Our cats love sitting by the open window enjoying the fresh air and watching the birds. We love sitting on our patio and watching the birds. To give our feline friends an outlet we found a spot near our patio where we could build a DIY outdoor cat enclosure. Or as it is often called a catio.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
We wanted to give our kitties an outdoor living space they could enjoy when the weather was nice. So, naturally the next step was to build a screened in outdoor cat enclosure. It is a safe way for them to be able to go outside without the dangers associated with being an outdoor cat.
The catio we built is a 4 foot by 8 foot by 6 feet in height lean-to style. All of the materials were purchased at our local home improvement store.
List of Materials Used for DIY Outdoor Cat Enclosure
- Eighteen- 2″ x 4″ x 8′ pine boards
- Three – 4″ x 4″ x 8′ pine boards
- Three – 2″x 3″ x 8′ pine boards (to build the door)
- One – 22/32 CAT plywood sheathing 4′ x 8′
- Hardware cloth 1/4″ opening
- Six cedar fence panels
- 1 box of 3″ deck screws
- Twelve- 1″ corner braces
- 1- 3-1/2″ swivel staple safety hasp
- 1 padlock
- Roll of outdoor carpet
- 3 corrugated polycarbonate plastic roof panels sized 2.17-ft x 8-ft
- Black stain
- Black spray paint
- Cat door
Tools Needed for Catio
We used the following tools to build our cat’s outdoor enclosure.
- Wire cutter
- Tape measure
- Staple gun
- Microfiber cloth (for staining)
If you do not have a saw your local home improvement store may cut the wood to the sizes you specify.
Building a DIY Outdoor Cat Enclosure
First Things First: The Base
We didn’t want the floor of the outdoor cat enclosure to sit on the ground, so we made the base of our catio a basic skid.
Sides of Catio
We have a couple neighborhood cats that visit our yard. I wanted to put a little barrier between the neighborhood cats and ours so we sanded the fence panels and attached two panels to the bottom of the catio.
Exterior of a DIY Outdoor Cat Enclosure
We stained the wood and painted the hardware cloth black. In addition, we added a nearby bird feeder for the cat’s viewing.
Adding Hardware Cloth
Once we had our sides assembled we added the hardware cloth. We were able to just barely cover the enclosure with three rolls of hardware cloth.
Our cats are like little Houdinis. I wanted to make sure they could not escape and nothing could get in the catio with them, so we added hardware cloth on the sides of the roof. Then we attached clear polycarbonate plastic roof panels over the hardware cloth, so any rain will be diverted from their enclosure.
We added a door, so that we could access the catio if we needed to. To build the door we used 2″ x 3′ boards. For our babies safety we added a latch and lock.
Staining & Painting
We used a microfiber rag to stain the wood and spray painted the hardware cloth.
We added cat shelves that we created from a previous project. Cats love trees. We couldn’t add a whole tree, so decided to include a limb from one of our trees as a scratching post. We glued exterior carpet to the floor of the catio.