Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Should I Get Them a Playpen?

I'm thinking about getting my boys a playpen. Actually, I should be a bit more honest; I'm considering getting a cage that we can put them in when we're doing something that would endanger them if they interfered with it. I'm talking about things we do like cleaning with chemicals or putting together furniture we bought where, if there are things that could hurt the boys if they are their usual curious selves.

Right now, when we do something the boys can't get involved with, we put them in their carrier. This past Sunday, for example, we had to put together a huge bookshelf from Ikea. It took us three and a half hours and the boys were in their little carrier for the whole time and they slept quietly but I felt terrible keeping them confined in such a small space. But when it comes to something like building a bookcase, we have no choice but to put them somewhere safe and secure. If we let them walk around while we were building the bookcase, they could have very easily gotten hurt in any of a dozen ways (getting under the heavy plants, eating a nail, playing with a sharp tool, etc).

Sometime soon, our building super is coming to repaint our bathroom. The last thing we want is for Arthur or Beowulf to jump into a bucket of paint or poison themselves by eating painting chemicals.

I'd like to have a little cage, just for such occasions, because we could could put food and water and even a little litter pan in the cage while they're in it. I've been eyeing this playpen because it sounds like it can be taken apart and folded up and because it has stairs and platforms. At $129.99 the price is a little steep though. We only plan to use this for special occasions and for floor cleanings.

Can anyone recommend a cage or "playpen?"

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don’t have any suggestions (I just throw Mishka in the bathroom when I need my private time), but the thought of your cats (or any cat, really) soaked in paint make me chuckle. I know it would be bad and stuff, but it's still a funny image in a cartoonish way. ~ Matt

Avram said...

Our bathroom has all kinds of dangers in it and, of course, our super is coming to paint the bathroom and will probably want to do so with the door open.

Anonymous said...

I've had many many cats and they learn quickly what hurts or is unpleasant. Don't cage them, just put them in another room and close the door when they get in the way. When cleaning, they smell the Fantastic and quickly go to their hiding spaces. My cats see the vacuum cleaner come out of the closet and immediately slink under the bed. You are over thinking this. Cats will not swallow nails. They will not eat paint chemicals.

Avram said...

The problem is that there really is no other room. The bedroom is filled with even more stuff that could harm them or that they could break.

Thumper said...

We bought a smaller version of that playpen for Max before we brought him home, so there would be a buffer between him and the dog. It's well made, has held up well to a couple of moves, and does collapse down to a reasonable size for storage. And I paid as much for our small one as that big one you're looking at costs.

Ideally, if you're going to use a playpen to protect them at times you're afraid they could be hurt, you need a space where it can be kept set up all the time, and open so they can use it at free will. That way they won't associate it with being locked up (which feels like punishment.)

If you absolutely can't leave it set up, make sure that when you put them in there you put treats and toys in it. If they feel safe and it's a fun place, they won't mind being put in there for an hour or two at a time. We keep Max's car carrier (its a HUGE thing) out all the time, and he naps in there. But then in an emergency we can throw him in there and be out the door in less than a minute. You can use the playpen in the same way... toss them in and roll them out the door.

Normally cats will run from the fumes of cleaning products and paint, but I disagree with the person who said cats won't eat nails. I *watched* a cat eat a nail once, and then I had to watch as that poor cat had that nail pulled out of its stomach. Same stupid cat ate a needle later... so you never know.

Anyway, long winded way of saying that particular playpen is a good one, at least IMHO, based on the smaller version we own. And that price is reasonable.

Wendy said...

You really do need a place you can put the boys when you need to work without their loving interruptions, as well as when you have things out that are breakable or you deem dangerous.

The playpen might be too big to have up all of the time, but it could be a good investment in having some time to yourselves in your own living room. It's a good idea to set it up open at times so they can play inside it without the doors closed.

The nice thing is that they can watch what you are doing from inside and therefore not feel left out. The platforms are cool, as cats just love looking down on stuff.

Avram said...

Thumper, do you think the smaller version is big enough for occasional use by two cats? I'd rather get something smaller than the large one, particularly if we are going to keep it out all the time.

Anonymous said...

The problem is these boys are afraid of no one and nothing. They dont run from the vaccum they attack its cord. They come up and sniff things when you're cleaning and they love to attack and chase the swifter, broom and dust clothes.

They are intelligent, curious and happy boys who know no fear.
~Liz~

Anonymous said...

I vote for the cage. The picture you posted looks good for kittens, but will it grow with them? How about a basic dog cage/kennel thing like they have at pet stores? You could put in a litter box, cat bed, etc., put it in a corner...I agree with leaving it accessable & open so they don't see it as punishment. You needen't keep the litter box in all the time, just put a temporary one in if they will be in for a longer time. You could put a rug or something over the top & sides too, cats love hidey holes!! Good Luck! -C.C.

socidoc said...

What a precious pic of your two boys!! I'll let others comment on the cage debate, but I vote for MORE PIX!! Thanks! :-)

Thumper said...

The smaller cage might work for two cats, but there wouldn't be any room to play. Mostly they would only be able to lay down to nap; there's enough height for them to stand up and turn around, but with 2 cats that would be about it. And the bigger they get, the smaller it will feel.

I would think that if you only intended for them to be in it for an hour or so at a time, it would be fine, but if you ever had need to keep them in it longer, it would be too confining. I suppose, too, it would depend on how comfortable they are piling on top of each other; my sister once had two cats that would have been very happy with the small cage because all they would have done is curl up around each other and snooze. My cat, Max, is very tall, and couldn't share it with another cat right now...he's just too big.

It would definitely be too small if you also intended to put a food and water dish in with them, and especially if you wanted to place a small litterbox inside.

If I were having to buy one now for two cats, I would probably opt for the smaller cage first, and if it turned out to be too small I'd exchange it for the larger. Most places are pretty good about that...if your order from Foster Smith, you can place the order over the phone and double check their return policies. It's a good company, so I would think they'd be fairly liberal with exchanges.

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jon said...

I was searching for cat and dog info and found this post. I agree totally!

Paul

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah - cats WILL swallow nails, mine just did. I was removing a cable fixing (small plastic thingy with a nail through it) from the wall, dropped it on the floor, the cat jumped on it and swallowed it before I could get a hold of her. A very intelligent cat, but also a compulsive swallower who cannot be kept anywhere around objects smaller than golf balls, or she'll snatch them and run like crazy so she can swallow them before anyone can stop her.

Meztli said...

I realy like the playpen you linked to. I was looking at a garden option for my indoor cat and I'm pretty impressed by that. But I'd also like to concur with the person who said their cat was a compulsive swallower - mine is too. She had to have a 1" piece of plastic broom bristle which had folded into a 'v' removed from her throat recently, where it had lodged. I like sewing and she likes pins - I've had to be quick to grab a few out of her mouth before now. I think you're being really sensible with the cage idea. Better safe than sorry :)