.  I meant to post on Pets.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2010 - 12:42PM #3
Hatman
Posts: 9,634

Apr 16, 2010 -- 10:07AM, appy20 wrote:

I am going to convert my tractor shed into a cattery.  I am afraid that my cats, as they mature, are going to be stressed by having so many in the house.


True; i've inherited 2---one from my brother, one from my mother---and they rarely get along.

Some cats will not get along with others and there may not be room enough in a 1400 sq. foot house for them to get away from one another. 


My tractor shed is a large, high quality steel building.  It has a 20 inch concrete flooring.  It is about 30 by 30 feet.  It may be larger. I have forgotten the exact measurements.  You can put 12 average cars in it easily.  It has windows and a shelf goes around the entire building past the windows. It has a very high ceiling and excellent flourescent lights. 


The cats may not stay out there all of the time.  I will keep some cats in the house all of the time.  Only a few will go out there.  Here is the Plan and the challenges:


1)I have to get a new storage building to store my tractor. 


Is the building going to need a concrete floor?  If so, the formula for calculating the cubic volume needed is LxWxD, or length x width x depth.  In my calculations, i've found it easiest use the measurements in inches, then divide by 1728, which is 12x12x12, to get cubic feet.  IIRC, one 60lb bag of concrete equates to one cubic foot, but if you're going to pour a large area, it'd be best, imo, to call a concrete truck and have] them pour it all at once.  If you want more information about how to frame and level and finish the concrete, feel free to ask, for even though i'm no expert, i have a grasp on the basics.

2)Have to remove the junk and get it to a landfill.


Should be easy enough, what with your brand-new truck---unless you prefer to hire some muscle and someone with an old, beat-up truck.

3)Have to air condition and heat it.  A/C is more important in our clime.  We don't get much cold weather but the heat can kill.  I plan to put two window units in the building. I may get the units that heat as well as cool. I was considering central a/c/heat unit and may go with that. However, I have had window units in my house when my central a/c was out that was excellent.  Window units would push up the time frame to complete this.


Since this seems to be in the planning stages, you may wish, instead, to consider solar-powered attic fans as well as a solar-charged DC battery bank to run the A/C, perhaps supplemented by a wind turbine generator.

4) I want to include a yard with cat fencing in front of the building. 


By "cat fencing," do you think that ordinary chain-link would suffice, perhaps with a top turned in at a 45 degree angle to discourage the climbers?  These are relatively easy to self-build, and i've done several, so could give you tips if you need 'em.

5)I have to get someone to replace the fluorescent light bulbs.  They are so high that I can't begin to get up there.  An ordinary 8 foot ladder is not high enough.  This may be my greatest challenge. I don't know anyone who can do this.


If standing on the tractor won't work, i know that in my neighborhood, a 10' stepladder runs nearly 200 bux, so it may be simplest to just make a ladder out of 2x4's to the proper height, although this will be far heavier than an aluminum one.

6)Pack some crevices with insulation.


An alternative you may wish to consider is using a can or three of "expando-foam," a kind of insulation that sprays on (or in) with an applicator nozzle; just use gloves, as the stuff is REALLY sticky until it dries, at which time it can be cut or sanded if necessary.  Do a couple of test-sprays first 'til you get a handle on just how much it will expand, but try to do so asap, otherwise the foam will dry in the applicator tube, thus rendering the rest of the can useless.

7)place some kind of cushioning under the windows because they are high up and it would be a bad fall on the concrete. 


8)Get some cat trees. 


You might wish to combine the 2 above, such that the cat trees can reach to the window(s).

9)There is one regular door to the building. I would like to put in a door with a glass window in it and outside that door, put some bird feeders.


If you want to save some money, you could find a surplus window somewhere(like Habitat For Humanity's "ReStore" outlets) that is smaller than the door's width, then install that in the door---or cut a hole to the desired size, make a recessed frame(which can be done with off-the-shelf moldings and a miter box), and cut glass to fit that frame---then use glazing compound(like DAP 33) to install it.  As a bonus, you may also wish to do something similar to what my dad did; get this material---think it's called "silvered" something---that acts as a mirror to whichever side has more light on it.  For example, on my mother's back door, my dad installed these decals on each of 4 panes on the interior door, then on the storm door, placed a bird feeder.  During daylight hours, the birds would come and feed---and to them, the window panes appeared as mirrors---but from the inside, they were transparent, such that both my mother and the cats could watch them to their heart's content, up close and personal, too, like less than 6" away(though it quite frustrated the cats).

10) the lighting is probably good enough to plant some kitty grass and catnip inside the building. 


Yes, especially if you replace the fluorescent lights with "grow lights," which have a natural wavelength that corresponds somewhat to sunlight.  Buying too many at once, however, may alert police-type agencies to keep you under surveillance, though!

11)Would have to repair my barn feed room so that I could use that again for horse feed.


12)I will put the sofa and loveseat that the cats ruined with slip covers into the tractor shed and get new ones for the house. 


13) Maybe put a recliner for me so I can take my laptop or kindle out there and spend time with the furry folks especially in the beginning.


Good ideas.

Warmest regards-

Hatman

"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2010 - 12:58PM #4
appy20
Posts: 10,165

Hatman,


I had to lol.  My "tractor" is a garden tractor.  It isn't a REAL tractor. My truck is taller than the tractor and even if I stood on my truck I couldn't reach the light bulbs.   LOL  The building was part of the property when I bought it and it used to house very large ag equipment.  It is not very old and in very, very good condition.  


Cats don't like being crowded.  My cats got along before I added the last 4.  That was too many but I had to do what I to do at that time.  They may just be working out their packs but I do know that crowding is not good psychologically.  Plus, some of the cats are a bit wild for the house.  I actually have 7 that make perfect house cats. 5 are not the best.


I am not sure about the solar stuff though.  For one thing there is not attic.  The roof is metal.  I don't how solar panels could be put in. Plus, that is way over my head to do and would cost a lot.  To put AC/heating units would only be about $800.  It may be less because I may need smaller units.  


thank you for replying. I did post on the wrong board.  I don't know how that happened. LOL


 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2010 - 1:48PM #5
Hatman
Posts: 9,634
Appy-
Don't know about you, but when i post to the wrong board, it's because i have too many windows open at b-net, hit reply buttons on 2 boards, then reply to the wrong one.

And insanity is an unfairly-maligned state of mind, imo.

*grin*

BTW, if you decide to build your own semi-step ladder to the proper height to reach the bulbs, you'll want to use identical lengths of chain to connect each side, such that they cannot continue to spread wider and wider as you climb(which sorta defeats the whole purpose).

Warmest regards-

B
"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2010 - 2:01PM #6
appy20
Posts: 10,165

Hatman, I am too old for heights.  I don't have the balance I had when younger.  I would never attempt a ladder that high.  I need to find someone to hire to do it. 


As for the wrong board.  I didn't have multiple tabs open.  One problem I have with BNET is the screens jump as I am clicking.  I may have just clicked on the wrong one and just didn't pay attention once I got there.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 21, 2010 - 2:47PM #7
Katja144
Posts: 57

Out of curiosity, what's your reason for building it?  You already have lots of outdoor cats to house and you won't be adding to the population?  Are you planning on breeding (please don't, and that includes not neutering cats already there.  There are already too many unwanted pets)?  Taking in strays (in which case, what are your plans for rehoming and such later)?

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 21, 2010 - 6:25PM #8
appy20
Posts: 10,165

Nov 21, 2010 -- 2:47PM, Katja144 wrote:


Out of curiosity, what's your reason for building it?  You already have lots of outdoor cats to house and you won't be adding to the population?  Are you planning on breeding (please don't, and that includes not neutering cats already there.  There are already too many unwanted pets)?  Taking in strays (in which case, what are your plans for rehoming and such later)?





All my cats are spayed/neutered.  My cats are not outside cats.  It is too dangerous to put them outside which is why I want a cattery.  BTW, if you had read the original post, you would have had the answers to your questions. I have no outside cats so I don't know where you got the idea that I do.

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