Many people own animals that are inside-only pets, as this prevents many problems for the pet owner. One problem is fleas from the yard. Another problem might be that there is no safe place outside for the pet to roam, and the threat of cars, children, neighbor's complaints and other hazards make a good case for keeping the pet indoors.
One of the problems of an animal never being able to go outside is that they do not get any sunshine or fresh air, or very little. A cat can sit in a window sill if it is available, and a window may be open sometimes. But this is a very limited world for a cat, and it limits the cat being able to see outside or experience nature.
There are a couple of ways to enclose a porch to give the pet owner extra space in which to house a pet. The most obvious is screening in the available area. This may be too expensive for some homeowners to hire someone to do it professionally. People who rent might hesitate to ask the landlord to screen in a porch, thinking that they will be denied. Many landlords will not care whether you install enclosure materials, so it is worth asking.
To have an extra area on your home in which you can allow your pet to roam is a very important factor in keeping your pet healthy and allowing you to have a home uncluttered by pet dishes, pet beds and other items. In many ways, this is not only giving your pet extra space, it is giving you extra space as well.
If you are a renter and are living in an apartment or home with an open porch, you might want to consider what it would take to enclose it. It is important to consider the needs of the pet and what kind of materials would be necessary in order to provide a safe area without the risk of excessive damage to the enclosure or risk to the pet.
If you own your own home and have an open porch, you may wish to explore the option of doing the enclosing yourself. If you are handy with tools, ask the landlord if you can put screen up to enclose the porch. Even an amateur can be creative in the type of materials that are used and the method of design.
The variety of materials that can be used to enclose a porch is amazing. There is, of course, regular screening which comes in different toughness. Some are called "pet resistant." There are sun blocks, which are rolls of various opaque, open-weave fabrics (synthetic) that let in a bit of sun, a lot of fresh air, and block the view of passers-by. From inside, however, one can see outside, albeit not always too well. Another choice is nylon bird netting, which is tough, almost invisible, and is easy to install anywhere with a pair of scissors, a staple gun or hooks and a ladder if needed.
Consider some steps below in your porch project. It is not hard to claim more space and happiness for you and your beloved pet.
Look at your porch with an eye to how easy or difficult it would be to enclose it. In this, identify whether you would need a staple gun, nails, hooks or whether nothing short of a company hired for that purpose would be needed.
Decide whether this must be a very professional undertaking to suit you and your neighborhood, or whether you can be more informal and perhaps do the job yourself.
Look to see if you have uprights that are evenly spaced. If you are thinking of doing the job yourself, this will make it easier for you when working with your material of choice. If you choose screening or sun block it will be easier to fit and tighten it.
Look in your local home improvement store in their magazine/book area for instructions on how to install screening or sun block. Even if you do not follow the instructions to the letter, it can help you get ideas as to materials and techniques that may save you time and effort.
Look online for companies that will provide you with information about mosquito netting. They will provide installation instructions, and some state it only takes 1-4 hours to complete a job of enclosing your porch at a fraction of the cost that a screened porch would cost. These kits are made to remove when needed, so you never lose the "open porch" when you want it. Mosquito netting is also very tough, but you may wish to order it by the roll instead, for a secure application that you will do yourself.
Do not discard the most reasonable of all enclosures if you have a cat, small dog or bird. This is bird netting or bird block. It is sold in rolls in the garden shop area of many stores. It is flexible, nearly invisible once installed, and the nylon will last for years. It is almost impervious to sun damage and is very tough. It is easy to install with hooks, a staple gun or even duct tape. It is very reasonable to buy, and you can do a large porch with two rolls at less than $8 each roll. Securely fastened, it should last a very long time. While it is tough, it can be torn, but it would take a lot of hard work to get through it.
Consider enclosing the porch using different materials. A combination of sun block, bamboo shades or screens can be combined to provide shade where you need it, and some versatility in how the porch can be used. If it is a sunny area, you may wish to select sun block fabric to be placed in those areas that will provide some shade, and keep other areas more open.
Surprise yourself in how much you can do yourself with this home project if you are able, for a very reasonable price. You will find yourself enjoying your new porch enclosure and you will be pleased that you did the job for so little money.
Get some advice from your home improvement specialist on materials and installation if you have questions, as they can steer you toward items you may not have thought of. Look in craft stores for hooks that just adhere to surfaces, even concrete, stucco and wood without having to drill any holes. Price a staple gun if you do not have one and think you may need one if you are working with wood uprights. Keep the project as simple as you can, using only what you need to to produce an enclosure that will suit your purposes, even if it does seem a bit unconventional.
Select materials that will not give way to an animal that may escape. If you have any concerns at all, spend a few days watching whether the pet tries to dig through the enclosure or whether it is not an issue for them. If you do have concerns after your enclosure is up, keep the pet indoors during the night or other unsupervised times. Inspect the enclosure for tears or loose places regularly.