The 10 Best Outdoor Cat Enclosures
This wiki has been updated 13 times since it was first published in September of 2020. Cat patios, or catios, provide a temporary space to interact with nature and improve the quality of life for otherwise indoor cats. Protected by a screened enclosure, they can experience chirping birds and backyard smells, which are probably stimulating alternatives to your living room. All of the options on this list can offer outdoor enrichment, while providing a safe hangout. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
September 24, 2020:
Cats derive many benefits from being outside and most of them love an opportunity to sniff the fresh air. That being said, responsible pet owners know that there are many potential dangers for felines who spend time outdoors, such as busy streets and predators. These cat enclosures remove some of the safety issues and can put your mind at ease. However, it should be noted that they are for temporary use only and cats should never live in them full time or spend extensive hours in them unsupervised.
If you’re concerned about your cat getting out, it’s best to choose sturdy enclosures, like the Gutinneen Condo and the Pawhut Catio D32-002. These options feature tough metal screens and wood construction. Even so, if your cat has been known to escape on occasion, it’s a good idea to test your catio indoors first. Once you’re certain your cat can’t find a way out, then you can move it outdoors.
If you’ll be traveling, you may want a portable option that is convenient to set up. The Sportpet Kennel is lightweight and includes seatbelt loops for safe transport, while the Ruff'n Ruffus Playpen offers an easy, pop-up design. Both take minimal time to set up, don’t come with any hardware, and do not require assembly.
If you do not have the luxury of space or plan to use your enclosure on a balcony, the Nala and Company CT2.0 is the best space-saving option. Its small size makes it easy to move around, and its ability to collapse flat makes it convenient to store in a cabinet when not in use. There is no exercise space, but it does have room for a cat bed, which is good for lazy cats who love napping in the sun. On the other hand, if you have limited square footage, but ample vertical space, consider the Gutinneen Condo, which is taller than it is wide. Your cat can climb to high levels and won’t miss the extra floor space.
If you have an active kitty who loves to play and explore, the Outing Man Tunnel Habitat is a good choice. It has several compartments to check out, and the tunnel is split in three directions, which limits visibility and increases the fun of a surprise pounce during group play. Plus, it has plenty of room for cat toys.
Catio Spaces Custom Build For those who want a specific design, but aren't skilled in construction, Catio Spaces may offer a solution. Specializing in high-end cat enclosures, this niche-market company does complete custom builds. They can construct a variety of shapes, from small window boxes to extensive sanctuaries. catiospaces.com