Cat trees. The real deal

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cat tree with nice bengal hug attachment

Cat trees. The real feel

Maybe it’s because it’s the thing I will miss the most or maybe it’s because It’s taken so long to get here….

cat trees aren’t just trees to me….

Catworks is known for the most is the incredible climbing things that pop out of our brains. After working with cats for years we could (eventually) see how they moved and wanted to climb.

Cat climbing … Origins

giant cat climbing rope gives me so many angles to climb…. nope. planning stage first….  yawn…. then attack….

It is not fair to say that this “discovery” was there from the start (we were just carpenters after all)…

OK cats we have 3 shelves for you on the wall … on the freaking wall … It’s amazing! climb up there!  OK now that’s awesome you are on the wall… amazing! Now climb down and do it again over and over…

Hey, why aren’t you still doing it a few weeks down the track? Cat shelves on the wall, what more do you need you spoiled cats?

We started out thinking we knew cats; it became apparent (eventually) that cats will spend more time doing active cat-like things if they have a more active cat-like space.

New thinking

With time and scientific testing (gravity is science) we found most cats are actually insane… so we needed to be even more insane.

We now think in 3D… kind of like the way cats do. Cats climb differently … and think differently. Cats jump, balance and climb at any angle in any given space (especially the ones the are not meant to).  Why were we working in 2 dimensions when most cats work in 4 dimensions (eat, play, sleep, sneak attack ankles).

Cats love height; looking down at the help puts them in their place

Cats love shredding things; give them something to shred outside…. away from the furniture.

Cats love jumping; place anything at height within sight of anything else  at height and it is all about the challenge… not the landing

Cats love having retreat spaces: for when they have been naughty (or while they are planning to be )

Cats love being in “real” trees; height, cover, angles, shredding bark…. Natural ropes and cat trees: The all-in-one natural play thing of choice for 87 percent of cats tested.

***Catworks does not test on live animals; we hire university students that get paid very little to wear the cat suit, meow and jump from tree to tree. The 13 percent that didn’t like the natural tree are the ones that liked the marine carpet and just keep touching it..***

Product development

3D cat climbing works best for 3D cats

It’s hard to perfect something that nature built for cats to enjoy, we just work work it.

Angles,  height and the ability to use our cat climbing in ways that we really wouldnt have thought possible in 2D

Thinking around trees and natural climbing is the area that continues to evolve and grow (like trees) …

we love it and it’s very easy to see, cats trees are for them (cats) and cat trees are for me ( manchild with tree house tendancies)

want to see our cat enclosures; click here











What is a cat cage?

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What is a cat cage?

aluminium cat cage

Built to be removed easily this cat enclosure is cleverly hidden by the handrail.


When you picture a cat cage you may not think freedom in the outdoors could ever be had from inside one; you would be right. Why would a pet enclosure company say that?

Unfortunately, in many cases a free standing enclosure or portable enclosure is the only practicle option. If you renting, move house often or have no practical space for a large area you may not have a better choice. Freee standing cat enclosures are in many cases the only practical way for cats to see the outdoors…. so why do they have to be so boring?

It would be good to say that at catworks we never had to build cat cages; it would however not be true at all… It was the first enclosure type that we ever built. We worked with powder coated wire mesh and built enclosures that could be easily assembled, disassembled and moved often.

Portable cat enclosures were the first type of pet enclosure that we ever built. We worked with powder coated wire mesh and built “cages” that could be easily assembled, disassembled and moved often. It was good seeing cats get some outdoors time but it never really felt like “enough”. It took a couple of years to realise that while cats did enjoy going outside they needed “more ” to keep them wanting to be out there.

Introducing “outdoor cat tree” INSIDE portable enclosure

By building a nicer (often larger) type free standing enclosure; people are capable of walking in and out easily. We add climbing things and hammocks to get as high as possible. By adding extra height into your free standing enclosure it will give the cats almost “double” the floor area amd a nice place to peer down on you from.

After realising some of the freedoms of being outside could be added INTO these free standing enclosures we started to have some fun…. and so did the cats. By adding heights from cat trees, shelves and ropes; cats would spend more time out in the enclosures and we started having more fun building them. Previous to this our basic cages had only a few cat shelves  modelled off only what was available at the time. Now we add things like Giant ropes, bridges, cat trees and hammocks making them more fun to build too…


pet enclosure with pet toys

a close up view of out cat play things at the canterbury vet inside a freestanding cat enclosure (mostly)

Cages don’t have to be terrible. the are often the only practical solution so it just comes down to making them as fun and as practical as possible.

Need more info? click here to get back

Run cat run, side alley cat enclosure

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A side alley, a side-way… i have one of those!

It’s just a long space at the side of our house with a few small trees, a laundry door and it’s all out of the way… Oh well I guess it’s just space we wont ever utilize …

Wait a minute maybe we could turn that space into a long cat run to tire out those pesky girls… Maybe the cats will even let us sleep through the night ***This is not a Catworks guarantee, cats that are terrors will always remain terrors but hey you love them anyway***

By far the most cost effective and unobtrusive style of animal enclosure to build. Side of house enclosures typically are long narrow runs. Netting is set at height from the house down to the fence is the most common form. Most cat enclosures of this type are on a more “out of sight” side of the house helping maintain the “normal” appearance of the house (and cat owner).

Giving them cat run height

Long enclosures by design the best feature by far is “the long run” the ability to place climbing trees along parts of the length encourage running jumping and pestering at both ends… with the help of some neighborhood birds this can lead to hours of fun; pretending to be real cats while being in the safety of enclosure… kind of like glamping or such in human terms.

The best side alley cat enclosure play equiptment.

Natural ground with mulch is best added as this can give play and the “outside toilet” area required for cat sanitation (and human sanity). If the side area is “all concrete” we encourage; as much “off the ground” time as possible. Lots of plants and shrubs for cover and different types of ground cover can be added. In either a nice (draining) raised mulch bed in the open air is a very nice solution to encourage “going outside”. A clean pine bark mulch fill will help eliminate odors and can be re-used in the garden when it’s time for a clean out. I promise i have never talked about cat toileting so much…

cat gates

We are careful to either include nice access for people or exclude access for security reasons…? Add the best gate and locking combination. Want total control ? Add special locks or only a lock to your side to make sure you don’t have the worry of the gardener letting that cats out.

need another option go back to Enclosure designs for a look

A nice unobtrusive all access netted gate to a side alley enclosure.

Life inside the backyard cat enclosure

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Cats: We need a cat enclosure so we can go outside

Us: We can just cover over the whole backyard with the cat netting! this will include you, your parents and your friends all out there together. Imagine never having to worry about leaving open the doo…

Normal person response: Whoa! Let me just cut you off right there. Are you some sort of crazy person? what will my neighbours think? what kind of fantasy world do you live in? just build me a cage!

Crazy cat person response: Shut up… when can you build this magical backyard cat enclosure land… ?

While we did begin building “Cat Cages” early on and while still serving the given purpose of “getting the cats outside and being safe” they just don’t give the same “freedom” to pets and humans alike.

Full backyard cat netting enclosures would have to be the best form of cat containment around. Aside from letting your cats roam the streets these enclosures give your cats the most space to enjoy. We are able to net over your entire yard and it may even turn out to be affordable….more on that later.

When readying yourself for exit into rear yard to you spend time checking the area for little cat ninjas hidden under the couch ready to run through the open door at any chance? Do you constantly worry that those little ninja cats have finally worked out the back door handle? you should read on.

A simple but often underappreciated use of the rear yard would have to be hanging out the washing not having to worry about a tortoise blur speeding past and climbing over the fence (Him: taking just a pause to let you know he has won this time). Being able to entertain people in the rear area without having to subdue the cats with catnip/warm-milk in the laundry for the night is also a good thing.

Netting is unobtrusive, pre-stretched and heat-set. Our netting is guaranteed for 7 years for any manufacturing or degradation fault. Sick of those pesky neighbourhood kids kicking the ball into your yard? A thing of the past with Catworks’s all-in-one wonder ball stopper netting. Do you like sharing your fruit trees with neighbourhood pests? Secured taught to exclude birds from entry, possums can climb all over the top but “none shall enter”. Your not so friendly neighbourhood cats will be VERY annoyed that they are not welcome inside your space.

Freedom to climb.

Cat climbing things can easily be added to our fully enclosed spaces very safely! Often Trees the favourite climbing things of all cats are ready in the yard to use; we just may have to net around them by climbing them as well. Trees are a very integral part of our constructions!

cat enclosure climbing inside our backyard cat enclosure

natural recycled cat climbing at it’s finest

Freedom for all pets! Do you have an unruly swarm of cats/dogs/birds under your feet most of the time? Order the Lot of them “OUTSIDE!” so you can maybe get some of your own cheese platter this time… naughty bird! All backyard enclosures can be dog enclosures to. While this does not mean much to a pure bred crazy cat person… keeping dogs and cats together can be done and is often done well in enclosed spaces… so long as the cat has somewhere high to tease the dog from.

How could a backyard enclosure be affordable?

Have a look at the example case we mentioned earlier:

Example case: a 10 x 4-meter backyard: we could build a free standing enclosure of 2mt wide x 5mt long and 2mt high taking away some space from the people and giving it to the cats: posts, roof, 2-3 walls and a gate…. OR… net the whole area from up on the house to the fence a huge 40 mt2 space for every-creature… whoa!? How can the free standing enclosure be the similar cost to a huge netted area? While it does seem odd many times we have been able to build large enclosures cheaper than the price of two or three “cages” (shudders)

We take what is already there in terms of structure and using our sharp carpentry skills we use it to our advantage; by not adding too many new structures the netting becomes much harder to notice as well.

One of the best cat enclosure systems we currently offer.

Not convinced? head back to enclosure Designs for more ideas

backyard cat netting around tree

cat enclosure with a tree growing through it

Welcome Tim and Rachel

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This is just a test blog so if you are seeing this look away now…. it’s not ready!

the idea is to introduce Tim and Rachel with a nice (well very cheesy) photo…

I think first we should add some info (and photo) of where it all began for Tim e.g.

Tim started with Catworks back in 2009, here is an embarassing photo of him; health issues, self esteem issues and questionable hygiene clearly showing.

Tim is stepping up as the new owner of catworks and is shown here like the beautiful butterfly has finally emerged… no well not quite… that’s Rachel his partner who obviously has a very kind heart 🙂

Ben Rachel Tim

wishing Tim and Rachel all the best in continuing (and improving) catworks well into the future

Catworks is… Different

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Catworks was developed from a pure goal with an aim to provide customers the best quality, lowest priced animal enclosures to suit….

BAH! here is the real story

In 2007 a regular everyday carpentry business was guilted by friends and family into building animal enclosures! “we need an enclosure and they are so expensive and hard to find, can you build it! please ??? ”

The early animal enclosures we found were very expensive, clinical and bleak, not many creative thoughts were had and the basic idea was; keep animal healthy and inside enclosure and the enclosure will be a success!

Our first enclosures were sadly modeled off what was available; mostly wire mesh cages with cage A. for shelter and cage B. here for sleeping; maybe it would get creative and have tunnel C. to link them… for some unknown reason (at the time) these types of pet enclosures gave no joy to animals… or to us when building them…

It was in 2009 that a local Vet introduced us to the proper use of cat netting! We were able to cover a huge multi-animal space by attaching netting to the house and fence. With the freedom of size and space for all; cat enclosures became so much more fun and creative… and not just for the cats.(netting was mainly used by us previously in our Bird proofing and small custom cat enclosures)

We could now cover a whole yards with netting and let cats be free in larger areas …even with their people too… Cage a. was no longer needed as cats would go inside if it was raining via a cat door. Cage B. became redundant because cats rarely slept; outside was for cat play time, running, stalking, climbing and… toileting.

By 2010 Catworks was Very official… we had a good name and some t-shirts… 95 percent of the cat enclosures were now built with cat netting. Our surplus wire mesh reserves were now mainly used as extra protection of the netting from dogs and foxes etc.

Pictures of some of our new crazy cat spaces were posted on various sites and cat enclosures took a life of it’s own! Since then ( it’s seasonal… when it’s cold we don’t like the outdoors either) demand has been hard to keep up with; as a result not much has been posted or advertised for a long time.

crazy cat enclosure with so many trees

This is all changing.

Tim, the first official employee of Catworks (starting even before the official launch) is taking over the business!

Ben is taking an even bigger step back to be around more for his young family (some are humans) leaving Tim to continue on … with Ben eventually in the background.

Tim would have to be one of the only carpenters to ever complete a carpentry apprenticeship whilst building decks, pergolas and animal enclosures… Tim is quite good at building animal enclosures for having only 8 years experience … 🙂

Tim is hoping to Improve on the current model i.e he’s able put more time and love into it than Ben can… maybe he’ll even advertise one day…

Our dog enclosures and kennels took a back seat for a while, Tim hopes to build more while continuing to build some of the most creative and fun cat enclosures around…

A dog kennel big enough for a horse

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