Our Catio




About: I quit work to care for invalid Mom in February 2008 and take care of cats and house.

We moved into a new house and I wanted the cats to be able to enjoy the beautiful Alabama climate but also wanted them to be safe.  We had a window in the basement that could be adapted for a "pet door" although it was high and would need boxes in the basement so the cats could reach the windowsill and pet door.

Step 1: Determine Size

To fit between generator and a/c unit I decided on 10' x 14' x 8 ' high.  Made list for Home Improvement store for 4x4's, 2x4's, 100' roll of 2x4 fencing.  2 x 10's for framing bottom and used a pre-hung door I found in the basement of home I bought.

Step 2: Fun in the Sun

The cats can go downstairs and into Cat-io whenever they feel like it.

Step 3: Available for Night Use, Too.

The door to outside is locked but gives me access when I am outside. 

Step 4: Show and Tell

Maybe this isn't really an INSTRUCTABLE but rather a show and tell.  With handy friends and some donated materials, it might cost less than you think.  Garden plants can use the fencing as a trellis.  Some day I hope to make a door and stairs from upstairs level and have a screened room to enjoy with them.  You can add patio furniture and/or other things for pets.  Since the fencing is 2 x 4 there have been times when they bring in birds, little snakes and mice, so far I caught them all and took them outside. 



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    12 Discussions


    Not yet. I live in the City but adjacent neighbor has 10 acre woods. Another neighbor saaid most neighbors bring in pets before dark as many have been killed by coyotes. We have seen coyotes, hawks, racoons, hear owls and snakes. The only things that go into the catio so far has been birds and lizards. I have put down snake repellent the first few years and try to keep lawn mowed. Locals tell me snakes here avoid cats. Most of Alabama seems to be rural.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Just a cautionary note ... You may want to be sure that you won't encounter code violations ... and that depending on where you live, you can either de-construct in case of serious weather concerns (such as tropical storms) or that it will stand-up to high winds.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I appreciate that info especially for anyone reading this where they may have even stricter codes than we have. So far it's held up for 3 years and I knew I might be found out and have to remove it so I planned it to be kinds strong but temporary. I was thinking someday I may replace the center window with a door and convert it to a screened room with a stairway from the top floor. Thanks Rusty!


    Thank you. I'm going to look for some more catio furniture at yard sales. Did get a good deal ona Dog-Loo (doghouse) may re-name it Cat-loo.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    i also have doghouses with heat lamps in them. you run the cord thru pvc pipe to keep dogs from biting it and being killed. the cats have doghouses too and one is heated with a red heat lamp bulb. get them at lowes or walmarts for $8. plus shield it fits in.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    i started with a 20 by 30 ft enclosure then added another area on and then 2 more and now its 100 ft by 100 ft. part is enclosed on the top and part of it has a 3ft overhang. inside the enclosure is a 14 by 16 ft building. air cond. and heated with furniture and cat tree's. for great pics of smaller enclosures got to just4cats.com


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    There are a lot of Cat Enclosure websites and you can find ideas to fit any situation. This fit our house and I take so much pleasure to look out the window and see them enjoying thi=eir space, day and night.