9 Free DIY Catio Plans

How to Build an Outdoor Cat Enclosure

A cat going through a small door on a catio

Chirpy Cats

Catios are a place where your cats can enjoy the outdoors safely since they're separated by a mesh or netting from any outdoor threats. The fresh air flows freely through, giving your cats the enjoyment of being outside without you having to worry about them getting hurt or lost.

Build a simple window box or the ultimate cat enclosure with these free catio plans. They'll show you how to build a catio from the ground up as well as offer suggestions on how to make your catio more enjoyable for your cats by adding fun little extras like tunnels and perches.

There are all sorts of styles of catios here and a wide variety of materials are used for the cat enclosures. Some are more budget-friendly while others are huge enclosures that took a lot of time, and money, to build. There are enough choices of plans that you're sure to find what you're looking for.

What Is a Catio?

A catio is an outdoor enclosure that's meant for house cats to enjoy the outdoors safely. It's a patio for cats.

  • 01 of 09

    Easy DIY Cat Enclosure

    Cats enjoying a fenced in catio


    You've got to see this catio to believe it. It all started out with a simple window box so her cats could enjoy some fresh air. It was expanded upon after that, with walkways, tunnels, and enclosures built for the kitties to enjoy. What started as a small catio turned into a huge playground for the cats. There are more tips here on how to build a cat tunnel if you'd like to include that in your catio design. Your cats will love it!

    Easy DIY Cat Enclosure from Cuckoo4Design

  • 02 of 09

    Catio With PVC Pipes

    A PVC cat enclosure on a porch

    Our Repurposed Home

    This budget-friendly catio is built with an inexpensive building material, PVC pipes. On top of that PVC pipes stand up better to the elements than wood, so your catio can last for many years. The whole cat enclosure only cost $300 to build. This is a really detailed tutorial that takes you through each step of building the catio from creating a design to adding all those fun finishing touches. Included is how to frame doors and windows, attach the netting, add the roof, and build perches.

    Catio with PVC Pipes from Our Repurposed Home

  • 03 of 09

    Outdoor Cat Enclosure

    Two cats playing in a catio


    Here's another ultimate outdoor playground for cats. This huge outdoor cat enclosure is built onto the side of a house. A window has been outfitted with a pet door and that's how the kitties can access the catio. Wood and mesh make up this enclosure, which will keep your cats safe. Wooden walkways and perches have been added to give the cats some extra fun. This enclosure is made out of individual panels, making it mobile if you ever want to relocate it.

    Outdoor Cat Enclosure from TeeDiddlyDee

  • 04 of 09

    Building a Catio

    A wooden cat enclosure outside a house

    Our Tiny Homestead

    There are lots of photos here to help you build a wooden and wire catio. There's also a tunnel that's built separately that you can add to this catio if you need a pathway for your cats to access the enclosure. The cats seem to really like this enclosure and they enjoy it year-round. You'll want to be sure to check out the pictures of the catio in later years where it's been almost hidden as the garden has grown.

    Building a Catio from Our Tiny Homestead

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  • 05 of 09

    Catio Haven

    Cats enjoying a covered catio

    Fundamentally Feline

    Fundamentally Feline encourages you to build a catio specifically for your cats and their needs and wants. A stone floor is put in and then a wooden frame is used for the enclosure. Fine mesh makes sure that nothing gets in or out. A window has been repurposed into a cat door and that's how the cats access the catio. There are lots of ideas for finishing touches here including adding natural logs and planting cat-friendly grasses and herbs.

    Catio Haven from Fundamentally Feline

  • 06 of 09

    Outdoor Catio

    An outdoor cat enclosure attached to the side of a house

    DIY in PDX

    This catio is tall and slim, fitting nicely up against the house. The cats use a small cat door built into the house to access the enclosure. It's built up against the porch so you can easily spend time with your cats while they're in the great outdoors. Built out of cedar with corrugated plastic roofing, this catio is going to last for many years to come.

    Outdoor Catio from DIY in PDX

  • 07 of 09

    Outdoor Cat Enclosure With Tunnel

    A cat going through a small door in a catio

    Chirpy Cats

    Create an outdoor oasis for your cat with this lovely catio from Chirpy Cats. There are lots of tips here on what to consider before you start designing and building your catio. This catio is build with red patio brick pavers for the floor, hex wire netting for the roof, pressure-treated wood for the structure and climbing spaces, and galvanized steel welded wire for the sides. You'll also want to check out this catio bridge extension they built in later years.

    Outdoor Cat Enclosure with Tunnel from Chirpy Cats

  • 08 of 09

    Cat Box From Palettes

    A window box

    Kori at Home

    This catio is small cat box that fits outside the window. It gives just enough room for a cat to get some outside air and take a peek at what's going on. This is a great place to start if you want to just dip your toes into building a catio. As a bonus, this cat box was build from palettes and shingles.

    Cat Box from Palettes from Kori at Home

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Everything You Need for a Catio

    Two cats in a cat enclosure, overlooking a yard

    I Am the Maven

    There are so many great tips here for what you need in a catio! It's a must-read if you're in the designing stage of your cat enclosure. There are quite a few suggestions that you may not have considered, such as an outdoor litter box. It's not quite a plan on how to build a catio, but you'll want to check it out before you design your own.

    Everything You Need for a Catio from I Am the Maven