As much as we might like to let our cats roam wild and free, many dangers are lurking in the outside world for felines. Traffic, other animals, poisons and even some diseases all can pose a threat to our fur babies. Yes, it's a jungle out there! And as statistics tell us, indoor cats live a lot longer than their free-to-roam comrades.
So what do you do if you want your pet to enjoy a little outdoor time and still keep them safe? These days, many people opt for outdoor cat enclosures (also known as catios) to let their kitties enjoy the outside world without worrying about them getting into any trouble.
They come in a range of sizes and budgets to suit you and your feline's needs. And many come with space for you to throw in a cat bed, toys, climbing poles and other creature comforts. So whether you have a big yard to play around in or just a little patio space to soak up the sun, there's a catio that will suit your situation.
Let's take a look at the 12 best outdoor cat enclosures that will let your cat enjoy life in the outside world while still playing it safe.
Chapin Kitty Catio Outdoor Playpen (Good for Multiple Cats)
Dimensions: 51.3” L x 42.8” W x 75.7” H
If you have multiple cats, a decent budget and insist on good style, this aesthetic Chapin cat playpen is for you. Made primarily of solid wood, it features six shelves for the kitties to lounge around.
The roof offers protection from sun and rain, and cream wood and metal mesh is easy to keep clean. Reviewers say that the assembly instructions are clear and easy to follow.
The one drawback seems to be the price, but in this case, it appears that you get what you pay for in this catio.
Pros: Solid wooden construction, Multiple levels, Six shelves, Tool-free assembly, Aesthetic
Esquina Outdoor Enclosure Ramp and Main Cat Cage (Good for Multi-Cat Homes)
Dimensions: 68.75” L x 37.25” W x 68.75” H
If you have multiple cats or a very active don't-fence-me-in type of furry friend, this esquina enclosure from Wayfair will give them plenty of space to enjoy the great outdoors while keeping your cats safe. Made from natural fir wood and metal, it features multiple platforms so that your pets can practice their jumping skills.
It also has a roof made from environmentally friendly asphalt material to shade and protect them from the elements. Another nice plus is that the large access door is effortless for you, the pet parent, to use.
Overall, this large structure offers cats lots of room to play at a lower price tag than some other roomy cat enclosures.
Pros: Ramp to platforms, Protective roof, Large access door, Multi-cat enclosure
Cons: Price tag, Stationary, Outdoor use only
Omlet Catio Outdoor Cat Enclosure (Good for Multi-Cat Homes)
Dimensions: 7’3” W x 7’3” L x 6’8” H
If you have both space and budget for it, this large enclosure from Omlet will give your cat or cats lots of free-standing room to play while they enjoy life in the great outdoors. And although it does not come with any platforms, you can easily add things like poles, scratching posts, catwalks, cat trees, cat beds or any other kitty toys and pet products they'd like with them outside.
This enclosure also features a stable style door which allows you to open the top and bottom part independently. The cage does not feature a shade or rain cover, but it can be purchased separately through Omlet.
One unique feature of this enclosure is that it's extendable. So if your large cat needs more space, you can purchase compatible parts through the company to increase its size.
The one major drawback is the hefty price tag to this enclosure (which does not include a cover or platforms).
Pros: Extremely roomy, Extendable, Sturdy, Stable style cat door, Green color blends well with gardens
Cons: Pricey, Platforms and shade and rain covers are not included
Outback Jack Happy Habitat Cat Playpen Tent (Good Budget and Travel Choice)
Dimensions: 74” L x 63” W x 36” H
This well-reviewed cat tent by Outback Jack is an excellent option for cat owners on the go or on a budget. Made from UV-resistant fibers, the mesh is flexible yet resistant to your kitty's claws and it comes with stakes to keep the tent in place.
It also comes with a convenient carrying bag for when you and your cat travel. Reviewers say that this cat tent is sturdy, roomy and easy to set up.
However, since the floor is made of mesh, some cat owners like to place a tarp down the bottom. And at about three and a half feet high, it will give your cat plenty of headspace but not tons of room for vertical jumps.
That being said, the pros far outweigh the slight drawbacks to this well-priced cat enclosure that's super easy to take on the road.
Pros: Well-priced, Sturdy, Roomy, Easy to set up, Carrying bag
Cons: Less vertical space
Zampa Portable Pet Playpen (Good for Travel and Smaller Budgets)
Dimensions: 45” L x 45” W x 24” H
At a slightly lower price point and size is another portable playpen from Zampa. Made from durable and water-resistant materials, it also has protected seams and reinforced corners to keep your pet safe.
This playpen has two access doors and a zippable mesh top that will give your kitty a view of the sky. Other features include a water dispensing hole and water bottle holder, plus an outside pocket for convenient storage.
This playpen requires no assembly and easily pops up. It also comes with a carrying case for when you're traveling. Reviewers seem very pleased with this enclosure overall though some claimed it was difficult to fold.
Pros: Good price point, Durable, Easy setup, Lightweight and Easy to travel with
Cons: Some people found it hard to fold
Amazon Basics 3-Tier Cat Cage (Good for Cat Owners with Limited Space)
Dimensions: 36” L x 22” W x 51” H
This Amazon Basics smaller cat enclosure is a good option for cat owners with limited outdoor space, like narrow patios or terraces.
Made from steel wire with a rust-resistant E-coat, it has three platforms for your cat to chill and watch the world go by. It also has an easy to clean plastic floor pan, secure-locking latch doors and even comes with wheels to make it super easy to move around.
Reviewers say that the cat condo cage is sturdy and easy to set up. Though its more diminutive size does limit jumping, this enclosure is a safe place for your small animals to enjoy some outdoor time.
Pros: Well-priced, Sturdy, Easy to set up and move around
Cons: Limited size for jumping and exercising
Petsmatig Wire Cat Cage (Good for Small Spaces with a Larger Budget)
Dimensions: 36.22” L x 23.62” W x 53.53” H
If you don't have a lot of room to play with but still want an enclosure with more features, you may want to consider this wire metal cage from Petsmatig. In addition to three platforms, it also has three ladders and a hammock, making it more fun for your cat.
You'll appreciate the three openings and the easy-to-clean bottom tray. It also has wheels and set brakes, which give you the option to move the enclosure wherever you wish.
Reviewers said that this large catio cage is reasonably easy to set up, but a few people mentioned that the white plastic locking ties that come with the pen seem a bit flimsy.
Pros: Multiple ladders and platforms, Three access doors, Escape-proof, Easy to maneuver with wheels, Suitable for small spaces
Cons: Not all cats like to walk on the wire, Larger cats may struggle with the size, Some reviewers complain of flimsy locking ties
Tobiah Cabana Portable Cat Cage (Good Lightweight and Spacious Option)
Dimensions: 86.6” L x 43.3” W x 43.3” H
This lightweight, “mesh-style” cabana enclosure is 7 feet long and offers quite a bit of space for the money. It also includes a cat hammock, a floating platform and a shade sail covering half of the roof.
The aluminum frame is high-strength and also comes with ground pegs to attach it to grass. Weighing in and 15 pounds and requiring no tools to set it up also makes this model very portable.
The "X factor" here is the mesh material of the enclosure. Though no one mentions it in the reviews, you have to consider if it will stand up to your cat's claws. And the zip enclosure may not be the most convenient. But if you have a pretty mellow kitty, this catio may do the trick.
Pros: Lightweight, Spacious, Hammock, Floating platform
Cons: Mesh material and zip opening may not be convenient
Sariyah Outdoor Wooden Cat House (Good for an Aesthetic Appeal)
Dimensions: 24.4” L x 70.8” W x 28.3” H
Maybe you're looking for an enclosure with both indoor and outdoor space for your fur baby. In that case, this cat wooden cat house that also doubles as a rabbit hutch may be just the thing. It's made from fir wood and wire mesh, giving it a cozy little house look.
It also has a ramp to reach the upper quarters, a waterproof asphalt roof and four doors for you to access your pet. And to keep your pet safe from chemicals, the surface is painted with eco-friendly water-based paint.
Of course, at around 2 feet high, there's not a ton of vertical space, and it is a tad pricey. But considering everything you get, this adorable little house may be worth it.
Pros: Indoor and outdoor space, Wood construction, Four access doors, Eco-friendly paint, Cute
Cons: Not very tall, Pricey
Encanto Outdoor Playpen (Good for Climbing Cats)
Dimensions: 71” L x 39.5” W x 71” H
This chicken-coop-meets-cat-enclosure from Wayfair is another option that offers both indoor and outdoor space for your feline friends. Made from solid wood and wire mesh, it also comes with six shelves to let your cat climb up to the top.
Other features include two access doors and a water-resistant finish. This model also has a bit more vertical space for your cats to jump. Yes, it is a tad expensive, but this adorable little abode definitely has curb appeal!
Pros: Indoor and outdoor space, Solid wood construction, Six shelves, Aesthetic
Valencia Outdoor Playpen (Good for Smaller Cats)
Dimensions: 48.03” L x 24.8” W x 36.22” H
With a slightly smaller footprint, the Valencia Playpen is another option if you want indoor and outdoor space for your cat. Made from cedar wood and mesh wire, it has three access doors to reach your kitty.
The upper level has removable pull-out trays to make cleaning easier. This sturdy little structure is also finished with non-toxic paint to keep your pet safe and has a ramp-up to the second level.
Like similar wooden structures that offer indoor and outdoor space, the price tag is a little higher.
Pros: Indoor and outdoor space, Three access doors, Eco-friendly finish, Sturdy cedar construction
Cosper Outdoor Playpen (Good for Aesthetic Appeal and Bigger Budgets)
Dimensions: 27.56” L x 40.16” W x 72.24” H
One last option for enclosures is this 6-foot tall model made from Canadian hemlock wood and metal mesh. It comes with three interior climbing platforms and a black asphalt roof to keep out the elements.
It also has two large access doors, and reviewers mention that it is relatively easy to put together.
You will pay a higher price for all that quality, but if your cat is a jumper, he may find this kitty highrise just purrfect.
Pros: Indoor/Outdoor space, Three platforms,Ttwo access doors, Solid wood construction
As you can see, the best cat catios come in every shape, size and budget range. And while they do offer protection from outside threats, it's important to remember that they are not a cure-all when it comes to your cat's safety.
Never leave your pet unsupervised in the outdoors for long periods, and be sure that they have adequate food and water and that no feral cats can gain easy access. And, of course, adding some entertainment in the form of toys is always a plus.
That being said, catios are an excellent way for your kitty to have a lot of fun and get some fresh air while watching the world go by from the safety of her own tiny home. She'll pay you the rent in purrs and sandpaper kisses!
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The 12 Best Outdoor Cat Enclosures:
- Chapin Kitty Catio Outdoor Playpen (Good for Multiple Cats and Homes with a Larger Budget)
- Esquina Outdoor Enclosure Ramp and Main Cat Cage (Good for Multi-Cat Homes)
- Omlet Catio Outdoor Cat Enclosure (Good for Multi-Cat Homes)
- Outback Jack Happy Habitat Cat Playpen Tent (Good Budget and Travel Choice)
- Zampa Portable Pet Playpen (Good for Travel and Smaller Budgets)
- Amazon Basics 3-Tier Cat Cage (Good for Cat Owners with Limited Space)
- Petsmatig Wire Cat Cage (Good for Small Spaces with a Larger Budget)
- Tobiah Cabana Portable Cat Cage (Good Lightweight and Spacious Option)
- Sariyah Outdoor Wooden Cat House (Good for an Aesthetic Appeal)
- Encanto Outdoor Playpen (Good for Climbing Cats)
- Valencia Outdoor Playpen (Good for Smaller Cats)
- Cosper Outdoor Playpen (Good for Aesthetic Appeal and Bigger Budgets)