Folks frequently ask about outdoor cat enclosures so here we have a list compiled of resources for DIY and commercial enclosures, catios and cat fences. These can be built relatively inexpensively and are a great way to keep cats safe from predators, just make sure to provide enrichment inside the enclosures and keep them sanitary.
REMEMBER: The whole point of a catio or enclosure is to keep cats safe and enrich their lives. If you have feral cats that won’t go inside and you want to provide a safer environment, the enclosure you build must be large enough to provide them an enriching life and not just someplace to keep them captive. Many of these commercial enclosures are too small to keep cats contained indefinitely as they will likely become depressed in such a small space. If you have cats that go both indoors and outdoors, a smaller enclosure, attached to the house and with access to the inside of the house can be smaller without decreasing the quality of life for the cat(s).
GENERAL INFO & TIPS ABOUT CATIOS/ENCLOSURES
DIY CATIO/ENCLOSURE PLANS & TUTORIALS (some are free and some are for sale)
- https://myoutdoorplans.com/animals/free-catio-plans/ (FREE)
- just4cats website seems to have been sold, we are trying to find the original author of the book since it is by far the best resource (our FAVORITE, comes with many different options so you aren’t just paying for one type of catio. It allows you to add on and customize as you like, including making it larger)
- http://thisoldhouse.com/patios/21017680/how-to-build-a-catio (FREE)
- https://spca.bc.ca/news/how-to-build-a-catio/ (FREE)
- https://howtospecialist.com/animals/catio-free-diy-plans/ (FREE)
- https://simplycats.org/blog/blog/catio/353 (FREE)
- https://www.teediddlydee.com/how-to-build-an-outdoor-kitty-cat-enclosurerun-2/ (FREE but you have to provide your email address)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBoGKgtRq7I (FREE video tutorial)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIWlFLXB_SM (FREE video tutorial for window box)
COMMERCIAL ENCLOSURES – These tend to be expensive relative to their materials and labor. Hiring a handyman and buying supplies yourself will result in something of equal or better value and you’ll be able to customize it.
- Window Box https://www.catswithanaltitude.com/index.html
CAT FENCE SYSTEMS – Cat proof your fence/wall so cats cannot leave the yard. Cats and potentially wildlife may still be able to enter your yard however.
EXAMPLES of WHAT OTHERS HAVE BUILT: GALLERIES, BLOGS, ETC.