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14 Great DIY Catio Plans & Ideas

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Catios are one of the trendiest ways to spoil our fellow feline friends. Every cat, including indoor ones, need a breath of outdoor air sometime or the other. A catio will provide them just that, along with added safety, which ensures that they don’t wander away.

You could get one by spending heftily on readily-available ones or get one built by professional carpenters. Additionally, you could choose from one of these fantastic DIY catio plans. They would dent your pocket only slightly while providing the same functionality as the store-bought versions.

14 Great DIY Catio Plans & Ideas

14 Great DIY Catio Plans & Ideas

The plans come in all sorts of variations, with respect to materials needed, the size, the functionality, etc, thus catering to varied catio-specific demands. Depending on your styles and safety demands, you could also customize these plans beyond the instructions stated.

1. DIY 4×8 Catio Plan

This 4×8 catio plan is one of the most compact catio solutions on the internet. It is ideal for houses with a small backyard and is big enough for more than one cat.

The build features a lean-to roof and a side door that would give easy access to cleaning the catio. If you’re using leftover materials, it is essential to choose lumber that does not have any cracks or chippings and assures long-term durability. This helps to keep the cats from injuring themselves. 

2. DIY Cat Run Catio

If you’re looking for a straightforward catio built that hardly costs anything, this plan is for you. The catio is built with only screws so that you could disassemble the whole thing whenever required. There is no permanent roof attached. Instead, you could opt to install fiberglass, which becomes another removable option.

3. DIY Enclosed Porch Catio

A patio is an excellent place for your cat to enjoy the outdoors, but it is not protected. This guide involves building the structure around the entire patio. It guides you through creating a wire mesh structure that encloses the deck space. There is a door included for the ease of human access.

If your deck doesn’t have a roof, you could attach plywood on the catio’s top. Cedarwood is recommended for long durability against weather and rot. Your materials should be water-based, free from heavy metals, have a low VOS, and creosote should be avoided. All of these precautions will make the construction extremely animal-friendly.

4. Expandable DIY Cat Catio

Woodwork is not everyone’s forte, and this catio plan involves none of it. Dog kennel panels, wired fence pieces, and a cat door panel complete the structure. The roof is built with PVC pipes and chicken mesh, which are adjustable according to your needs.

There’s an option to expand the catio, however, you’d like to be thrifting for used materials. Look for panels with hinges and clamps that can easily fit each other.

5. Window Box DIY Catio

Window Box DIY Catio

Wary of letting your cats outdoors? They would still need to have some sort of access to the outside. This DIY catio plan assures your cat gets a little bit of both.

It is a screened-in structure that could hang from one of the windows. A sturdy floor and roof are needed to be built, and it includes a two-story option, complete with a shelf for perching. The construction would take you two days to make and requires basic wood craftsmanship.

6. DIY Bird-viewing Cat Enclosure

DIY Bird-viewing Cat Enclosure

Bird-watching might make your cat run out of the door at every given opportunity. However, this large enclosure gives them enough space to chase behind the birds outside. It sits on railroad ties instead of directly being placed on the ground.

Scrap plywood is used to make platforms so that the cats have a resting place. The frame of the catio involves installing hooks so that you could hang bird feeders and potted plants.

7. DIY PVC Catio

For less than $300, this plan guides you through building a catio with PVC pipes and wire meshing. This is the perfect choice if you live in a humid area where wood is prone to rotting.

Given the few materials needed, you can build this free-standing catio in any space, however small it may be. Compactness is the most noteworthy attribute of this plan.

8. DIY Cat Enclosure

This DIY patio plan helps you build an enclosure with many access points for cats. There is a small door on the upper side so the cats can enter without stepping down to the backyard. Another tunnel entrance in the corner provides the cats freedom to come and go as they wish. And finally, there is a regular hinged door.

The catio comes with a lot of in-built shelves and perches for your cat’s leisure. Since there is no base, the plan suggests to dig up the ground and layer it with patio bricks. This ensures a stable standing ground for the structure.

9. PVC Window Catio

A cat veranda is the next-best choice if you cannot build an entire cat patio. You could make this against any window that has a robust window frame. This is a crucial factor, otherwise, the catio box may end up sliding and falling. If you don’t have a sturdy window frame, the plan helps you construct supporting poles, too.

The guide also favors using square mesh wiring instead of 1×1 or 1×2 mesh, as the former can prove harmful for the cats.

10. DIY Window Cat Gallery

Apartments don’t provide many options for building a proper catio. But you could utilize your double-hung window and convert it into a small cat gallery, using this plan.

When the weather is good, only wooden dowels are needed to enclose it. On cold and windy days, plexiglass installed against them can protect the cats. The ‘roof’ is also made of plexiglass so that cats have a wider view of the outside.

11. DIY Cat Shack

DIY Cat Shack

Build a sleek shack for your feline pet with this plan. The structure is raised above the ground and attached to a lower window. The pet-resistant wiring acts as a screen in the catio, and you could customize the wooden frame according as you like.

The plan comes with a video tutorial on YouTube so that you can follow the instructions with spot-on precision.

12. All-season Cat Catio

This DIY catio plan comes with instructions to build an entire ‘habitat’ out of the catio idea. The structure is free-standing, and the base needs to be strong enough for holding humans.

The plan directs you to construct the inner shelves, perches, and support system before placing the wire mesh to curb the cluttered look. One cannot help but be fascinated by the number of accessories inside this catio.

It’s never a bad idea to acquire a quality sliding compound miter saw. Considering your DIY habits, either of these sliding compound miter saws could be of great help in this and even future projects.

13. IKEA Shelf Catio

Old bookcases and shelves can be repurposed to build an excellent catio. A basic-sized catio with a solid wooden base can be made with added materials like a wire mesh, door hinges, and frames.

The process can be viewed in their video guide on YouTube. This is a highly customizable project, fit for all the DIY lovers.

14. DIY Wire Storage Catio

While dog kennel parts prove as suitable materials, you could also utilize wire storage boxes to make a catio. The panels of these wire racks come with connectors, and cable ties can be used with them. This gives you the liberty to connect the shelves according to whichever shape or size you require.


These 14 DIY catio plans let you build the perfect catio for your cat with minimal spending. The plans only take a few hours, or a couple of days, thus making ideal weekend projects. However, you will need to take additional steps to ensure your cat’s complete safety, according to where you live.

Here is a big bonus read for everybody, the secret to building your dream cabin home! Read these 20 simple DIY cabin plans to know more.

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