A cat enclosure against a house exterior wall, made out of a mesh cage covering wooden planks for floors and ramps. Two cats sit in the enclosure, one of which is between the enclosure and the adjacent window into the house.

6 DIY Outdoor Cat Enclosures

Originally contributed by • last updated 5/21/2021


It’s a pretty safe bet to say that most, if not all, house cats like to go outside from time to time, but it isn’t always the safest thing for them.

There are a lot of dangers in the great outdoors that could seriously harm your cat if left unsupervised — not to mention the harm kitty could do to the local bird population. But who has time to watch their cats wander around all over the yard?

That’s why cat enclosures, or "catios," are becoming popular. They're the perfect way to give your cats the taste of the outdoors without any of the dangers or having to worry about them wandering off.

If you’re looking to make a DIY cat enclosure for yourself, then you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find plenty of inspiration to make your own here.


DIY Outdoor Cat Enclosure Attached To House

This cat enclosure brings the best of both worlds to your pets. There’s a special door attached to the window for the kitty to go in and out. You don’t have to worry about any other animals coming in the house, since th cage keeps the whole thing contained.

It has a bunch of tiers for your cat to climb and play on. And there’s enough exposure to the sun that your kitty will be able to find the perfect place for a cat nap.

The fact that the enclosure extends all the way to the ground means there’s grass in there too. Some cats just like being in the grass. While it isn’t a huge amount of green space, it’s surely enough to keep a cat occupied for a while.

All in all, it’s the perfect kind of structure to keep your cat safe while letting them explore outside for a little bit. 


DIY Floating Outdoor Cat Enclosure


Like the previous cat enclosure, this one has a nice-sized cage keeping everything contained, but what makes this one super cool is the fact that it’s floating.

Rather than touch the ground, this enclosure is elevated a few feet above the house’s foundation. This doesn’t do much in terms of function, but it does look really cool.

The little alcove in the top corner is the perfect spot for any cat to take a nap, provided the weather is nice. But even on a rainy day, there are still enough sheltered areas for your cat to hang around happily.

That being said, it’s still filled with enough open space to make your cat feel like it’s in the great outdoors. 


DIY Caged Outdoor Cat Enclosure

With an enclosure like this one, you don’t have to worry about your cat wandering off. Rather than being built along a window, this one extends out of the back door of a house. That does mean the door would have to be open for the cats to be able to sit out there, but that’s not the end of the world. 

The enclosure is situated on a deck, so it really does have that “catio” feel to it. And based on the fact that there are actual cats in it, it seems to be doing its job pretty well.

This uses some of those wire cube shelving kits to build, which means it's inexpensive and easy to build. If it’s something you know your cats are actually going to use, then you know it’s going to be a project worth doing. 


Simple Wooden Outdoor Cat Enclosure Attached To House


Surprisingly enough (or maybe not surprisingly at all) cat enclosures have a lot in common with chicken coops. They’re both enclosures meant to house animals, keeping them safe from predators and getting lost, while also allowing them to breathe fresh air.

So if you make yourself a catio that looks like a chicken coop, it’s not really that far fetched.

This example is definitely giving us chicken coop vibes. Probably because it’s made with a wood frame and, well, chicken wire. But it’ll still do the trick.

The good thing about something like this is the fact that it would be easy for anyone to make. As long as you have some basic DIY skills, you could whip yourself up a cat enclosure using wood and wire.


PVC Pipe Outdoor Cat Enclosure DIY

There are other surprisingly simple and easy to find materials to make cat enclosures out of. One that would definitely work wonders is the humble PVC pipe.

Since PVC pipes are relatively inexpensive, you could construct an entire enclosure using them, and your cat would be none the wiser.

An enclosure like this one is more like a place to keep your cat while you’re outside, rather then somewhere they can go on their own. Since it doesn’t have any access to the indoors, you'll need to move your feline in and out.

Of course, you could always build something like this into your house so that it’s next to a window or door. That’s the good thing about DIY, you can really do anything you want.


Large DIY Outdoor Cat Jungle Gym

A cat enclosure like this one would give your cat plenty to do for hours on end. It has little spots for your cat to curl up and take a nap, but there are so many different obstacles too. It would probably be hard for a cat to get bored in there, as fickle as they can be. 

And you would probably have fun watching your cat in there, too. Building something like this would definitely be a bit more work than the simpler concepts in this list, but definitely worth the trouble.