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Best Catios for 2020

A catio is an outdoor cat enclosure or ‘cat patio’ that provides safety and enrichment outdoors. Your cat will still get fresh air and exercise, but won’t be able to roam too far.

They can either attach to your home, be freestanding in your garden or even be fitted to a balcony. It allows your cat a sensory experience they otherwise wouldn’t have, whether you can’t allow them out because of where you live or if they are just a house cat.

Below are the best catios and outside cat enclosures available to buy online, in various sizes and for various uses.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Omlet Outdoor Cat Run
    • Plenty of space for beds and extras
    • Pretty flexible on setup
    Check Price
    Cat Balcony Enclosure
    • Adjustable size
    • High
    Check Price
    Wooden Outdoor Pet Playpen for Cats
    • Platforms for multi-use
    • Solid covered roof
    Check Price

    The Top 4 Outdoor Cat Enclosures Reviewed

    1.
    Omlet Outdoor Cat Run

    Larger than most other catios available, and feeling a lot more secure too, this run will give your cat plenty of freedom to explore while staying safe.

    There are two heights available, so you can buy a taller version if there will be climbing equipment in there or if you’d want to join them. A detachable running skirt surrounds the entire catio, which will prevent any other animals digging under, or your cat squeezing under. You can also lock and unlock the door from the inside or out.

    The high version has an optional stable door design, so you can give them some food or toys without risking the Great Escape. Additional doors can also be added to the catio in various places too.

    It is easy to extend, whether when you buy it or a few years down the line when your feline family grows. You can also add a porch if you want an extra level of security when you are going in and out, or a partition to keep cats separated.

    You can either leave it freestanding in your garden or leave one side open and attach it flush to your home so your cats can come and go via a window or door.

    Features

    • Plenty of space for beds and extras
    • Pretty flexible on setup

    Specifications

    • Material: Steel Mesh
    • Dimensions: Minimum 2.2 x 2.05 x 2.2m

    2.
    Cat Balcony Enclosure

    City buildings can be difficult to provide your cat with all they need. You don’t feel safe letting them onto the balcony as it is, and you don’t really want to allow them to go outside because it is a) difficult to get them out and b) busy roads and cats don’t mix.

    So, a catio balcony enclosure is an ideal option. It is safer than netting and balcony fencing as it is completely closed in with a roof, and can’t be broken or chewed. You can relax knowing they are safe, and they can go out to watch the world go by whenever they want.

    This enclosure has been designed to fit almost any balcony and can be extended to make the most of the space you have, and there will be plenty of room for you to join them. You can even buy an optional porch to give you an ‘airlock’ style entrance, for added security, and covers are available too.

    The depth is narrow enough to fit on any balcony, and it can be extended between 1.84 and 3.68m to either fill your balcony or leave space some free. A removable run skirt can be used to fit it to your balcony, and to attach it to your home, just use suitable metal fittings.

    Features

    • Adjustable size
    • High

    Specifications

    • Material: Steel Mesh
    • Dimensions: D0.9 x H2.07 x W1.84-3.68m

    3.
    Wooden Outdoor Pet Playpen for Cats

    This is a great catio which comes with six platforms, so you’re halfway there to having an activity paradise for your cat.

    It is made from high-quality fir wood and coated with water-repellent paint, with durable galvanised steel wire mesh and a weatherproof bitumen coated roof. This means it can also be used throughout rain, snow and bright sun, for no extra cost to you.

    The six platforms will allow your cat to climb up high if they wish, in order to observe their kingdom, or one could simply be turned into a nice sleeping spot. As there are six, they have a choice, or it could even house two cats.

    The downside is that it is wood – this will need treating regularly. But only the bottom half of the door opens which is good if you want to be extra-secure and fit it to the house with just a cat flap for entry. You can still stand up in the enclosure if you wish.

    Because all of the panels are separate, it can be extended if you need something bigger. Just get in touch with the seller for more panels.

    Features

    • Platforms for multi-use
    • Solid covered roof

    Specifications

    • Material: Wood, Steel
    • Dimensions: 1.6 x 0.8 x 1.6m

    4.
    Wooden Cat Enclosure

    This cat enclosure is quite small in comparison to the others, but great if you just want somewhere safe and sheltered in your garden for your cat to spend some time.

    Three platforms act as a lookout or resting platform, and it would be easy to secure to an outbuilding such as a shed too. The gauge of the wire is very small, so there is no chance of your cat escaping through it or anything else getting into the shelter when your cat is in there.

    Two cats could fit in at a push, but it isn’t really large enough for three to be spending large amounts of time. It isn’t large enough for a human to stand inside but is good if your cat won’t really be bothered about getting up high. You could put it up against a cat flap if you want to attach it to the house, though.

    Features

    • Low height
    • Covered roof

    Specifications

    • Material: Wood, Steel
    • Dimensions: 1.8 x 0.8 x 1.18 cm

    Buying Guide

    Size

    There are no rules about how big your catio has to be – as long as your cat has enough space in your home to get enough exercise every day, the catio will just be so they get some fresh air.

    However, you will want to measure how large your outdoor space is – will it be on a balcony, on a patio, or just freestanding in your garden?

    A big thing to think about is height. Will they appreciate a taller catio they can jump and play freely and so you can join them, or are they not bothered and will likely be sleeping in their bed anyway?

    Material

    The material of the mesh should always be metal so your cat can’t chew through it, and nothing else can get in either. As for the build, they’re usually metal or wood.

    The latter will need more care and attention over time with weatherproofing, but can also be easier to fix to your home or outbuilding by drilling or screwing it in place.

    Where To Put A Catio

    As mentioned, they can go on a balcony, on a patio or in your garden.

    If it will be attached to your house, think about where. It will need to be secured flush to your brick or concrete all the way around so you need plain walls. But also think about how they will be getting in and out of the catio – will this be through your door, through a window or through a cat flap?

    As most catios are all separate panels together, you can usually leave one entire side off for full access, but you may also just want to use a small opening if they’re using a window or flap. If they will have access at all times, a flap is probably best – this way, you won’t be letting cold into your home by leaving the door open all the time!

    Catios can also be placed in your garden as outbuildings. They can either be placed in there, or you can leave it open so they can go in there of their own free will when they need shelter or access to toys.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    How do I get my cat into a catio?

    Is your enclosure in your garden, and you don’t want them to run off when you are transporting them there? If you’re concerned about carrying them, cat harnesses or cat carry boxes are available.

    Just ensure your cat doesn’t get stressed out using these.

    However, if you have an indoor cat, we would always recommend attaching the catio to your home to limit their exposure to the open.

    What are the benefits of a catio?

    • Keeps your cat safe
    • They can’t get lost or wander off
    • Protection from predators, and other cats
    • Protects birds and other wildlife
    • Good for busy areas and roads
    • Reduces issues with cats getting bored or warm inside
    • Can eliminate litter smells from the house if a tray is in the catio
    • Keeps your cat out of neighbours gardens if there have been issues
    • Keeps ill or elderly pets safe yet still able to get fresh air