Easy Steps on How to Build a Cat Run Enclosure

Easy Steps on How to Build a Cat Run Enclosure

Making a secure outdoor area for your beloved pet cat has advantages for their health and wellbeing, giving them a safe outdoor space to play. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the various aspects of building custom catios.

From selecting suitable locations to choosing appropriate building materials needed – we have it all covered. You will also learn about popular catio designs, cat tunnels and if its cheaper to purchase a flatpack instead.

So let’s get started on learning how to build a cat run enclosure that suits your pet’s lifestyle perfectly.

Benefits of an Outdoor Cat Run

An outdoor cat run, also known as a catio, is an enclosed outdoor space for your cat.

It allows your pet to spend time outdoors without being able to wander away from your backyard, offering both freedom and safety. This helps give cat owners peace of mind.

Cats in enclosures live longer as they are protected from traffic, being lost, wild animals, fights with other cats, being stolen, and will have minimised exposure to ticks and disease.

Benefits of an Outdoor Cat Run

Spending time outdoors also keeps your cat healthy, active and prevents obesity.

So if your cat loves fresh air and sunshine, you should consider building a cat run.

How to Build a Cat Run Enclosure

Looking to build a cat run yourself from scratch? Follow these simple steps:

1. Design Your Catio: The first step is to plan out the design for your cat run. You may be able to download some popular catio designs online to help get you started. If using a pre-existing design you found online, always ensure any modifications made do not compromise the security and integrity of the original design.

2. Purchase Materials: You will need exterior grade plywood, wire mesh for the walls and some sort of roofing material (such as asphalt sheeting or corrugated roofing sheets). These materials can be very expensive brand new so try to use up any existing materials you may already have lying around. You will also need screws, hinges, latches, a staple gun to attach the wire mesh, and power tools.

3. Build a Frame: Start by constructing a basic frame using exterior grade plywood or timber panels according to your DIY catio plans.

4. Attach Wire Mesh: Use a staple gun to attach wire mesh onto the sides of your cat run. This prevents your cat from escaping and predators from entering.

How to Build a Cat Run Enclosure

5. Create Doors: Create a door large enough for a human to duck through. Use hinges and sliding latches.

6. Secure Roofing: Attach solid roof panels to offer your kitty shade. Alternatively, you can just attach a wire mesh roof. But consider what your cat will do if it suddenly rains or is very sunny.

7. Personalised Features: Once your structure is complete, add interior details for your cat’s enjoyment. This may include beddingscratching poststoys, cat safe plants, or an outdoor litter box. The possibilities are endless, only limited by your imagination.

Choosing a Location

Selecting the right spot for your cat run is crucial.

And if you have a larger backyard, there may be a few spots to choose from. So how do you decide?

  • Terrain: The ground needs to be flat enough so that you can secure the enclosure properly and it won’t topple over.
  • Natural Shade: Cats love basking in the sun but also need shade to cool down. A location under trees or a pergola would provide shelter against harsh sunlight and rain.
  • Noise Level: Cats are sensitive creatures who prefer quieter environments. So choose a peaceful corner of your yard away from the road or any noisy neighbours.
  • Your View: Place your cat run somewhere you can see it from inside your house. This allows you to peek out the window and easily check on your cat.
  • Tunnels: If you plan to connect the cat run to your house using a tunnel, you will need to choose a location close to your house.

The location should ultimately offer safety, comfort, and stimulation for your feline friend. Think of it as their own little kitty paradise.

Choosing a Location

Cat Tunnels

Cat tunnels are an enclosed walkway that connects an outdoor cat run to your house. This allows your kitty to come and go as he pleases without you needing to pick him up and carry him every time.

The benefits of connecting your outdoor cat run to the house using a tunnel go beyond just convenience; it also enhances your cat’s enjoyment.

Cat tunnels are fun pathways for your cat to explore, adding stimulation and entertainment to their outdoor space.

You may choose to build an outdoor cat tunnel from scratch. You will need timber for the framing, wire mesh for the sides and roof, and thick plywood panels for floorboards. You will also need screws, a drill and a staple gun.

To save time and hassle, you can buy a flatpack tunnel such as the Bella Cat Tunnel Kit.

Key Takeaway: 

Cat tunnels are a convenient way to connect your outdoor cat enclosure to your house, allowing your cat to come and go freely.

They provide both convenience and entertainment for your furry friend. You can build one from scratch or consider purchasing a flatpack tunnel kit online.

Purchasing a Cat Run

Alright, let’s be honest here. Building custom catios from scratch is a nice idea. But realistically, it can be time-consuming and stressful if you don’t know exactly what you are doing.

Buying brand-new materials to build a cat run from scratch is also very expensive. It is much cheaper to buy a flatpack cat run kit to assemble.

If you’re short on time, money, or lacking in DIY prowess, fear not. Coops and Cages has got you covered!

We offer high-quality flat-pack cat runs that are easy to assemble. All you need is a drill or battery-powered screwdriver. All screws and easy-to-follow instructions are included.

Resort Cat Run

Best Features:

  • Rot-resistants timber
  • Galvanised wire mesh
  • Suitable for small gardens
Resort Cat Run

Greta Cat Run

Best Features:

  • 170cm tall
  • 3 shelves for your cats to jump up onto.
  • Stylish charcoal trim
Greta Cat Run

Castle Cat Run

Best Features:

  • Pitched roof
  • 3 large access doors
  • Attractive design

Visit us online today and give your furry friends the perfect outdoor cat run they deserve.

Castle Cat Run

FAQs in Relation to How to Build a Cat Run Enclosure

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Cat Run?

The cost of building a cat run can vary greatly, depending on the size and materials used, but typically begin at around A$1,000.

What Materials Do You Need For A Cat Run?

You’ll need wire mesh or netting, timber or metal framing, screws or nails, hinges for doors, and possibly polycarbonate sheets for roofing.

How Big Should A Cat Run Be?

A minimum floor space of roughly 1.5m squared and a minimum height of 80cm is recommended for one cat; however, bigger is always better when it comes to your cat’s enjoyment.


Building a cat run enclosure is purrfect for giving your furry friend a safe and comfy outdoor space.

Follow this guide on how to build a cat run enclosure and create an environment that lets your cat enjoy the outdoors while staying protected from potential dangers.

Whether you DIY or buy, consider factors like location and tunnels for added kitty enrichment.

With a well-designed cat run enclosure, you can give your pet the freedom they crave without compromising their safety. So why wait? Start building your very own cat run enclosure today!