Cat pen designs: The Sanctuary™ Catio Plans with 6×8 and 8×10 Options


The Window Box™ Catio Plans


All catio plans are designed for the average person to make the process easy-to follow and rewarding to build.

  • Step-by-step instructions including diagrams.
  • Material list (materials are available from your local home improvement or lumber store)
  • Tool list
  • Catios are designed as panels for ease of assembly (or removal if you move in the future.)
  • Wood framing can be left natural or painted to complement your home.
  • Roof rafters accommodate a wire mesh roof or a clear, polycarbonate weatherproof roof for year-round enjoyment.
  • Door placement options for either end of the catio. (Cat access is through a cat door installed in the window or wall depending on the mounting location for the window box™. See “Mounting Locations” below).
  • Cedar floor maximizes horizontal space for your cat’s enjoyment!
Height: 27″ high 27″ high 27″ high
Depth: 23″ deep 23″ deep 23″ deep
Length (varies): 30″ – 50″ long 54″ – 74″ long 78″ – 98″ long

Depending on where you mount your Window Box catio (flush or below your window sill), a variety of cat doors for windows or walls can be purchased online or from a local pet store. See mounting options below.

(window cat door)

(wall cat door)

PLUS BONUS information including:

  • Tips for acclimating your cat to a cat door and new catio space.
  • Tips for cat safe plants, enrichment, decorating and more!

You’ll receive a pdf download of your catio plan so you can get started right away!

Easy DIY Cat Enclosure to keep your indoor cats happy and safe

I’m not only cuckoo for design but also for animals. My kitties mean the world to me and that is the reason I decided to build them an Easy DIY Cat Enclosure.

If you would like to meet all of our cats then you can do so by clicking HERE.

I always felt bad about keeping my cats inside but I also know that there are so many dangers awaiting them outside. We happen to live in an area where there are numerous busy streets and also an outdoor shooting range. Unfortunately, also a lot of people hate cats and do unspeakable things to them (Read about my struggle with neighbors and trap and neutering HERE). So as they got older, I couldn’t take keeping them inside any longer. I felt so bad about them never laying in the sun, breathing the fresh air, watching birds, squirrels and butterflies. So I started to think. After searching the net I saw that there are several professionally made outdoor cat cages and structures. There were also some homemade ones. And I started to wonder if I would be able to do the same in our small neighborhood without it sticking out like a sore thumb.

Easy DIY Cat Enclosure

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It’s not the prettiest design decision to have a chicken wired cat enclosure in your back yard and I’m sure a lot of my neighbors thought that I had finally lost it. I certainly got enough questions about what the heck I was doing now in our backyard (you can see more of our garden here). It took me pretty long to come up with the exact plans and materials on how I was going to build the enclosure.

Numerous trips to Lowes and Home Depot were made to research the type of wire mesh, hardware, and wood I was going to use. First I started by drawing out some plans. After finishing the cage and comparing the childish-looking plans to the actual cage, I came pretty close to what I dreamed of doing. I wish I could find the drawings so I could post them here to show you.

I started with the small enclosure around the living room window. I purchased Ideal Pet Products Sash Chubby Kat Medium Pet Door, 27 to 32-Inch

, a cat door that was made for windows. I’m really happy with the small door but I do take it out in the wintertime and make the cats stay inside when it gets really cold. By really cold I mean well below freezing and sometimes into the minus.

 On the right you can see the cat window in our old living room.

I built these support brackets for the tunnel with decking hardware and various pieces of wood.

List of most of the supplies I used to build my Easy DIY Cat Enclosure:

I used galvanized hardware for decks to put the structure together. From the window, I had a tunnel run along the fence through a bush and the main cage is hidden behind our large lilac bush.

To support the tunnel along the fence,  I screwed 2×2’s level to the fence panels. I made my own brackets with galvanized angles and sadly I didn’t take pictures along the way.

I screwed cedar planks on top of the brackets. Then I attached the galvanized wire with an air compressor staple gun to the fence, folded it over, and attached it to the other side of the cedar planks (also check out my post about how to build tunnels for your cats). After that I attached some pressure-treated wood planks to the front of the wire, so you couldn’t see the staples. Doesn’t my Lilly look happy in her outdoor tunnel? My mom calls it the lion’s den.

Oops, still need to finish re-staining the fence!

And here is the cats tunnel vision:

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And if you can’t or don’t want to build a cat structure yourself then you could consider buying one of these

A wired cage isn’t the prettiest garden design, is it? But now my furry children are finally able to enjoy spring, summer, and fall with us outside. I love seeing them enjoy the outdoors. I hope I’m not the only one out there that is cuckoo for animals and goes to great measure to make the furry children happy. Did you ever do anything crazy for your pet? Well, thanks for stopping by fellow webbers and if you liked this post and my cat craziness, then I would appreciate it sooo much if you’d pin my post to Pinterest.

Also check out my other pet related posts:

10 DIY Outdoor Cat Enclosure Plans You Can Make Today

Many of us choose to keep our cats indoors for safety reasons, but it’s also nice to add some enrichment to their lives by allowing them outside to enjoy the fresh air.

Building an outdoor cat enclosure is the perfect solution – your cat is safe from predators (or being the predator in some cases!) but they can still spend time outside in an enclosed environment.

We’ve reviewed loads of these designs – also frequently referred to adorably as “catios”–  and rounded up our top 10 DIY catios.

From large enclosures with tunnels and platforms to small enclosures that sit next to a window… here you will learn how to build outdoor cat enclosures or how to build a catio suitable to your furry friend.

The 10 DIY Catios

1. All-Season Outdoor Cat Habitat by Instructables

Skill Level: Medium

If you’re looking for a 4 season cat enclosure that provides plenty of space for your indoor cat to enjoy the fresh air and warm sun this is an excellent choice from Instructables. The step-by-step tutorial is very detailed which is always a bonus.

You can include a raised decking area for your cats to sit on, plus shaded sections. This enclosure is designed to sit flush with your house so your cats can go in and out as they please.


  • Pressure-treated lumber of various sizes
  • Concrete mix
  • Deck screws
  • Chicken wire
  • Staples


  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Power stapler
  • Wire cutters
  • Screwdriver


Cuckoo 4 Design Easy DIY Cat Enclosure

Skill Level: Advanced

This awesome enclosure by Cuckoo 4 Design includes a window platform and raised tunnel, leading to a larger enclosure set away from the house. Your indoor cat can have a lot of fun in here!

You can easily adapt this plan to suit a range of different sized outdoor spaces as the tutorial doesn’t specify dimensions for your shelter.


  • Pressure-treated lumber
  • Cedar planks
  • Galvanized mesh
  • Screws
  • Brackets
  • Nails
  • Wood stain
  • Staples


  • Power drill
  • Staple gun
  • Saw
  • Measuring tape

3. Window Box Cat Enclosure from Kori at Home

Skill Level: Medium

If you don’t have a backyard, or would prefer a smaller enclosure, this window box enclosure from Kori at Home is a perfect choice.

It sits up against one of your windows and provides the perfect spot for your cat to catch some rays. As a plus, you can use reclaimed pallet wood as the frame, saving some money in the process.


  • Lumber of various sizes
  • Roofing nails
  • Roofing shingles
  • Felt underlay


  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Gloves

4. Cat Enclosure Attached to Your House: VSG

Skill Level: Medium to Advanced

If you’re looking for a large cat enclosure that can attach to your house, this plan by VSG is a great option.

The detailed plan walks you through all the options for safely attaching the enclosure to your house, as well as how to create the large patio-style area for your cat to enjoy.


  • Lumber of various sizes
  • Brackets
  • Post stirrups
  • Concrete
  • Wall plate
  • Nails and bolts
  • Roof cladding


  • Saw
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Ladder
  • Shovel


Catio from This Old House

Skill Level: Medium

This stylish catio plan from This Old House is designed to seamlessly integrate with your house and can be completed in 2 days.

There’s a detailed step-by-step tutorial and you can also download the plans including a cut list.


  • Cedar lumber
  • Roll roofing
  • Plywood
  • Screen


  • Ladder
  • Pencil
  • Paint rollers and brushes
  • Miter saw
  • Tape measure
  • Tin snips
  • Utility knife
  • Staple gun
  • Caulk gun
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Circular saw
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Clamps

6. Catio from My Outdoor Plans

Skill Level: Medium to Advanced

This catio from My Outdoor Plans measures a generous 8 foot by 8 foot and provides plenty of elevated spots for your cat to rest.

You can build this as a freestanding structure or attach to your house next to a window where your cat can come and go as they choose.


  • Lumber of various sizes
  • Screws
  • Hardware cloth
  • Glue
  • Wood stain
  • Hinges


  • Miter saw
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Framing square
  • Sander
  • Gloves
  • Goggles

7. The Conscious Cat Catio

Skill Level: Medium

This plan for a 4 by 8-foot catio from The Conscious Cat is designed to sit next to your house, with window access for your cats.

There are multiple platforms for them to sit on plus a weatherproof roof.


  • Lumber
  • Wire
  • Nails and screws
  • Roofing material
  • Staples


  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Wood stain
  • Staple gun

8. Pets Best Catio

Skill Level: Beginner

This catio featured on Pets Best was made by cleverly screening an existing porch with wire mesh. The owners then added walkways, steps, corner platforms and scratching posts.

This is sure to inspire you to create a simple and quick catio if you have a little-used porch area!


  • Lumber of various sizes
  • Netting or wire
  • Sisal rope
  • Staples
  • Wood stain


  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Staple gun

9. Bookshelf Catio by Cuteness

Skill Level: Beginner

This clever hack involves turning a simple bookshelf from a well-known Swedish furniture shop into a small catio.

There’s plenty of versions available, but we like this YouTube tutorial from Cuteness.


  • Wooden bookshelf
  • Cat toys
  • Wire mesh
  • Staples
  • Hinges
  • Lock

10. My Outdoor Plans Window Cat Enclosure

Skill Level: Medium

Another plan from the impressive My Outdoors Life, this time for a small window enclosure.

This simple yet robust catio won’t take much time to make or need many materials.


  • Lumber of various sizes
  • Plywood
  • Polycarbonate
  • Screws
  • Hardware cloth
  • Wood filler
  • Glue
  • Stain


  • Safety gloves
  • Glasses
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Miter saw
  • Level
  • Framing square
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer


Hopefully, you enjoyed our round-up and found some designs to give inspiration.

Some of these plans are also a great choice to use as feral cat house plans – although we’d recommend making them freestanding and placing them further away from your house in this instance.

Even if you’re new at DIY there are some simple plans that will easily teach you how to build an outdoor cat enclosure that you can get started on right away. If you’re a pro, there are some larger projects which will keep you occupied for longer!

Whichever you choose, your cat is sure to be grateful for their new catio – even if they do show their thanks by falling asleep!

Featured Image Credit: Sander Dewerte, Unsplash

Outdoor Enclosures for Cats | PAWS

For cats allowed to roam outdoors, danger lurks at every corner. Traffic, poisons, disease, run-ins with other animals-the list goes on. Outdoor cats also represent a major threat to wildlife in urban, suburban, and even rural areas. Many cat guardians are unaware of the impact and dangers their feline companions pose to other animals when allowed to roam freely.

The greatest gift we can give our cats is the promise of a long, healthy, and happy life in the security of our homes. One way to enrich the lives of indoor cats is to offer them safe experiences outside, either by walking them with a specialized harness and leash or by providing them a secure outdoor enclosure off the house or in the yard.


Commercially Available Enclosures

Enclosures range from the simple to the sublime. They can be furnished with old tree stumps and perches for climbing and scratching opportunities; tarps to provide shade and protection from the elements; even enclosed ladders for safe access to and from the house. A variety of pre-made pens, runs, and do-it-yourself kits are available. This list is provided as a resource and does not imply endorsement by PAWS.

  • C & D Pet Products. Commercial kits and diagrams for enclosures available in various sizes and prices. Also offers kitten enclosures.
  • Catio Spaces. Located in Seattle, WA.
  • CatsOnDeck. Modular indoor/outdoor cat enclosures. Expandable and portable for RV use.
  • The Cat’s Den. Commercial kits for indoor and outdoor cat runs and enclosures.
  • Kittywalk Systems Various commercial enclosures for cats and other small animals. Most enclosures are preassembled.
  • Pet Enclosures Northwest. Located in Shoreline, WA.
  • Purrfect Fence. Commercial kits and instructions for free-standing cat fence systems. Also offers professional installation in certain regions. And now offering “Cat-Proofer” system for converting existing fencing to make it escape-proof.
  • Safe Cat Outdoor Enclosure. Detailed drawings and descriptions to create custom outdoor enclosures for cats and other small animals.
  • SunCATcher Enclosures. Free-standing outdoor cat enclosures for yard or patio.


Window Boxes and Perches

Another option is to install a window box that provides a protected perch for cats to enjoy a panoramic view of the great outdoors. Window boxes can be ordered from the listed sources:

  • The Cat’s Den. Commercial kits for outdoor cat window boxes.
  • Cats With An Altitude. Handcrafted window patio enclosures.
  • Several online and neighborhood pet supply stores carry a variety of window boxes and perches as well.


Other Options

Here are a number of other suppliers selling outdoor pens, tunnels and tents:

Many of the above pens, tunnels and tents are available to purchase via AmazonSmile – sign up today, choose PAWS as your chosen charity, and 0. 5% of the price of your eligible purchases will be donated by Amazon to help the animals in our care!


Learn how to build your own outdoor cat enclosure



Enclosures for Cats | Community Concern For Cats

Cats enjoy being outside, but the outside world also poses significant known dangers and hazards that can harm and even kill your cat. An indoor/outdoor cat can easily be made a totally indoor cat with perseverance on your part. They may resent their confinement for a short time, but they will adjust. Many cats live their entire lives without ever setting foot on grass. The difference in their life expectancy as well as quality of life speaks for itself.

Another option is a safe outdoor enclosure. It must be carefully constructed, as you need to keep other animals OUT, as well as your cat in. Screen porches work well, too, just be sure to give the kitty some way to get back into your house if they need to.

Some of the dangers of being an outside or inside/outside cat include:

  • Being hit by a car
  • Being hurt by people
  • Being hurt by wildlife (raccoons, etc. )
  • Being hurt by dogs
  • Getting flea, tick, mite infestations
  • Getting ringworm infestations
  • Getting parasite and worm infestations
  • Getting diseases – Feline Leukemia, FIP, Heartworm
  • Poisoned by antifreeze on streets/parking garages
  • Poisoned outside – Grass fertilizer, garden fertilizer, slug/ant/bug poisons
  • Exposure to sun and getting skin cancer – light colored cats
  • Choking on cat collars – getting caught on fencing, tree branches, posts, etc.
  • Fighting with outdoor cats spreads disease

There are so many obvious benefits to keeping your cat indoors. Indoor cats are no less happy than outdoor kitties.

Ways to keep your indoor kitty content including:

  • Provide a window perch
  • Put out a bird feeder for entertainment
  • Scratching posts & cat trees to climb, sleep, and hide
  • Interactive toys (a stick with a string with something fun on the end)
  • Provide a safe outdoor enclosure/kennel/screen porch

Some of the reasons to build an enclosure include:

  • Cats love to lounge, especially in the sunshine
  • Cats are happier
  • It’s inexpensive to build
  • Save on costly vet bills
  • Save your cat’s life and health!
  • Happier neighbors

Your cat can fulfill his or her desire for the “outside” without the dangers of cat fights, dog attacks, attacks from raccoons or coyotes, toxins, cars, irritating your neighbors, or poisonings. Behavior problems (such as spraying or urinating) will lesson. You save on expensive vet bills.

Most importantly, by providing a happy, safe and practical environment, you are ensuring your cat has a chance to remain your loving family pet for a much longer life. And, kitty might just “get along” better!

Enclosures can be partially or fully covered; large or small; seasonal or year round; permanent or temporary. If you rent, you can plug the holes easily when you move, or maybe the landlord would want it for another renter.
Enclosures can be constructed inexpensively and can also be added to over time. The basic materials needed are 2x4s or 2x2s, and 1×2” galvanized wire or chicken wire. The frames base can be “nailed” into a cement patio, or, you can drive the long studs (nails) into a dirt floor or grass.

Some key decisions you will need to make:

Size – Big or small? You can build this to be window box size, or as large as you need! It can be a regular rectangle or an elaborately designed “room.

Location – Where do you want the enclosure to be? You can build off an existing window, door, patio, or a “cat door” can be installed through an exterior wall to provide access.

Seasonal or year round? This will determine the type of roof and walls.

Accessibility – How will you access the enclosure? Make sure you provide a lockable outside access door. You can put shelving and tunnels for lounging and exercise – as well as an outdoor litter pan! You can also plant “kitty grass” in a pot or planter for your cat to happily chew on some greens (and not your houseplants!)

Kitty Furniture – Ramps are great for the older, less able pet. Don’t forget other kitty furniture, like a condo, a doghouse, or a tree limb for climbing or scratching!

We recommend that the enclosure has 3-4 sides and a roof. Cats have amazing climbing skills (as do some other critters) and you want to make sure that kitty stays inside where she or he is safe and the other critters, like raccoons, stay out. Really well planned enclosures can be an oasis for family and pets. Lattice walls and ceilings with lights and ceiling fans make an attractive patio room.

One builder created a 14′ x 8′ patio covered enclosure in one afternoon, spending less than $200! Another, used scraps for their outdoor enclosure! Check garage sales or Craigslist for “free” items such as carpet remnants, cabinets (which can be converted into kitty-condos), and rope and wood for scratching posts.

More links for designing and building cat enclosures:

Here’s an example of an inexpensive, safe enclosure that can be installed inside your home, room, garage or outside. Read more about how to design and build here:


Examples of enclosures constructed by our members:

Figure 1: Constructed off living room window onto existing patio. Used chicken wire and 2x4s.

Figure 2: Tower is a bathroom vanity, turned on-end. The condo on the right is made from an old speaker box, a satellite dish, wine cases, and carpet remnants.

Figure 3 & 4: Constructed off living room window onto existing patio. Used chicken wire and 2x4s.

Figure 5: Constructed off kitchen with protective trellise overhead

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Figure 6 & 7: Constructed off back/side patio

Figure 8: Constructed off back patio with screen door opening to kennel

Figure 9 & 10: Cat kennel built in back yard with chicken wire and 2x4s

Figure 11: This enclosure is made out of coat-wire ventilated closet shelving purchased at a hardware store or Home Depot. Total cost is about $400 for 5′ deep X 8′ long X 6′ high. See more here.

I Designed and Built My Dream Catio – and You Can, Too

I hate cages, and a house is a cage of sorts. Being an indoor-cat-only advocate, I’ve always strived to make my home as enriched and inviting as I can for the feline members of the family. If they must be inside, then let them have fun, cat hair and furniture be damned. But maybe there was a way to let them outside without letting them outside. A cat house — or catio — perhaps.

“An enriched environment is vital for a cat’s emotional and physical health,” states fellow Cat Writers Association member and certified behavior consultant Amy Shojai. “Jumping, running, climbing, hunting – felines are built to move. They are also stress magnets. If they do not have access to cat-centric things to do, they will find another way to relieve the energy. Some of those ways may drive you crazy, others may cause a cat to become a couch kitty leading to obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and other ailments.

So it was on the right track when four years ago I began small with an easy DIY project: a covered dog kennel measuring 4 by 8 by 6 feet I bought at the local big box store for $350. I planned to place it on the patio outside the sliding door of my bedroom. I picked up a slider cat door panel at a garage sale for $10 and got to work. An old sisal-wrapped cat tree, a carpet-covered climbing ramp and condo, a planter of catnip, and by the end of the day my first cattery was ready for occupation!

The cats were in it quickly, and I smugly sat on the patio sipping a celebratory glass of wine watching them. About the time I was halfway through the second glass, it suddenly hit me that I was looking at a 32-square-foot cage rather than just a new sunny hangout for my cats. Of course the fact that they were sticking their little paws through the fencing to see if the holes were large enough to squeeze through added to my distress.

The patio was pie-shaped with house walls on the two straight edges. Having just assembled the kennel, I knew that it could be configured in ways that did not have square corners. So counting panels and making calculations in my mind, I came up with a new plan. The new-and-improved cattery would be open to the sky!

Having researched cat containment systems in the past I knew, that to keep them in, fence tops would have to slant inwards and then straight down. A cat cannot get over a fence if he is forced to hang upside down, so I came up with a very simple and inexpensive solution for what I had in mind: PVC pipe and plastic chicken fencing.

The next morning, after a $40 trip to the building supply store, the cattery was disassembled much to the dismay of my four-pawed onlookers. After all, they’d only had it for less than 24 hours.

I decided to leave the original cover in place as a sun guard, replacing the fence panel supports with lengths of PVC pipe. Then I just opened up all the sections, adding the sixth one that hadn’t been used in the original setup, and voila! The cattery was now approximately 132 square feet and could officially be dubbed a catio.

After a couple more hours of adding the PVC top and chicken wire, I once again settled into my patio chair with a glass of wine to watch the fun.

The catio became a favorite hangout for my four rescue cats and so I was very upset when I discovered that Nemo was getting out on a regular basis! It was quite a while before I realized it, because he always let himself back in each morning by scaling the outside of the kennel fence, running across the roof and jumping down into the catio! The cats were banned from the cattery, unless under supervision, until I could identify and plug the escape route.

One reason I advocate indoors-only is that all my cats have pink pigment and are therefore prone to skin cancers. Also, three are longhaired, all are mostly white, and being in coyote and Great Horned Owl country, it’s not safe for them to be out day or night.

Lorie Huston, DVM and President of CWA, adds, “Keeping pet cats indoors is a smart move for many different reasons. Living inside, cats are much less likely to be involved in accidents or fights that could lead to injuries. The risk of exposure to infectious diseases is much lower as well. There’s also no risk of annoying your neighbors, who might become upset if your cat digs in their garden or uses it as a litterbox.”

I caught Nemo in the act at last, and closed the first of several holes he was to lead me to. Eventually, being the Houdini that he was, I had to cover the whole cattery with bird netting. That was four years ago.

This summer the big box store was selling a 10-by-10-by-6-foot dog kennels for $450, the same style as the one used for the catio. The cats had been telling me they wanted more, but I could not envision how to make it work in my yard. I have a dog. It would be unfair to take her play area away, and how to mow the grass? At last I had a plan.

The idea was to continue on around the house, using that as one side of the cattery just as before. The expansion took me two days this time, but in the end I had added another 500 square feet to the enclosure. My cats watched in eager anticipation through the windows urging me on and occasionally scratching at the locked cat doors. As soon as the doors were opened, the four swarmed into their “hood” to explore every new inch of it.

The following week a dead pear tree was trimmed, cut down, dragged into the new enclosure and wired securely to the fence. Now the cats had a real tree to climb. Of course, Nemo was the first to try it out. In fall, I drilled holes in the branches and added color with sprigs of fake leaves.

Repurposing old rugged plastic children’s playground equipment added indestructible furniture and interesting hangouts. A playhouse became a kitty powder room and the litterboxes were moved outside. Yay, both the cats and I approved of this. A few shelves hung on the fencing for perches, and the catio was complete.

The total combined cost was about $1,000, spread out over the four years. I shopped rummage sales, Craigslist, curbside “FREE!” items, and thrift stores for accouterments. The catio has become the perfect place to retire old well-loved indoor cat trees.

In multicat households, there is always a social hierarchy. It is not unusual for an alpha player to guard accesses to litter boxes or favorite hangouts. If this is the situation in your home as it is in mine, be sure to include at least two cat doors when you build your own catio, and hang perches at different levels on the fencing to provide avenues of escape from bullies.

Shojai advises, “Think in terms of timeshare mentality, they can share the same space as long as you have options for them. The more cats you have the more options you need. It’s like having the Indy 500 with only one lane to pass and no pit stop. The more lanes that you have, the more the cats can get out of each other’s way if they want to.”

Now officially hooked, I built a second catio for a good friend who has nine indoor cats. Using another 10-by-10-foot kennel, we made an 8-by-30-foot enclosure in a side yard with access to it through a cat door installed in a bedroom window. It, too, has a dead tree and old playground equipment. All our happy cats are able to get lots of fresh air and exercise now.

Call me crazy but I wanted more, and so I moved indoors.

More things to build for your cats:

About the author: Marci Kladnik, her four rescue cats, and one Scottish Terrier live in a small town with no stoplights or mail delivery. A retired graphic designer and technical writer, she designed and wrote for two publishers and two medical device manufacturers. She was also on the masthead of the monthly National Model Railroad Association Bulletin. Marci now writes an award-winning biweekly cat column for three newspapers, is a contributing writer for, an award-winning photographer, and an active professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association. Involved in TNR and feral rescue, she sat on the Board of Directors of Catalyst for Cats, Inc. from 2007-2013. In her spare time, Marci traps and fosters local feral cats and kittens. Past columns appear on, and her dog blogs at

Building the Purrfect Outdoor Catio!

With some of us finding that we have some extra time on our hands, you might be looking for some DIY activities to do at home. Building an outdoor cat enclosure could be the perfect way to show your feline friends some extra love and keep your hands busy while staying home!

Catios are the purrfect way to get your cat outdoors to enjoy some fresh air with a space of their own while ensuring they remain safely enclosed and away from the outdoor dangers, as well as keeping them away from harming birds and wildlife. So are you ready to build your catio? Here are some of our tips to help make it the purrfect oasis for your feline friend!

Choosing a Location


It’s important to take into account the space you’re working with when building your catio so you can make the most of the area you’re working with. Cats love vertical spaces and climbing so remember to build with height when possible and add platforms, shelves, and perches. If you’re limited for space, building a window box catio is a great option for a little outdoor sanctuary.

Cat Access

Before you begin building, it’s important to consider how your cat will access the enclosure. Connecting it from the indoors to the outdoors is ideal, because then it allows your cat to freely move in and out as it pleases, possibly even when you’re not home. If you build your enclosure close to a window, you can simply connect the space by opening the window. Otherwise, you can connect it with a cat flap, a tunnel to the catio or you may need to walk your cat to the outdoor space if you can’t connect it.


Cats LOVE basking in the sun, so remember to have a good balance of sunny spots as well as some shady locations for when they need to cool down.


Your cat will love a spot where there are plenty of stimulating views like being able to watch you and the family when you’re outdoors, views of the garden and its wildlife. This gives your cat plenty of stimulation while enjoying some fresh air.

Building The Structure

Walls & Roof

To ensure your cat remains safely enclosed in its new catio and your hard work lasts a lifetime, fencing wire is a great option for the durability and safety of your catio enclosure and still allows your cat to feel like it’s out in the open. Another option is to use cat netting. Make sure your catio has a solid roof to provide your cat shelter from the elements.


If you’ve built your catio over an existing deck or pavers, you’ve already got your flooring sorted. If not, grass is perfectly fine as well as popping down some pavers for a dry floor space. Consider whether or not your grass will get muddy because you might not want your cat tracking muddy paws back into your home.

Interior Design & Decorations

Here comes the fun part! Making your catio fun and comfortable for your feline friend.


Building ramps vertically to other platforms is a great way to give your cat different viewpoints and elevated spots to view the outside world. This is also a great way to encourage your cat to move around and exercise by climbing around the enclosure.

Carpeted Corner Shelves

Your cat will love a carpeted corner shelf to snooze and laze around on, giving them a great vantage point to enjoy their views while also basking in comfort.

Toys & Entertainment

Remember to include plenty of activities to stimulate your cat and to encourage exercise. This may include scratching posts, toys, tunnels, and possibly a bird feeder outside the enclosure so your cat can watch birds while not harming them.


When it comes to cats, comfort and relaxation is number one! Remember to include a comfy bed or space for them to snuggle in when they are in their enclosure. Cats love dark and cozy spaces, so an enclosed bed space could be ideal for some variety in their enclosure when it comes to relaxing.


Decorating your catio with feline safe plants can bring more nature into the area while also keeping your cat healthy. Remember to avoid plants that are toxic to cats and just add in cat-safe plants such as catnip and some grasses.


Remember to keep a water bowl or fountain in your cat enclosure at all times so they always have access to water whenever it’s needed.

Litter Tray

Keeping a litter tray in your catio as well as inside can help to minimise smells indoors and also gives your cat another space to do their business without a crowd!

We hope this has inspired you to get your DIY on and try your hand at making your very own catio at home. If you already have a catio or you’ve made one after reading this article, we would love to see your photos – you can share them with us on our Facebook Page under the community section.

You can visit for more details and ideas.

Happy DIYing Feline Lovers!

Check out this photo for some serious catio INSPO!

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At the mention of Malta, associations with the azure Mediterranean coast, seafood and the ancient knightly order arise in my head. But in fact, this small country hides in itself so many colorful features that the head is spinning.

We at 5 Fun Facts wanted to see a photo and learn a little more about Maltese culture, which has absorbed the bright features of Europe and the Middle East.

Malta has its own soda

The Maltese do not like cola and other foreign soda and therefore have created their own unique soft drink Kinni, which has become one of the country’s business cards.It is made from the juice of bitter oranges flavored with a mixture of essential oils and spices, and the recipe is kept a closely guarded secret.

This crane in Malta is painted like a giraffe

“My sister was in Malta and sent me this picture. I don’t understand what these doors are for. The building above is a police station. ”

  • This is the ventilation gallery of the broken water pumping station in Gar Lapsi.
    © MG724 / Reddit

“Malta.4 star hotel. They did not find a brush in the room, they asked the staff to bring it. After 5 days of waiting we saw the following picture. ”

Pigeons are so harmful to open restaurants in Malta that a special sprayer was installed in this cafe to scare away birds

There are many horse-drawn carriages in Malta. To make it easier for animals to endure the heat, special tents were made for them

This restaurant serves lemon ice cream inside a lemon

Doorknobs in Malta as a separate art form

In Malta, local fishermen paint eyes for boats

This is done in order to protect the vessel from accidents on the high seas.Local fishermen believe in this omen, which came to Malta from the Middle East.

The life of street cats in Malta is life! ⁠⁠⁠

The Maltese treat all animals with reverence, but cats are held in high esteem here. Here they do not just feed them, but even specially build houses and cat villages for them so that the tailed ones do not need anything.

The old town of Mdina was used for the filming of Game of Thrones and became the backdrop for King’s Landing

Width of sidewalks in Malta

Neighbors paint half of the bench to mark the boundaries of their domain

Malta is an island with cultural elements Europe, Africa and the Middle East merge together to make the journey truly breathtaking

Beach Library in Malta

There is a duck village on Manoel Island

What facts about Maltese culture do you know? Maybe you were lucky enough to visit this sunny island?


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