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We've considered those too. We'll see how the baby gates work out since those are available at no cost right ... together to move as one unit. We also plan to get an air purifier to get the "basement" smell out.[/nq]In my experience, you would need a very good (and fairly expensive) air purifier to get rid of basement smell. If cost is a factor, you could also try something like a Deodoroc. We got ours at Home Depot in the section where they have house cleaning fluids (I'm in Canada, though, and I don't know if it's available at all Home Depots). It's just a block made of sort of a chalky substance and it absorbs odors very well (their website is www.deodoroc.com if you want to look).

Or, since your basement suite is probably quite large, Lee Valley makes one that is made of volcanic rock. You can find it at www.leevalley.com and the item number is KD401. It's called "volcanic deodorizer". They say one bag treats 4800 cubic feet, so you may need more than one for your space (they're 8.95 each).

rona

***For e-mail, replace .com with .ca Sorry for the inconvenience!***
I'm sure the cats will be fine. I commend you for not getting "rid of them." They are part of the family.
Gail
I think this is a really good idea. I know with my basement, there are no windows to open. We do have a door that leads to outside and we recently had a screen door installed so we could get fresh air in our basement. I don't know if the OP's basement has a door leading to the outside, but if they do, they might want to consider installing a screen door that can be locked so the cats can get some fresh air.
Lauren

See my cats: http://community.webshots.com/album/56955940rWhxAe Raw Diet Info: http://www.holisticat.com/drjletter.html http://www.geocities.com/rawfeeders/ForCatsOnly.html Declawing Info: http://www.wholecat.com/articles/claws.htm
People here care about ALL cats.
They have plenty of toys and one cat cave type thingy...you know the kind that's about thigh high, round with ... money or the cat towers that I've seen (that run $100-200) feel free, you won't get any argument from me.

They have decent cat trees at Walmart for $30. It comes in a big box and they put them on a top shelf. Then you just screw it together and voila.

Lauren

See my cats: http://community.webshots.com/album/56955940rWhxAe Raw Diet Info: http://www.holisticat.com/drjletter.html http://www.geocities.com/rawfeeders/ForCatsOnly.html Declawing Info: http://www.wholecat.com/articles/claws.htm
Great information, Rona. I'm going to check this out for my basement.

Lauren

See my cats: http://community.webshots.com/album/56955940rWhxAe Raw Diet Info: http://www.holisticat.com/drjletter.html http://www.geocities.com/rawfeeders/ForCatsOnly.html Declawing Info: http://www.wholecat.com/articles/claws.htm
go basement coming up the figure in a at door to could a pets.

Sorry about your situation. Get a folding (accordian style) vinyl ... "Its the bugs that keep it running." -Joe Canuck

Most basements tend to have too much humidity in the air and don't benefit as much from the air being changed by open windows as the upper levels do.
If you find it damp down there, you can make a big improvement by getting a dehumidifier.

"Its the bugs that keep it running."
-Joe Canuck
I think this is a really good idea. I know with my basement, there are no windows to open. We ... get some fresh air. Lauren See my cats: http://community.webshots.com/album/56955940rWhxAe Raw Diet Info: http://www.holisticat.com/drjletter.html http://www.geocities.com/rawfeeders/ForCatsOnly.html Declawing Info: http://www.wholecat.com/articles/claws.htm
Another option is a cat run beginning from the basement window. I saw one on a website somewhere they built an enclosure surrounding the basement window so the cats could get outdoors from there. I'd love a cat run for Miss Kitty, but have no building skills and even less money for that stuff right now. However, Lee Valley (I mentioned them in another post in this thread) has a composting bin (item number WT110) that I'd like to buy as an outdoor cat run so my cat can get outdoors more without killing birds (she has only killed one, but still...).

It's only $30 Canadian and much cheaper than similar options I've seen from pet websites, though it's only 36"x36"x30" a little small (more like a cat walk than a cat run) but still acceptable. My cat isn't one for jumping so I don't think I'd have to worry about her jumping out, but I think I would still cover the top with either some window screening or some chicken wire type fencing to make sure she couldn't get out. Or I could just use it upside down so the bottom would be the ceiling.

I still have to check it out, though, because I don't know how durable it is.
rona (who has no interest in the company except as a consumer and a Canadian buy Canadian, rah rah!)

***For e-mail, replace .com with .ca Sorry for the inconvenience!***
Lack of sunlight (maybe insufficient sunlight too) leads to depression and many times suicide in humans. I don´t know about cats but I wouldn´t keep a cat from sunlight. Do you plan to spend some time outside with him daily?
I am NOT a handyperson, but a lot can be accomplished with very little when it comes to amusing cats.
You could screw wooden boxes to the wall in stepping-stone formation or with holes between so cats can scale the heights to peek out the windows.

You could fasten a 4x4 to the wall with carpeting stapled to it (cheapo samples) for scratching post. Or attach ledges to the post so the cats can hop up. Or wrap cheap rope around a 4x4 and put it on a stand (a lot of work but very sturdy).
You can also pick up cheap slightly used cat furniture at thrift shops and rummage sales.
And so on. If are able, send digital photos to me campus cats address and I'll pass them on to someone who should have some good ideas on simple cat furniture.
I am very sorry about your hard times. Good for you, keeping your little family together.
Sharon Talbert
Friends of Campus Cats
Seattle