Do you love cats? I do! I have one outdoor kitty that I adore, but if my husband let me I would fill the house with them. Do I sound like a crazy cat lady? Well, I am. I love everything about them from the way that they look, to the way that they purr. I love their tails, their pointy ears and the gorgeous markings that many have. Their curious personalities and independent spunk make them simply irresistible to me.
You are probably thinking that a woman like this should not have married a man who would limit her to owning only one cat. However, my husband is not just being mean and denying me something that I love. He actually feels quite badly about it. But, he cannot change the fact that he is allergic. And, therefore, cats cannot live in our home. Ever. Because of this, I have become an outdoor cat enclosure expert.
When we got married I knew that I would never be able to have indoor cats as I always had in the past. At the time, I had two beautiful tabbies. They had been indoor/outdoor but when my husband and I moved in together, they had to make their homes outside, for good. That was hard for me because I did not want them to feel neglected and I worried about their safety and health.
Like any good cat lady, I had to find a solution that would suit everyone’s needs and keep everyone feeling loved, valued and safe. That is when I started to look into outdoor cathouses. I bought one for my two tabbies to share and, over time, they made it into their very own cozy home. I felt wonderful about supplying them an outdoor cat run area for exercise, play, sleep, eating and just plain living.
It didn’t take long for me to see that they thoroughly enjoyed living outside full-time. They had space to roam and enjoyed chasing birds and sunbathing on pretty days. When the weather was cold, I always made sure that they had extra blankets and pillows in their house and they would cuddle up against one another in their little cottage like a couple of hibernating bear cubs.
My enclosure, at the time, was large and incorporated two stories with platforms, scratching posts and more. It was like a palace for my pets. Later, when we downsized our home and my yard was smaller, I purchased a smaller structure. Then, when those two passed away, I got one new cat. I promised my husband it would only be one. So, I knew I would not need a huge enclosure. In addition, the yard was small and the weather was generally beautiful in my area. At that time, I purchased the one that I have now. It is small, practical and comfortable but nothing like that first mammoth that I put up.
I was so incredibly happy to have found a way to keep my cats. I visited them outside often and they would come scratch at the door if they felt neglected. I would find a spot on the deck to drink coffee and pet them as they purred. Our backyard became a haven for all of us. My husband could even enjoy the cats (from a distance) this way. He realized that he actually liked felines quite a bit. Now, he will even go so far as to put on a pair of gloves so that he can give them a little affection every now and then.
The fact that he and I can now enjoy cat ownership together is a dream that I never, ever, thought would come true. And, if it sounds crazy to you to dream such a thing, then I apologize. I’ll remind you again – when it comes to cats, I am nuts.
Of course, having an allergic housemate is not the only reason that an outdoor cat enclosure might be of use to you. You might:
- Hate dealing with litter, smells, mess, etc.
- Not want your furniture clawed, torn and ruined but not like the idea of declawing.
- Have a pet indoors with whom the cat cannot or does not get along (a dog, a bird or guinea pig, for example)
- Have no patience for fur on your couch, carpet, clothes and cushions
- Have found a feral cat who would be more comfortable continuing to live outdoors, even as you look after it
- Have a baby in the home with whom you can never be too careful. (There are horror stories about cats smothering babies in their cribs , but it is worth noting that it is not likely that your cat will hurt your infant.)
- Have a cat that just loves the outdoors! This is actually very common. Tons of cats love to live outside. You shouldn’t feel badly about it. For many, it is the best of both worlds. They have both an owner and freedom. Sounds pretty good, right?
So, no matter your reason, I am here to help you find the perfect product for you and your furry friend. It matters not to me why you need one but only that you need one and that I can be of help and service to you, and to your pet. I am a cat-lover in my soul and I want to help every cat owner get to experience the joy and love that these amazing pets can bring.
Let’s get started: the best outdoor cat enclosures
Here are some great choices for outdoor cat runs and enclosures. They vary in size, shape, price and more. But, they are all wonderful and will work great. The idea is for you to find the one that works best for your family, your yard and your life. I am just here to be your guide.
1. ABO Gear Kitty Compound House Outdoor Cat Enclosure
This outdoor enclosure gives the cat an open-air feel and has fun tunnels and windows for the cat to explore. Everyone knows that cats are more than just a little curious and this enclosure will keep them stimulated for hours. It is important to note that this enclosure will not shelter your pet from inclement weather or provide them protection. But, it is a great choice for people who let their cats go in and out but want to keep a close eye on their kitty.
2. Prevue Premium Outdoor Cat Run Tower
If your cat loves to climb then he will love this enclosure. It is so tall that it almost looks like a bird cage. It is rust-resistant and comes with 2 hammocks for your feline friends to rest. This is a great choice for a home with multiple feline friends. It, like the first one, is open air but it provides more shelter and far more space than they do. It is pretty barebones in the sense that is nothing spectacular to look at. But, it’s great for active cats or, like I said, families with 2 or more cats.
3. Wildwhiskers Outdoor Feline Fun House
This small enclosure is great for traveling or for cats who spend the majority of their time inside. Let them roam freely in their own little space while you are at the park, the beach or even on a picnic. Or, use it at home. It pops up and folds down with ease. And, like the name says, it is fun. It is like their own little tent where they can get comfortable and enjoy everything that the outdoors has to offer.
4. Kitty Walk Outdoor Cat Run
This cat run is long and straight so that the cat run back and forth with ease and comfort. It is equipped with two doors but provides very little shelter or protection from the elements, etc. The netting on the side is tear and rip resistant so that your kitty’s claws won’t destroy it. It is a great choice for an active cat, or for multiple cats as it is pretty large and provides room to play and run. But, it is super simple and nothing fancy. If you want something that will fit into your chic backyard décor, then this may not be the best choice.
5. Trixie Wooden Outdoor Cat Enclosure
If your Cats love being outside, then this is just the house for them. It is made of solid wood and will shelter and protect them from the elements and even predators. It is huge and ideal for multiple cat homes. The design is both practical and attractive. It includes a ramp for your pet to get up and down and out of the house. It also has a window, sliding doors, a small side door and a large front door with a metal latch. This is more than a cat enclosure. This is a kitty mansion.
6. Jespet Portable & Foldable Outdoor Cat Enclosure with Carry Bag
This indoor/outdoor portable, and versatile play area is the perfect thing for pet owners who want their pet to have space, but don’t have the money to spend on a huge elaborate wooden getaway like #5. It comes with a pad for comfort for the cat and is made of waterproof materials. The sides zip up and down and the whole thing is so lightweight that a child could carry it. It reminds me of a camping tent for humans, but designed for fur babies.
How to choose a Cat Enclosure
So, now we have listed 6 amazing cat pens and you are sitting there scratching your head. You want to know how you can possibly pick. You want to know where you should even begin. Don’t fret. I am here for just that reason, remember?
At the end of the day, you will have to decide on the pen that suits your needs. You may end up deciding that you need 2 pens for multiple cats, that you only need one small one or that you want a large and attractive structure that will last for years to come. There are so many options that you will likely need to weigh pros and cons… and ask yourself a few important questions…
1. How many cats do you have?
This is pretty self-explanatory – the more cats that you have, the more room that you will need.
2. Where do you live? Do you know of any predators in the area? How is the climate?
Is your home near rivers, lakes, swamps, oceans, forests, mountains or hills? Are there predators that might think your cat would make a tasty treat? Is the weather mild or does it get extreme as seasons change?
3. How often are your cats outdoors?
Will your cat or cats be in their enclosure often, or all of the time? Or, will they only be using it to get some fresh air? The truth is, if they will be using it minimally then it obviously makes the most sense not to spend a ton of money or to buy a huge one. But, those are decisions that only you can make.
4. Will you be outdoors with them?
Will you be there to supervise? Or, will you be leaving them outside alone? If you are going to be out with them then the security of the enclosure is a little less paramount. You can feel comfortable about leaving them out in a netted enclosure where you are certain that they will be safe. But, if you plan to leave them alone for hours or more, then you should supply them an area where they can withdraw and rest comfortably. Don’t forget that cats love corners, pillows, and comfy spots.
5. Do you want it to be stationery or portable?
Do you want something that can go with you on road trips or to the family picnic? Or, do you prefer a large and sturdy structure that will fit into your backyard? Are you interested in it fitting in your trunk? Be sure to find one that easily pops up and just as easily folds down when it is time to leave.
6. What is your price point?
Although we may wish it were not true – money matters. What can you afford? The prices vary widely. Find an enclosure that meets your budgetary needs.
7. How important are aesthetics to you?
Do you want it to be beautiful or is it just important that the thing works and keeps your cat safe? If you want something that looks great, then you may be interested in a large wooden structure. But, if not, a netted cat run will probably do the trick.
8. How active are your pets?
A small one-story enclosure will be fine for a cat who is pretty relaxed. But, a spunky kitten is going to need room to play, run and jump. If your cat is very active then you may want to think about purchasing a large enclosure, or even go all out with one of the two-story houses.
9. How old are your felines?
An older cat may not care much about climbing, jumping or swinging in hammocks. A small, comfortable enclosure with a soft pillow will likely be more than sufficient. But, young cats and kittens need space and want to climb, jump and roll around. More room will be necessary.
10. How accustomed to the outdoors is your pet?
If your cat is very accustomed to being outside then there may be less of a need for the structure to be completely enclosed. Often, pet owners will leave a play area or play structure up for their cat to use at their own discretion and will. If so, you will probably want one that you can easily leave open so that your fur baby can come and go as he or she pleases.
Your pet is a part of the family and only you can discern what is best for them. There are a wide array of solutions and choices but I cannot tell you for sure what is right for you. I can only guide you. But, I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do so. I hope that I have been of help to you today and that you are better equipped to choose your very own enclosure soon.
So, use this information to help you make the best possible decision. Your cat will thank you.