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4 DIY Cat Run Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

cat patio

Every cat owner wants the best for their feline fur babies, and that includes having a safe outdoor cat enclosure for their cats to run around. You can buy kits for this purpose, but did you know you could make them yourself? That’s right! If you’re a DIYer, then you’ve come to the right place.

Every cat deserves to breathe in the fresh air, watch birds go to and fro, and observe squirrels run and play, all while being in the safety of an outdoor cat run. In this article, we’ll take a look at some ideas and plans that are easily laid out so you can be on your way to building a cat run for your feline kiddo. Keep in mind that some of these plans are a little more advanced, while others are more simplistic.

Whatever your skill level, we’ll provide the necessary information to help you determine the best route for your specific skill set and needs. From large runs to catios to window enclosures, we’ve found a few of the top plans. Read on to learn more!

Top 4 DIY Cat Runs

1. DIY Cat Enclosure from Tee Diddly Dee

DIY cat run
Photo Credit: Teediddlydee
Materials About 53 2″ x 3″s, a roll of chicken wire (tall), a box of 3-inch screws, some 1″ x 6″s, hinges, latch, scrap plywood, railroad ties, tree branches, cat door
Tools Chop saw, skill saw, hand drill, staple gun, and compressor for staple gun
Difficulty Level Beginner to moderate

Tee Diddly Dee’s cat enclosure is a fun enclosure that you can make your own (really, your cat’s own). You can make this enclosure smaller if you don’t have the space for the specifications above, and because it’s made out of individual panels, it’s easy to move if you decide you want it in a different location.

For the 2 x 3s, cedar or redwood are terrific options for water-resistant cat enclosures and will last many years to come. Pressure-treated wood works well, too, and is more affordable. When it’s finished, this catio will measure 21’ L x 8’ 6” W x 8’ 4’ H.


2. Easy DIY Cat Enclosure by Cuckoo4desgin

DIY cat run
Photo Credit: Cuckoo4design
Materials Galvanized mesh, galvanized screws, pressure-treated wood, cedar planks, variety of galvanized deck hardware, brackets, nails, wood stain, staples, pet door
Tools Power drill, staple gun, nail compressor, saw, measuring tape
Difficulty Level Moderate

This DIY cat enclosure is a neat idea using wire and planks. You don’t necessarily have to follow these instructions to a tee; you can build it to your own specifications using this general idea, or you can follow the instructions exactly.

As long as you have the tools needed, this enclosure should be pretty easy to do, especially if you’re a DIYer.


3. Catio from This Old House

DIY cat run
Photo Credit: Thisoldhouse
Materials Cedar lumbar, stainless steel screws, plywood, trim boards, wood glue, roofing material, screens
Tools Ladder, tape measure, pencil, mini paint roller, paintbrush, Miter saw, drill, jigsaw, staple gun, utility knife, tin snips, caulk gun, circular saw, level, clamps, ⅜-inch paddle bit
Difficulty Level Moderate to advanced

If you’re an advanced DIYer, then this window catio will be fun for you to build. This catio looks exceptional for a window catio, and your cat will surely love the freedom to watch the world outside.

There are a ton of tools required for this job, and you may need help with this project. Once it’s complete, you’ll have an attractive addition to your home, and your cat will have a place to call its own. It should take two days to build, and you don’t have to worry about access points because your cat can climb into the run straight from the window.


4. My Finished Catio from DIY in PDX

DIY cat run
Photo Credit: Diyinpdx
Materials 1” x 1” wire mesh, cedar lumbar (various sizes), 2½” outdoor coated screws, staples, hinges, gate latches, clear corrugated plastic roofing, hardware connectors, door pulls, patio bricks
Tools Hammer, Miter saw, jigsaw, electric drill/screwdriver, measuring tape, wire cutters
Difficulty Level Beginner to Moderate

My Finished Catio gives you an idea from their own inspirations on how to build the perfect catio for your home. This particular design is meant to attach to the side of your porch, but if your home doesn’t have a porch, you can modify it to suit your needs.

This design will give you the basics to customize it however you like. If so inclined, you can add perches or even a hummingbird feeder for your cat’s enjoyment.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that when you decide on a cat run to build, don’t forget access points for you, the human. You’ll need to have the ability to go inside the run to clean or place water and food. All of the plans mentioned allow for your own creativity regarding access points, but don’t exclude them.

In a nutshell, there are plenty of plans to choose from, and if you’re a more advanced DIYer, there are more advanced plans out there that will keep you busy. Whatever route your take, your cat or cats will love their own outdoor space, and you will, too!


Featured Image Credit: SariMe, Shutterstock

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