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20 DIY Outdoor Cat Enclosure Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

cat outdoor enclosure

Every cat would love to spend at least some of their time in the great outdoors, but such experiences can be dangerous. There are cars, people, poisons, and other animals out there to worry about. Also, people usually don’t like their neighbors’ cats pooping in their yards and lying on their outdoor furniture and cars.

So, what do you do when your cat wants to go outside but you want to protect them from all those outdoor elements? Build a DIY outdoor cat enclosure for your kitty to spend time in. There are many cool DIY plans available on the internet, so you should not have a problem finding one that fits your skill level and the shape of the space you can build the cat enclosure in. To help you figure out how to build a catio with ease, we’ve compiled 20 DIY outdoor cat enclosures that you can make today.

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The 20 DIY Outdoor Cat Enclosures

1. DIY Outdoor Adventure Cat Enclosure – Adventure ratheart

DIY Outdoor Adventure Cat Enclosure- Adventure ratheart
Image Credit: Adventure ratheart
Materials: Pine boards, plywood, deck screws, fence panels, plastic roof panels, outdoor carpet, black paint, cat door
Tools: Screwdriver, hammer, saw, drill, wire cutter, tape measure, staple gun, paint brushes
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This is a large outdoor cat enclosure that can hold up well to the outdoor elements no matter what time of the year it happens to be. The enclosure has a sturdy roof, breathable walls, a handy door, and carpeting that will help keep your kitty comfortable while spending time in the enclosure. While the plans come with paint color suggestions, you can make the enclosure any color you want. There is plenty of room inside this free catio plan for bedding, a cat gym, a scratching post, and other accessories.

2. DIY Outdoor PVC Catio – Our repurposed home

DIY Outdoor PVC Catio- Our repurposed home
Image Credit: Our repurposed home
Materials: Poly webbing, hook and loop cable straps, PVC pipes, PVC clamps, garden fencing, plastic roof panels
Tools: PVC cutter, cable ties, door hinge, hammer
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This is a DIY cat enclosure designed to be easy to make yet sturdy and long-lasting. It is made with PVC pipe, which is bendable but strong, and the entire project should cost less than $300. It will take you about a day to complete once you have gathered all the necessary materials and tools. You can make the enclosure as short or as tall as you would like, to best accommodate your cat’s preferences.

3. DIY Stand-Alone Outdoor Cat Enclosure – Klever cages

DIY Stand-Alone Outdoor Cat Enclosure- Klever cages
Image Credit: Klever
Materials: PVC pipes, PVC connectors
Tools: Various, depending on the design
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Klever Cages presents a variety of stand-alone PVC cat enclosures that can be customized any way that you like and moved all around your property whenever the need or want arises. The plans require PVC pipes and connectors and maybe a few other materials and tools, depending on exactly how you want to build your enclosure. Use the pictures on the plan page for inspiration, and create your own unique design.

4. DIY Wooden Outdoor Cat Enclosure – Catio spaces

DIY Wooden Outdoor Cat Enclosure- Catio spaces
Image Credit: Catio spaces
Materials: Cedar shelves, flooring, roofing, wire
Tools: Hammer, screwdriver, wire cutters
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Cat Spaces offers a variety of different DIY outdoor enclosure plans for cats to choose from. While not free, the plans are affordable and full of helpful information and tips that can be used to ensure success with your own outdoor enclosure product. You will also get access to tips for acclimating your cat to their new enclosure and how to enrich the outdoor enclosure for activity and stimulation.

5. DIY Woodworking Cat Enclosure – My outdoor plans

DIY Woodworking Cat Enclosure- My outdoor plans
Image Credit: My outdoor plans
Materials: 2×2 lumber, screws, hinges, hardware cloth, wood glue, screen or fencing, paint
Tools: Hammer, square, level, miter saw, drill, screwdriver, sander, tape measure
Difficulty Level: Moderate

These free catio plans for this DIY outdoor enclosure allow for plenty of room to be creative. You don’t have to make one specific shape or size but can use the plans as a guide for creating your own custom unit. Your woodworking skill level should be moderate if you want to attempt to construct this particular outdoor cat enclosure, though.

6. DIY Catio – This old house

DIY Catio From This Old House- This old house
Image Credit: This old house
Materials: Lumber, fasteners, screens, roofing
Tools: Hammer, staple gun, level, saw, drill, circular saw, chisel, tape measure
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This oblong outdoor cat enclosure by This Old House is designed to attach to your house right around a window. You will build an anchor frame on your home around the window and then build the actual enclosure on the ground. The hardest part of the project is hoisting the finished enclosure up onto the frame attached to the side of your house.

7. DIY Cat Enclosure and Tunnel – Our tiny home stead

DIY Cat Enclosure and Tunnel- Our tiny home stead
Image Credit: Our tiny home stead
Materials: 2×2 lumber, 2×4 lumber, fencing, wire
Tools: Hammer, screwdriver, level, tape measure
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This is an impressive DIY cat enclosure that is built next to the house and attached to a “tunnel” that connects to a window so cats can safely enter and exit the enclosure. The ground is prepared with a substrate to create a foundation, and each wall of the enclosure is built one at a time before being erected and connected to one another.

8. DIY Backyard Cat Enclosure – Cuckoo 4 design

DIY Backyard Cat Enclosure- Cuckoo 4 design 
Image Credit: Cuckoo 4 design
Materials: Lumber, screen, wire, iron fencing
Tools: Hammer, screwdriver, level, saw, tape measure
Difficulty Level: Difficult

This DIY backyard cat enclosure is expansive and allows for multiple cats to explore several areas of the yard while outside. Complete with tunnels, tubes, patios, and exercise yards, this enclosure is more of an amusement park than a simple place to nap. You will need a moderately large yard to pull off all the features of this cat enclosure plan, but a few of them can be incorporated into smaller yards.

9. DIY Cat House Enclosure – Next Jeneration

Materials:  2×2 lumber, 4-foot fencing, corrugated roofing
Tools: Staple gun, wire cutter
Difficulty Level: Easy

This is an easy cat enclosure plan that you should be able to accomplish even with no woodworking or crafting experience. The enclosure requires basic materials that you can find at any home improvement store. This YouTube video explains all the details and shows you how to put together this cat enclosure step by step.

10. Easy DIY Exterior Cat Enclosure – Cuckoo 4 design

Easy DIY Exterior Cat Enclosure- Cuckoo 4 design 
Image Credit: Cuckoo 4 design
Materials: Pressure-treated wood, cedar planks, galvanized mesh, galvanized screws
Tools: Power drill, staple gun, nail gun, air compressor
Difficulty Level: Easy

This is a dual-purpose cat enclosure that does not take much time, effort, or money to create. A tunnel is built off a window in the home and then continues along a fence until it reaches a small, enclosed play yard. Your cat can stroll through the tunnel and relax anywhere to sunbathe, as the tunnel is an open design.

11. Cool DIY Outdoor Cat Tunnel – Our Catio Home

Materials: 4×6 deck boards, 2×4 lumber, 6-foot fencing board
Tools: Variety of power tools
Difficulty Level: Moderate

With just a few materials and tools, you can make homemade cat tunnels for your furry family member to run around in when they want to spend time outdoors. These plans are designed to work with an existing fence, but you could use plywood or other types of lumber to create a faux fence to use as the base of your cat tunnels.

12. DIY IKEA Shelf Catio – Cuteness

DIY IKEA Shelf Catio- Cuteness
Image Credit: Cuteness
Materials: 2 IKEA shelves, 1×3 lumber, chicken wire, door hinges, door bolts, doorknob
Tools: Staple gun, wire cutter, power drill
Difficulty Level: Easy

This is an excellent hack using IKEA shelves that results in a super cute, compact, and effective outdoor exercise enclosure for your cat. You just need a few materials, like chicken wire and door hinges, to complete this DIY project. The enclosure is not large but offers plenty of space for one cat to climb, jump, and snooze.

13. DIY Window Cat Patio – Instructables

DIY Window Cat Patio- Instructables
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Plywood,1/4-inch wooden dowels, plexiglass, 1×3 pine, cat door, caulking, wood glue, screws, paint
Tools: Saw, screwdriver, paintbrush, weather stripping, duct tape
Difficulty Level: Moderate

If you live in an apartment building or have limited yard space, you can always use these DIY catio plans to learn how to build a catio for your kitty to hang out in that extends from one of your windows. You don’t need any complicated tools, and the necessary materials are readily available on the market. This catio is weatherproof, so your cat can enjoy their outdoor space all year long.

14. DIY Outdoor Cat Jungle Gym – Cuckoo 4 design

DIY Outdoor Cat Jungle Gym- Cuckoo 4 design 
Image Credit: Cuckoo 4 design
Materials: Plywood, 2×2 lumber, mesh, chicken wire, screws, nails
Tools: Saw, screwdriver, hammer, tape measure, level
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Cats love to run and play, so when thinking about how to build a catio, consider creating a custom jungle gym that they can enjoy outside without fear of accidents or injuries. Part enclosed pen, and part treehouse, with a tunnel to connect the two, this interesting design can be customized how you see fit based on things like the layout of your yard and the kinds of natural features that you want to incorporate into the enclosure.

15. DIY Outdoor Cat Patio – Refresh Living

Materials: Exterior deck screws, wire mesh, metal roofing screws, treated boards, staples, corrugated roofing
Tools: Screwdriver, electric stapler
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This simple enclosure provides cats with a safe place to enjoy the great outdoors. It features a clear corrugated plastic roof that can keep cats dry during brief rain showers. It’s mounted against the wall of your home to provide extra security. It’s designed to be built around a window so your cat can come and go at their leisure. The plans include a cute little shelf so your cat can enjoy surveying the yard from an elevated perch in the enclosure.

16. DIY Outdoor Cat Patio Paradise – Bon & Pom with the Twin Fluff

Materials: Wood, wire mesh, screws, PVC roof panels, door hardware, hinges, shelf, brackets, wood sealer, outdoor carpet or grass, pavers, landscape fabric, landscape staples, pea gravel
Tools: Circular saw, measuring tape, staple gun, drill, paintbrush
Difficulty Level: Difficult

Expect to spend a good bit of time putting this outdoor enclosure together, but you’ll have a gorgeous catio for your cat to enjoy (and your neighbors to be jealous of) once you’re done. The completed product has a door you can use to take your cat in and out of the enclosure and a high shelf for your companion to perch on. And there’s more than enough room inside for essentials such as a cat tree, food and water bowls, and even a litter box.

17. DIY Cat Patio – Our Catio Home

Materials: Wood, zip ties, 14-gauge fencing, screws, concrete, wood stain, door hardware
Tools: Zip tie cutter, bolt cutter, staple gun, air compressor, miter saw, drill
Difficulty Level: Difficult

This luxurious enclosed cat patio is relatively straightforward to complete if you feel comfortable working with tools such as miter saws and staple guns. It allows you to include landscape elements such as trees to create a natural enclosure with perches for your cat to enjoy.

It includes stairs to help cats get down from high perches without a hassle. The pavers provide a nice smooth surface for cats to lounge on, and there’s plenty of room inside for a few chairs if you’d like to hang out and spend time with your buddy while they’re outdoors.

18. DIY Outdoor Cat House Tree Enclosure – NextJeneration

Materials: Wood, wood screws, wood stain, cheesecloth, roofing screws, shingles, caulk, garden wire, mini zip ties, cat window
Tools: Drill, sander, miter saw, wire cutter, staple gun, pocket hole kit, sandpaper
Difficulty Level: Difficult

This fantastic outdoor enclosure built around a wooden frame snuggles up to the outside of your home but doesn’t require mounting. However, you need to be precise with the dimensions, so double-check your measurements before getting started. It’s built around a window to provide cats with easy access. A cat window allows cats to enter and exit at their leisure. It even has a few fancy shelves at different heights for cats to relax and lounge on.

19. DIY Porch Cat Enclosure — BC SPCA

DIY outdoor cat enclosure
Image Credit: BC SPCA
Materials: Cedar boards, wire mesh, deck screws, staples, gate hinges, door latch
Tools: Drill, wire clippers, circular saw, table saw
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This sturdy outdoor enclosure provides a safe place for cats to frolic on decks or patios. The plans include instructions to walk you through building a roof if your outdoor space isn’t covered. Putting the enclosure together is relatively straightforward as long as you feel comfortable working with circular saws. Don’t forget to drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from splitting before attempting to screw the frame together.

20. DIY Outdoor Enclosure With Window Access – Alex Kat

Materials: Wood, wire mesh, staples, cat door, shelves, brackets, corrugated roofing, screws
Tools: Circular saw, pocket hole kit, staple gun, drill, measuring tape, straight edge, hammer, wire cutters
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This enclosure sits against your home’s exterior wall with a window where cats can enter and exit the catio. You can install a cat door to keep your heating and air conditioning bills from getting totally out of control. The enclosure features a roof to provide protection from the sun. Consider adding shelves to help your cat get into and out of the structure if your windows are far off the ground.

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Wrapping Things Up

Whether you live on 5 acres, have a small home and property, or reside in an apartment building, you are sure to find a DIY outdoor cat enclosure plan that is right for you and your cat. Keep in mind that many of these plans can be customized, so you don’t have to follow them exactly and you can improvise when it comes to things like materials.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: SariMe, Shutterstock

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