DIY Catio Ideas

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Building a dedicated outside cat enclosure, also known as a cat patio or ‘catio’, is a fantastic way to let them safely enjoy the natural habitat in your garden.

Our collection of fun projects keeps you creative and handy. Some are easy and more affordable while others are extra detailed and take considerable time to build.

With many styles of catio designs, remember to cater to your cat’s unique personality when building one.

Playful cats, for example, will appreciate an extra large tree, multilevel perches, and extra hiding spaces to keep them stimulated.

Get ready to explore these 20 DIY Catio ideas that will make a world of difference in your furry friend’s life.

20 DIY Catio Ideas

1.    DIY Outdoor Cat Enclosure With Condos

An adult cat sitting along a meshed tunnel
Image Credit: chirpycats

The best way to give your feline friend an outdoor space that keeps them safe from harm is by making it as inviting as possible.

That’s exactly what The Lady Cat from Chirpy Cats did by including all the fun amenities in the DIY outdoor space.

Talk of perches, condos, tunnels, water fountains, and decorations. Everything in this catio is perfectly placed to make the experience fun for the furry tenants.

In addition to the building instructions, the project authors added lots of relevant tips that will be of help to all DIYers.

2.    Upcycled Pallet Cat Window Box

Upcycled Pallet Cat Window Box
Image Credit: Kori At Home

If you’re short on outdoor space, you can consider building a cat window patio. It gives enough room for your feline to get fresh air and sunshine without leaving the confines of your house.

This is an incredible project for people starting on DIY, or those curious about catio, because it doesn’t require sophisticated woodworking skills.

We also loved the upcycling aspect of using repurposed pallets and shingles to build the cat box frames.

3.    The Essentials for Building a Perfect Catio

The Essentials for Building a Perfect Catio
Image Credit: Kerri Jablonski

This guide by Kerri Jablonski is packed with clever suggestions about everything you need to make a catio for your feline friends.

We recommend reading through the full guide if you’re still in the design stage of making your outdoor cat enclosure.

It’s a must-read because the author shares tons of insightful suggestions you may consider adding to your Catio design to make it a kitty paradise.

4.    Inexpensive Catio

Inexpensive Catio
Image Credit: Budget101

With a budget of about $50 or less, you can build something simple for your cat using this easy plan by Liss. The most exciting part about this project is that you don’t need any tools.

All you have to do is use garden stakes as your fence posts and secure wildlife netting to them with zip ties. The project author used U-frame stakes for extra stability.

This idea is a good option for people living in less snowy areas since heavy winter conditions can add too much weight to the netting.

5.    DIY catio for cat window

DIY catio for cat window
Image Credit: Instructables

City-dwelling cats usually have the challenge of missing out on exploring the ever-lively outdoor space.

But not anymore, thanks to this clever catio for cat window as inspired by Cchen4 from Instuctables. This design allows your cat to enjoy fresh air and watch birds from a safe space.

6.    Large DIY Outdoor Catio

Large DIY Outdoor Catio
Image Credit: ItsTravisty0

This post by ItsTravisty0 on Imgur outlines a step-by-step procedure on how you can build a massive Catio in your backyard.

The project author added natural tree branches to fulfill the cat’s desire to perch high. We also loved the extra locks which help prevent escape artists from having a field day.

Anyone looking at the final product can tell the owner really cares about their cat’s happiness. This catio is awesome for a safe and stimulating outdoor experience.

7.    Build A Catio in A Weekend with Simple Steps

Build A Catio in A Weekend with Simple Steps
Image Credit: craftroomtime

Check out the 8-step procedure by Craft Room Time on how you can build a safe and enjoyable enclosed space for your feline family.

From a list of the supplies needed, planning, and executing the overall design, we loved how the building instruction was easy to understand.

8.    DIY Outdoor Tunnel

DIY Outdoor Tunnel
Image Credit: cuckoo4design

This DIY cat setup is seriously next-level. The owner started with a simple window box for fresh air, but their love for their cats inspired them to go bigger and better.

Without mixing words, you’ll agree with us that the final product is an entire kitty paradise with walkways, ventilated enclosures, and hideaway spots.

If you’re inspired to build something similar for your feline friends, check out these tips on how to build a cat tunnel complete with supplies needed, building instructions, and pictorial inspiration.

9.    Easy DIY Catio Using PVC Pipes

Easy DIY Catio Using PVC Pipes
Image Credit: our repurposed home

You can opt for inexpensive building materials like PVC pipes to build a backyard catio, if you’re on a budget.

The other top benefit of PVC pipes is that they can withstand harsh weather compared to some wooden materials.

With about $300 or less, you can put up this structure from start to finish as inspired by Lori Brasseur.

We loved the detailed tutorial because it covers every step exhaustively and adds additional information every DIYer would enjoy reading.

10. Build A Catio the Easy Way

Build A Catio the Easy Way
Image Credit: refreshliving

In addition to a stepwise tutorial on how to build a catio, this post by Jenny from Refresh Living includes a video for visual guidance.

We loved that the catio is attached to the main house and linked with a small pet door to give the furry occupants easy access.

Jenny has kept the catio up for over a year and a half, even during winter. The exterior treated wood and roof line provided ample protection from harsh weather.

11. Sturdy Outdoor Cat Patio

Sturdy Outdoor Cat Patio
Image Credit: spca

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) has outlined DIY catio guides in PDF formats to help you create a safe space for your cat.

They even have a PDF attachment with enrichment ideas to make the outdoor space satisfying for your furry family.

12. Cat Window Catio

Cat Window Catio
Image Credit: this old house

With moderate woodworking skills and an estimated budget of $490, you can follow the instructions from This Old House to make a DIY catio in two days (beginners might take longer).

Isn’t this cat lookout window a spectacular hangout spot for cats? It’s attached right to the house, with a window fitted with a cat door for easy access.

The whole thing is made out of wooden frames and meshed windows to give your furry friend a glimpse of what’s happening outside from an elevated position.

13. IKEA Catio Transformation

IKEA Catio Transformation
Image Credit: Cuteness

This DIY catio looks like a forever stayCATIOn spot for cats. We loved that It’s built right onto the side of the main house, with a window that serves as a pet door for easy ins and outs.

With wooden frames and screened wire mesh, this sturdy structure allows plenty of fresh air and gives your cat a bird’s view of the outside space for mental stimulation.

The best part? It’s divided into four zones, each serving a different purpose. There’s a lounge, a playful space, a cozy spot, and even a snacking station all for the comfort of your feline.

14. Building a Patio for Cats

Building a Patio for Cats
Image Credit: our tiny homestead

The guys at Our Tiny Homestead have outlined a detailed gradual process with pictorial attachments to inspire you to build something similar for your feline friend.

From the look of things, it’s evident that the owner’s cats seem to really like this outdoor enclosure.

Oh, one more thing! You can add a separately built tunnel to make easy access for your outdoorsy kitty.

15. Homemade Catio

Homemade Catio
Image Credit: fundamentally feline

Once again, we have a guide that includes relevant pieces of information about catios to reinforce the idea of ensuring safety when cats are in open spaces.

On top of that, the guys at Fundamentally Feline have sketched out an impressive building instruction you can follow to create something similar for your cat.

You will surely love the many photos attached to this guide from start to finish, just to inspire you through the DIY process.

16. Simple Wood and Mesh Catio

Simple Wood and Mesh Catio
Image Credit: DIY in PDX

This wooden and wire catio is nice, slim, and tall. It can be a great consideration for pet parents with kitties who love to perch high.

With the small pet door attached to the side of the house, your feline friend will have access to their enclosed space all year round.

This catio is built directly alongside the doorway, making it super easy to hang out with your cats while they enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

With a sturdy cedar construction and durable corrugated plastic roof, this catio haven will surely last for years of feline fun.

17. Build the Perfect Catio with Floppy Cats

Build the Perfect Catio with Floppy Cats
Image Credit: Floppy Cats

The instructions drawn by Jenny are more of a plan than a one-off guide to build an outdoor catio. We recommend going through the guide to get practical tips on your upcoming project.

There’s plenty of room for customization and enrichment in this project, and that’s why we highly value the concept.

Beginners in DIY might find it challenging because the author doesn’t include step-by-step instructions on what to do.

18. DIY Wire Mesh Catio

DIY Wire Mesh Catio
Image Credit: Carol Truman

This DIY catio provides a perfect blend of safety, comfort, and fun for multiple cats, thanks to the spacious design.

Constructed from wood with a secure mesh roof and walls, this enclosure attaches directly to your house for easy indoor-outdoor access via a multipurpose cat door.

Scratching posts included in the design help keep your cat’s claws healthy and provide built-in entertainment.

Climbing shelves along the walls create a jungle gym for your cat to explore, while a cozy little house at the top offers a perfect napping spot during those hot afternoons.

19. Secure Wire Cat Enclosure

Secure Wire Cat Enclosure
Image Credit: Maude and Phyllis

You can have a functional catio with $100 or less! Simply connect the kits to create an enclosure, choosing a size that suits your space and the number of cats you have.

Remember this design doesn’t offer protection from rain or sun, so consider adding a tarp or a more permanent roof solution.

Outdoor carpeting provides a soft floor, but plastic grass or even bare ground can work too. Just double-check that your cat can’t squeeze out through any gaps at the bottom of the enclosure.

20. Beautiful DIY Outdoor Cat Enclosure

Beautiful DIY Outdoor Cat Enclosure
Image Credit: teediddlydee

Tiffany was inspired to build this lovely catio to give her adventurous kittens a chance to explore the yard without compromising on safety.

This expansive outdoor cat enclosure connects directly to the main house. The cats have their pet door through a window, giving them easy access to their furnished outdoor space.

We loved that the catio design was made in individual panels, which makes it a lot easier when relocating your ‘kitty land’ from one spot to another.


There you have it guys – 20 DIY Catio ideas to inspire your next project. Our list includes many options, whether you want a simple window catio or a complete kitty land.

Remember to prioritize your cat’s safety and consider their personality when building an accessory for their use.

Always plan ahead by checking the available space in your yard, the availability of tools and supplies, and the overall budget before starting on any project. Best of luck!

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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