Here at Refuge on the Ridge, our little hobby farm had grown in population over the past few years. I personally love the blessings of new baby chicks and baby goats to cuddle and hold. Most people would probably just rather get a cat and enjoy their little furry friend and not have to worry about all of the extra work that comes with chickens and goats. I have actually thought about how much easier it would be to travel and do more things as a family if we only had a couple of cats, but then life would seem so boring after all of this fun and all of my dairy eating options would be gone, so… I think we are just going to stick with the farm!
But there are some drawbacks to just having cats or dogs too. The main one for cats being cat litter. The tiny little pebbles get everywhere and the dust settles on everything within 15 feet of wherever the box is. Not to mention that the litter smell is not a favorite for anyone! After years of struggling with the stuff and trying everything from cat mats to boxes with little flap doors, nothing seemed to be working. The cats would kick the sand beyond the mat and refuse to go into a box with a door. We had cat litter dust all over our mechanicals room where we store a lot of suitcases and extra kitchen gadgets. Finally, the solution came.
This little cat kick screen is a light weight dust and sand blocker. I made a few mistakes as I went along but it mostly does the trick and we don’t have to worry about our luggage smelling like cat litter whenever we travel now.
I started out by putting the cat boxes into an old tv/entertainment center that we had chopped down to a basic bench and cupboard a while ago. Then once they were inside, I measured the height and width, leaving room for the screen to fit snuggly around the far side and top of the opening. I then figured out how much space I wanted to leave for the cats to walk into the boxes and set that as my depth. The key was to make a little board at the bottom of the entryway that would block the sand from flying into the rest of the room. My problem was that I miscalculated how the boards were going to attach and it left a little more height and a little less width than I wanted but it still works pretty well.
Once the frame was all put together I tightly covered the outside with fabric to keep the screen light weight and the dust from floating everywhere. It has worked very well so far to keep the litter inside that little area.
My advice to anyone who would want to make one would be to make sure that they have a clear idea in their head of how everything is going to attach before they start cutting and connecting the boards. I had the idea and then didn’t get to it until a month later and by then it just needed to get done and I rushed without rethinking or calculating what I needed. Oh well, live and learn!