Beautiful Dog Yards or Dog Runs, Stimulating Cat Porches or Catios, Planted Aviaries, Backyard Chicken Enclosures, Tortoise Habitats & More for Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indian Wells, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, the Coachella Valley and Southern California
We know animals. All kinds of animals. We have over 40 years of experience with all kinds of animals. We know what they need, what they like, how they think and behave, the kinds of environments and enclosures that are right for them, how they interact with their environments and what environmental components are either good or bad for them.
Palm Desert Cat Porch Nov 2017
We built this cat porch for a lovely woman who just moved from Santa Barbara to Palm Desert to be near her daughter and other family. Her lucky cat now has a large, safe outdoor space to get exercise, fresh air, sunshine and mental stimulation.
Serving Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indian Wells, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, the Coachella Valley and Southern California.
Dog Yards and Dog Runs for Palm Springs and Southern California
We can design you a dog yard that is beautiful, clean, functional and stimulating. Ours are lushly planted with varieties that your dogs won’t destroy, and which won’t pose any danger to your dogs or the children and other people who use the space with them. Your dogs will enjoy their time outside, and when they come in, they will be clean and fresh-smelling. You won’t have to feel guilty when you need to keep them outside for extended periods, and you will know they are safe and happy.
Cat Porches or Catios for Palm Springs and Southern California
We aren’t here to argue with you about whether or not it is good or bad to let cats roam the neighborhood. Suffice it to say that indoor cats are generally healthier, cleaner, more at ease, less apt to get injured or killed, don’t have unwanted kittens and don’t have a destructive effect on the native wildlife. However, we do know that cats are intelligent, curious animals that need exercise and mental stimulation. If you have indoor cats and want to give them a space where they can get fresh air, exercise, some mental challenges and watch some of the world go by, we can create a special cat porch specifically for this purpose that has all the elements a cat might imagine for its own little heaven. Or we can incorporate some of these elements into an existing or multi-use porch.
We recently completed this beautiful cat porch for a couple in Palm Desert who rescue and adopt out hundreds of cats a year. This porch is for their personal cat, as an area where he can get fresh air, sunshine and physical activity and mental stimulation. It is built off of one of the bedrooms, using an existing patio and part of the adjacent garden area. It is of aluminum construction and built to match and compliment the home. It is a pleasant area where people can relax as well and enjoy time with the cat.
The enclosure is built around an existing mesquite tree, which grows through the enclosure walls/ceiling, and casts a nice dappled shade over the area. Cat-safe plants were used to create a beautiful garden that is as lovely for people to enjoy as for the cat to explore. The tree has shelves and an upper cubby for the cat, as well as a hammock. Cat toys hang from the branches and enclosure ceiling for additional interest. In the garden near the base of the tree is a rocky outcrop with a cat cave in which he can hide and snuggle. It should be cooler on hot summer days and warmer on cold winter days.
To arrange for your own beautiful cat porch, just give us a call!
Aviaries for Palm Springs and Southern California
If you’re a bird person, whether canaries, finches, other songbids or softbills, hookbills, waterfowl or whatever, we can design you a beautifully landscaped aviary that will give you a wonderful place to keep and interact with your birds that is healthy, stimulating, functional and meets all of their needs. We can also design specific environmental types of aviaries, such as a tropical forest aviary for a collection of tropical species. You can have your own zoo-style walk-through aviary.
Backyard Chickens for Palm Springs and Southern California
Backyard chicken flocks are becoming more popular all the time in Palm Springs, Southern California and across the country, and with good reason. Besides the obvious fact that truly fresh eggs from well-fed, happy, free-range backyard chickens are immensely more flavorful and nutritious than store-bought eggs, chickens make wonderful pets. Most people really have no idea just how great they are. We do. They are lovely birds available as many different breeds, just like dogs, cats and other domestic animals, and come in all colors, shapes, sizes, temperaments and other characteristics. We know which breeds possess the best set of characteristics to meet any person’s particular needs. We know which are the prettiest, the friendliest, the calmest and the quietest. We know the average number, size and color of eggs laid by different breeds. We know the best hatcheries. We know what chickens need, what they like, how to get the best production out of them and how to make them into the best pets. And we can design you a chicken environment that meets all your needs and desires, fits into your space and blends into your property building and landscape styles. If you have a little extra space and want to do something really special, fun and healthy for your family, this is a good thing to consider.
A Few of Our Favorite Backyard Chickens for Palm Springs and Southern California
Pictured here are several members of one client’s backyard chicken flock that just happen to represent some of our favorite chickens. From rear to front, they are: Silver-laced Wyandotte, Buff Orphington, Salmon Faverolle, Light Brahma, another Buff Orphington, Golden-laced Wyandotte, Black Australorpe and the rear end of a Silver-laced Polish.
Beyond all this, we can design an environment for any kind of animal you might have, e.g., a desert tortoise you may have adopted through the California Turtle and Tortoise Club’s state-sanctioned adoption program. We can create a piece of the Mojave Desert for you containing the proper terrain, native plants, tenaja water source and even natural-looking hibernation burrow constructed to maintain appropriate conditions all winter long and allow you to observe the tortoise during hibernation without disturbing it. If we have not already had experience with whatever kind of animal you have, we will research and develop a design for an appropriate habitat.
If you want to provide the very best for whatever kind of pet or animal you have, and get the most out of your relationship with it, we are the ones to call to design you the best environment possible.
A Backyard Desert Tortoise Habitat for Southern California
This environment was designed to house a pair of California desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii). The homeowners adopted them through the California Turtle and Tortoise Club’s state-sanctioned adoption program. This is a very spacious enclosure, utilizing about two-thirds of the back yard. It is a precise simulation of the California Mojave Desert. The goal was to create a landscape that would be as hauntingly beautiful as the actual Mojave, while meeting all of the physical and mental needs of the tortoises and additional native reptiles and amphibians that would eventually share this habitat with the tortoises.
We began by digging down to the subsoil, to remove all existing grass, weeds, etc. We brought in soil that is similar to the type found in the natural desert areas, in mineral content, pH, etc. We created a hardscape of native granite rocks and boulders like that seen in many areas of this desert. Great care was taken to ensure that the distribution looked completely natural, while creating useful spaces for the animals, such as small caves for nighttime/midday sun shelter, piles for “perching” that some lizard species require, tight spaces for hiding that chuckwallas and other species need, etc. Plenty of wide-open space was also provided for the tortoises to roam and certain lizard species to be able to run at full speed. As can be seen in some of the photos, the block walls all around the perimeter of the enclosure were lined with a 30” wide band of clear, slick plexiglass, to prevent any climbing species from escaping the enclosure.
All of the plants are native Mojave Desert species, obtained from specialty nurseries and institutions from around Southern California. In keeping with our attention to detail, the plants were situated as they would be commonly seen in nature, i.e., on higher or lower ground, next to rocks, etc. In addition to creating a lovely, authentic look, many of these plants provide a supplemental food source for the tortoises and some herbivorous lizards in addition to the regular diet provided by the owners. The plant collection included three joshua trees, a signature Mojave plant, each with its own ID number, obtained from a licensed vendor authorized to salvage this protected species from development sites.
A simulated desert tenaja (small artesian water hole) was included to serve as a water source for the resident animals, as well as passing birds, butterflies, etc. Both the resident animals and local hummingbirds and insects also utilize the flowers produced by many of the plants.
A low block wall at one end of the enclosure butts against the home’s patio, so that the family and visitors can congregate to view the habitat. On top of this wall, we installed informational panels with descriptions and pictures of the animals and plants included in the habitat. So the overall experience is just like enjoying such a habitat enclosure in any zoo. There are access gates at both ends of the habitat enclosure.
An authentic-looking burrow of the sort the tortoises would create in the wild was constructed against the enclosure-patio wall. It is of the proper depth and insulation to maintain an appropriate temperature range in both summer and winter. The chamber at the end of the tunnel is directly against the enclosure wall. On the patio side, we created a special door on the back of the chamber. It consists of a thick plexiglass panel, covered by a composite wallboard panel. When closed, the chamber remains dark, insulated and comfortable. However, the owners can remove the wallboard panel when they wish to observe the tortoises in the chamber. If it should ever be necessary to reach the tortoises in the chamber for any reason, the plexiglass panel can also be removed.
This is an example of the type of very specific, very detailed, very beautiful environments we can create for any kind of animals, plants or special needs or desires you may have.