7 trendy outdoor cat enclosures your feline will love
It’s the purr-fect backyard accessory
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While we humans relax on our decks and patios this summer, a new trend is making headlines, one that lets indoor cats bask in sunny weather, too.
A catio (a meshing of the words "cat" and "patio") is an outdoor cat enclosure that allows pets to safely roam an outdoor area while protecting them from predators, birds, and wildlife. “Dogs can be taken for a walk or let out in the backyard, but for cats, it’s another story,” says Cynthia Chomos, founder and catio designer at Catio Spaces. “Cat parents want the best for their cat, and the stimulation and enrichment of the outdoors are critical for a cat’s well-being.”
Catios range from simple, enclosed spaces to elaborate playgrounds filled with cozy nooks and shelves. Indoor cats longing for a frisky afternoon or a restful nap in the sun will adore these fresh air sanctuaries, and you’ll love the peace of mind you’ll find knowing that they’re safe and secure.
1. Open space with lots of perches
Let your cat climb all over this solid wood enclosure that stands at 71 inches tall. It offers six platforms on which cats can relax and bask in the sun. Reviewers love its high-quality cedar wood and the weather-resistant roof that protects this outdoor cat enclosure.
2. Sophistication indoors and out
The modern wood exterior of this catio complements most home styles. Easy to assemble, this outdoor cat enclosure features a small sheltered cubby for your cat to find shade and cuddle up in.
3. A jungle gym any cat can get behind
Much larger than your average outdoor cat enclosure, this sturdy catio features two levels connected by a ramp, a paned window, sliding and hinged doors. It’s easy for cats to get their pent up energy out in this exciting setup.
4. Yup, this catio has a hammock
Cats will never get bored in this multi-tier catio featuring multiple ramps, platforms, and, yes, even a hammock hanging from its ceiling. One reviewer says it’s the perfect “retirement condo” for their cat, as it’s an easy way to give them an outdoor oasis while keeping them safe and sheltered.
Get the 3 Tier Cat Cage with Hammock at Walmart for $89.99
5. A window box break spot
Felines do love tight spaces, so this small and snug catio option is a winner even if you don’t have your own backyard or are bound by HOA restrictions. Installed into your window like an air conditioning unit might be, this handcrafted, custom-fit catio comes with either a plexiglass front or a screened-in cage, depending on your preference and your climate.
Get the KP Cat Window Catio at Etsy for $329.61
6. Perfect for playing
When a burst of energy strikes, this is the catio that’ll entertain for hours. Made out of rip-resistant PVC mesh, the enclosure brings in the fresh breeze without any risk of tearing. This set can also be connected with other matching pieces sold by Kittywalk, including this long mesh tunnel.
Get the Kittywalk Town & Country Collection Outdoor Cat Playpen for $295.99
7. Buildable on your own
If you want an outdoor cat enclosure that matches up with your personal taste in home decor and allows your furry friends free reign, consider taking on a DIY project. “As we’ve all experienced quarantine and been stuck indoors, I’ve seen a huge surge in cat parents wanting to build catios,” says Chomos. “It’s a fun project for the owners themselves.”
You don’t have to be architecturally minded for this task—you can use a DIY catio plan from Seattle-based Catio Spaces. These come with step-by-step instructions and diagrams, a materials and tools list, and measurements that help you through the process.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.