Cat Enclosure - Tunnel, Save Space ('CatWalk Is My Road' - AKahn)




About: I love browsing the instructables, THANKS THANKS to everyone that makes this site work. Smile. Especially the cat and dog aficionados.

2016 Note

Finally, a better idea. Could one put a white PVC pipe along the top and cable tie the shelving to that, affixing the PVC pipe to the ceiling in appropriate places. This could allow the shelving to swing down much easier for cleaning, without making huge holes with fender washers (that we used in the dry-walled ceiling)..?

I made more "escape hatches" and have changed the carpeting, but it's not an easy task. 8-) God Bless all who love cats and are loved by cats.

2014 note
I just finished cleaning a stretch of the garage cat walk.
What I should have done was lined the cages with something that rolled from the back (drywall) down around to across the bottom of the cat walk wire....every few feet, so that you can remove and replace easily. Carpet tiles would have worked also, but wider would be nice to protect the drywall..the plastic that I placed had come down despite the velcro, in many spots......Now I also placed some sheet linoleum at the bottom for now but I will cut carpeting to make a half way tunnel
if you will,to protect the drywall and also for them to walk on (over the shelving floor). Sometimes lightbulb moments take me awhile. smile. Picture a sono tube in the tunnel, cut in half, of cover the wall and floor areas.

This cat enclosure keeps my felines safe by limiting their access to the house and outside with a towering, spacious, 150-feet cat run (walk) over doors, windows, cabinets, out of the reach of outside predators and also indoor dog inhabitants. If they come out for a visit, they are always happy to go back, perhaps due to the canine pets in the house. They have a lot of freedom and peaceful times here, rather than going wild in the fields and being hunted by coyotes.

How to keep cats safer, contained, but happy.
These are cat walks with room for

  • napping
  • sitting in the sun
  • birdwatching from a window
  • eating, drinking
  • playing ping pong soccer
  • scratching/needling with claws
  • rubbing fur
  • utilizing upper wasted space in garage or rooms, for instance, above doorways or windows.

To accomplish this first we needed to "tunnel" the cats upstairs from their basement room.


  • Wire shelving, approximately 12-inch, 16-inch and 20-inches wide, with accessories such as brackets, wall clips, rubber ends
  • Toggle bolts for ceiling attachment
  • Cable ties
  • Bolt cutter or some kind of saw to trim wire shelves
  • Rope lighting
  • Carpeting or indoor outdoor carpet (white backing nice to match white shelving vs. dark carpet backing)
  • Canvas, light colored with blue tarp backing worked well facing down in the utility room
  • Plastic lining material
  • Velcro or Wood trim to uphold plastic to protect walls and floor space
  • Brushes
  • Cat flap doors
  • Power drill
  • Circular piece to make round holes through walls, do not cut into weight bearing walls
  • Optional cat toys or ping pong balls that do not need constant supervision
  • Plastic Place mats for further waterproofing
  • Pillows or kitty beds
  • Scratching material or cardboard
  • Optional cat or dog cages for easy entry
  • Additional shelving, brackets
  • Wood as needed for planking (we needed narrow ramp up the basement stairs)
  • Screen or hardware cloth for optional extra tunnels
  • Litter boxes and food dishes
  • Industrial strength Velcro was used to hold plastic liner (wood trim might work better)
  • Carbon monoxide detector.

Future notes:

  • How about tunneling cats up and throughout the house attic space so they can drop into various rooms?
  • Grass or catnip plants for cats, garnish around the "cages" for cat fiddling and looks.
  • Trim would probably work better for plastic liner to protect walls, we were trying to find a way to make it removable to clean
  • Beware of sharp edges where cats can catch their claws (one cat got hooked on paint screen edges more than once)
  • Consider a surveillance camera that might connect to your Internet or intercom
  • View to birds
  • Outdoor access with roof, they will mostly likely use the litter out there due to less odors, has some great cat enclosure ideas
  • I keep an eye out for old kind of Christmas tree branches that might be useful on the wire for the cats to brush up against, or to put around edges of access cat doors to groom and massage them as they pass through.
  • My friend's young children would probably do a great job for me cleaning the garage walks that are 19.89 inches wide, or at least they could help me get the carpet out to clean it.
  • You can sometimes lock an electric garage door opener so the cats do not get out in error. Mine still opens from the keypad. A work-around is to plug the garage door opener into one of those remote controlled extension cords sometimes used for outdoor Christmas lights or hard-to-reach electrical switches. You then can turn the electric off to the garage door opener thus preventing an accidental door opening. This summer I may park elsewhere and use the "Kitty Garage" for lounging, treadmill perhaps and petting our furry friends. In this case I will disconnect the garage doors or put an insect screen in the doorway and open it up for sunshine and air.

I was inspired by a website that showed a barn with inside cat quarters completely constructed of wire shelving made for closets.

In addition, I looked at the California books of the where they had tunnels throughout the house for their cats (recently I enjoyed viewing their YouTube video even more than the books).

I wanted something contained as I have a feline leukemia cat that must be separate from the other cats. When he was subjected to a wandering cat one day, and I had TWO cats to quarantine and an extra dog that created havoc when a cat entered a room, it was time for emergency wired cat walks.

THANKS THANKS THANKS THANKS X 100 TO TOM, my wish came true. He was volunteering at the Restore for Habitat for Humanity while he attended HVAC classes at the local college and also loves cats. He volunteered to manage the project. It took him at least four long days, and three to four trips to Home Depot, where the wire shelving seemed the most reasonable (when Restore store was out of wire shelves).
Some days he was assisted by Homero.

I owe these two for this fantastic inside haven. Coyotes ARE an issue in this area. They have captured local cats and also punctured my little dog's lung.

Another inspiration is the guy from Minnesota that was featured this year on Cats 101, Animal Planet, HE IS AWESOME, he spent 10k on beautiful wood catwalks throughout his nice country home for his cats. or google Animal Planet fur kids...or see Greg Krueger on Facebook.

Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Rocco and helpers (Nick, Tyler, Shawn, Frank, etc.) for the awesome digs he also created for my cats with "Restore Habitat for Humanity" doors, windows, fencing...until the cats could come into the house.

Thanks lastly but not leastly to Nancy F. who bought me my first cat tunnel book and inspired me to start searching the Internet for "cat enclosures" . Thanks to Sue J. for cat lover support.

Thanks to everyone I have not mentioned (chemo brain and age).

Thank you, for having a contest DEADLINE and also for the opportunity to win a Nikon Digital SLR camera.

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    48 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I made something like that lonely it's made of cardboard and nontoxic glue for my sisters hamster

    3 replies

    4 years ago

    So sorry, I thought you were commenting on the kennel...but basically............we used cable ties....toggle hooks...and we are happy to answer any questions and info about updating it and making it better.. 8-)


    4 years ago

    The pictures are grea, but sare there any written instructions to follow?

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    Basically it's the idea and you fit the closet wiring to your situation...and if you have cats you will need all the way to the ceiling or a slanted wire on the top...I am re doing this and will post works well most of the time, except when the cats decide the dogs aren't looking. 8-)

    Ask me any questions and I will try to help, I'm pretty busy or I would have done more details, I am more trying to get help out there for future pet owners so more pets get adopted. 8-)

    thanks for looking! (and caring about pets!)


    4 years ago

    Oops, accidentally put question marks at the end of my last comment! :-|


    4 years ago

    You sure look like you are a cat and dog lover from your instructables! :D very good idea! ??


    4 years ago on Introduction

    There should be a way to use two closet shelves in a triangular fashion, so that the top can open for cleaning...also, material covering the back wall and curving around to cover the floor part of shelving...would be helpful to protect drywall and paint from stains.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    No. Even the ferals venture out, but they hurry back in. 8-) It is way more than 150 feet long throughout house...and garage, basement...and also there is an outside porch and walkway completely fenced in. In coyote country, a "caged" cat is a "live" cat.


    I hope this is not a cat prison I hope they are petted and allowed some human contact .Wonderful idea if they can get out.


    Love the idea, and as we rent our house I would try to make it easily moveable. It also make ideal use of the wasted space between the top of doors and windows and the ceiling as well as making a secure but spacious area to contain Kitten if we're out all day. Kitten would certainly love being able to spy on you from above, and would love trapdoors so she could drop down on unsuspecting passersby.

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you. The latest Idea I have gathered is using my surplus the olden days I see that people hung their dining room chairs on the wall! I also see, on Pinterest, etc. chairs hung along the me instead of plants, I would like to see cats. I would need to make some washable pillows for each one...that is my next venture, I have not figured out how to fasten the chairs to the wall in the best fashion both in the house and in the out building.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    We hung spare dining room chairs on the wall in our garage using 6" nails. We wrapped them in plastic first but if I was going to use them for cats to walk over I would make fabric chair covers first, with eyelet holes in the back of the covers for the nails to go through. Depending on the chairs I would also put a wrap around the back where the nails hit to protect the wood/fabric. Anything smaller than 6" and you run the risk of the chairs falling off them.

    water rat

    6 years ago on Introduction

    OMG!!! I HAVE GOT TO MAKE THIS FOR MY RATTIES!!! Such a good idea & instructable! If I ever do make one for my ratties I'll take some pix and let you know! I love this! TYSM!

    1 reply
    katerlynwater rat

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Good luck to you. I read recently in Handyman Magazine that there is a BETTER toggle bolt that I think is removable. As it is, we used toggle bolts that will not undo, so it's tough to replace the carpet and clean. We did make more entry points. Take care.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks everyone. I want to pass on that I now get magazine and I was reminded that wood pellets are good for litter for cats. In a nutshell:
    20 cent aluminum pans (small size one for each cat), at Costco or Sams...
    wood pellets $4 for 40 lbs

    Make them up ahead of time, one or two cups each....the pellets just slide out of the pans and they can be reused for a time, sometimes washed...I am so happy to have found this alternative to clay litter.

    ALSO from instructables, I got huge plastic tubs, i put litter pans IN the tub (cut a door out one one end) keeps the litter mess inside the box, and eventually I'll put the cover on perhaps....