Buyer's Guide

Make your Patio into a Catio: A Guide to the Best Cat Enclosures

If you have an indoor cat who you are considering allowing to be outside, there is a safe solution that allows your cat to enjoy being outside while keeping them safe: “catios” or cat enclosures. 

Why use a cat enclosure?

By allowing your cat to roam freely outside, they are placed at risk for many awful things, such as: abusive humans, being hit by a car, getting lost, being stolen, eating something poisonous, unplanned pregnancies if they are not spayed, physical injury from falling off something or getting stuck in something, and conflicts with wildlife or other cats.

Additionally, cats negatively impact wildlife. By allowing your cat to play outside in an enclosure, you conserve wildlife.

According to a study performed over eleven (11) years, cat attacks are one of the leading causes of death for birds and small mammals. 

Ed Clark, President, and Co-founder of the Wildlife Center of Virginia, and a cat owner was involved with this study.

He chose to not allow his cats to roam freely after witnessing the results of the study; “I used to let my cats go outside anytime they wanted… when the Wildlife Center first started documenting the number of patients admitted due to cat attacks, and how few of them survive, I decided that my cats were going to become strictly indoor pets.

Not only are my cats healthier and living longer, within weeks, but I also started seeing species of birds and mammals around my house I had not seen in years.

I never realized what a terrible toll my cats were taking on the wildlife in my yard and surrounding woods.”

The final reason to use a cat enclosure is that they enjoy them. 

Here are five of the best quality commercial cat enclosures

Kittywalk Town-&-Country Pet Enclosure

The Kittywalk Town-&-Country enclosure is highly recommended by cats. This enclosure offers shades for hot days, four hammocks for napping in the sun, and approximately thirty (30) cubic feet of space.

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This enclosure can also be integrated with other enclosures to create an outdoor kitty castle with Kittywalk’s T-Connect unit!

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Trixie Pet Products Outdoor Cat Run

The Trixie Pet Cat Run is ideal for cat owners who do not have much shade available in their yard.

This cat run offers an upper level enclosed retreat; ideal for owners of cats who do not know if their cat will enjoy the day’s weather forecast.

The entire cat run does not have a roof; only the enclosed retreat portion. If you purchase this cat run, you may consider purchasing roofing for the remaining part of the cat run to offer your cats some relief from sunny days.

Your cat may also appreciate levels to climb on being installed.  

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PawHut Large Outdoor Catio

The PawHut catio is an excellent choice to keep your cat safe and happy outdoors. There is a large entry door for you to access the interior to provide snacks, clean up messes, and bring your cat inside.

Your cat will have six (6) levels to jump up or down onto, and the roof offers shade on hot days. The frame is solid fir, sealed with pet safe sealant and enclosed with durable wire.

 

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Large Metal Cat Run

If you have a large yard, maximize your cat’s space with this thirteen (13) by ten (10) foot metal cat run. A UV safe sunshade is also included.

This metal run opens a world of possibilities for your cat’s entertainment; you can easily add suspension bridges or ramps, or you can create a multilevel cat tree especially for your cats.

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Consider adding a Petsfit Outdoor Cat House for a fun space your cat would feel secure in. 

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Happy Habitat Cat Patio Outdoor Enclosure Cage

The Happy Habitat Cat Patio Outdoor Enclosure Cage is an economic choice for cat owners who are unsure if their feline wants to spend time outdoors.

Begin with this pop-up tent style enclosure, and if your cat enjoys it, consider upgrading to a higher quality enclosure.

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How difficult is it to assemble a cat enclosure?

Most cat enclosures can be assembled by two people in a reasonable amount of time, depending on the quality of the instructions and the intricacy of the enclosure.

If assembly is not your thing, catio assembly services are available for purchase on Amazon.

Do it Yourself: Build your Cat’s Dream Enclosure

There are many instructional videos available on youtube if you decide that you would like to try building a custom enclosure for your cat.

Many cat enclosures can be built for less than $100.00. 

Another option is hiring a carpenter to build exactly what you want, such as a kitty tree house with a covered bridge to enter the tree house from your house.

Watch Animal Planet’s Animal Cribs Tricked out Cat Castle for inspiration.

Tips for using a cat enclosure

Keep these tips in mind when you install your cat enclosure and introduce your cat to it:

Set up the enclosure on level ground, in a place where you would not mind spending time to hang out with your cat.

Never leave your cat in the enclosure alone for a significant period of time.

Always securely latch all exits to prevent your cat from escaping.

Make the enclosure interesting and fun; hide snacks around the enclosure for your cat to find, add a suspension bridge, cozy blankets and beds, and different levels for your cat to jump onto. 

Always make sure there is fresh water for your cat in the enclosure.

Always transport your cat from your house into the enclosure using a carrier to prevent your cat from running away. The IRIS small carrier basket is an excellent choice.

Closing Considerations

Cat enclosures are a safe and fun way for cats to spend time outside. You can lengthen your cat’s life and contribute to the conservation of local wildlife by installing a cat enclosure for your cat to enjoy.

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