Catio Showcase

Archive for the ‘Custom catios’ Category

May 27th, 2011 The Scottish Mafia at Home in Their Florida Catio

Judi and her husband live in Fort Pierce, Florida, where their lives are controlled by their four Scottish Folds, AKA the Scottish Mafia. Liam, Fiona, Fibber and Oliver have a kitty paradise in their giant 6′ x 12′ screened in catio that Judi and her husband added onto their already large screened porch area. Inside this tropical paradise, the kits get to enjoy cat-safe foliage including patio palms, impatiens and parsley, plus tons of other feline amenities.

Climbing ramps and perches are all made from untreated rough-sawn cedar that’s wrapped with natural sisal. Wheatgrass and catnip patches below the ramps provide wonderful grazing areas and a cool place to nap, although they need to be replaced continuously because of a few feline junkies.

The koi pond provides endless hours of entertainment, and Judi says that the fish are perfectly safe because the cats haven’t yet figured out how to get in there without getting wet.

The mafia enjoys a lovely custom made litterbox hideaway made with birch veneer and cherry stain to match the exterior of the main house.

With so many comfy spots to nap, this is definitely kitty heaven for this adorable crew.

The Scottish Mafia: Fiona, Oliver, Fibber and Liam.

May 13th, 2011 Chloe’s Catio and Ember’s Afterglow Lounge

When Carrie found this house in Portland, she knew it was a perfect fit for her and her menagerie because it already had the beginnings of a catio. Once she started working on the catio, however, she quickly realized that the original structure (shown below left) was going to have to be completely replaced, so the project took on a slightly larger scope, but the end result is paradise for Carrie and her furry family members.

The cats access the catio through the sliding glass doors leading to the indoor cat lounge area. A clear polycarbonate roof keeps everyone nice and dry, even in the rainy Pacific Northwest climate. Carrie chose to build the structure from fir, but if she did it again, she says she’d probably use cedar to avoid having to paint or stain the wood. The entire project, including a short stretch of fence and a gate to keep the dogs in the yard, cost $5000. Carrie says, “It’s pretty obvious that I did not think of resale when I built this. I plan on living in the house for the rest of my life so my heirs can figure out how best to market it. ;) Or maybe I’ll leave it to a cat rescue group.”

This wonderful cat space is named after two of Carrie’s beloved cats who she recently lost, Ember, a rescue from The Great Kitty Rescue, and shy tabby beauty Chloe.

April 14th, 2011 Cat Cottage Senior Sanctuary in Pasadena

The Cat Cottage Senior Sanctuary is a special little hideaway in Pasadena, CA built just for senior and special needs kitties. These lucky kitties have a wonderful catio so they can safely enjoy the beautiful Southern California weather in their golden years.

The structure itself was originally a prefab TuffShed barn, with a vaulted ceiling and a loft. They were able to customize it with windows and a skylight to give the kitties lots of natural light inside. They had power lines run underground for electricity, then added insulation, drywall, window trim, paint, a dimmable chandelier, handmade kitty stairway to the loft, and an air conditioner as well as a small catio. It’s a small space, but with so much vertical room, plus the catio, it’s fine for elderly cats who spend most of the day following the sun from one nap spot to another!

The Cat Cottage is not accepting any new residents at this time, but you can follow them on Facebook to see the beautiful senior cats in their care, as well as listings for senior cats that are available for adoption. Next time you’re thinking of adding another furry family member, please consider adopting a senior cat!

March 13th, 2011 Squeezy and Tiger’s Outdoor Getaway

Catio Showcase reader Maggie sent in photos of this nifty little cat enclosure that her fiance’s dad built for his two cats Squeezy and Tiger. It’s a freestanding enclosure made with simple materials from the local home improvement store. It’s filled with cat amenities like a rope-covered scratching post and shelves for perching and climbing. There’s room for a litter box and some food and water, plus an enclosed sleeping area for a little privacy.

The sunflowers planted around the enclosure will look beautiful and provide some camouflage when they come up. It looks like Squeezy and Tiger really love their little outdoor getaway!

For more details, please visit the Alley Cat Rescue blog.

January 24th, 2011 All About Animals’ Amazing Catio Keeps Kitties Happy in Arizona

This big beautiful catio provides kitties from All About Animals Rescue in Phoenix, Arizona with a temporary home while they wait to be adopted. All About Animals Rescue was founded in 2010 by Dawn Kavanaugh, who really knows cats. She and her husband added this catio onto their home for their own cats, plus it allows them to rescue countless cats off the euthanasia list from local animal control agencies. Dawn and her team of volunteers run adoption events every week at local pet supply stores and each week dozens of happy cats go home with loving new owners.

The spacious catio is filled with cat-friendly accommodations from top to bottom. Outdoor furniture, climbing shelves, and scratching towers give all the kitties plenty of room to hang out and enjoy the beautiful Arizona weather. The little gray kitten above is enjoying a new Sleek Lounge from Brawny Cat.

Some volunteers helped Dawn epoxy the floors, which gives them a terrific looking finish and makes them really easy to clean. This is a great option for catio flooring.

Learn more about All About Animals at and check out some of the fabulous cats they currently have available for adoption.

December 31st, 2010 Brad’s Custom Cat Enclosure

Brad Stone built this spacious cat enclosure for his well-loved felines at his home in Texas. The spacious enclosure measures 15 feet by 24 feet by 6 feet tall, so there’s plenty of room for Brad to hang out with the cats. It’s a basic structure made with wood posts and galvanized metal fencing with plenty of ramps, shelves, and posts inside to keep the cats entertained. Read more about Brad’s cat enclosure on his website.

November 20th, 2010 Bob and Glenda’s Spacious Outdoor Catrun

Bob and Glenda built this spacious outdoor catrun at their Utah home. The structure spans three-quarters of the length of the house and is built of redwood and wire mesh. The cats access the catrun through a door in the window of the laundry room. Bob and Glenda added a tree branch for scratching and climbing, a shelving system, and two cat houses inside the catrun. There is a full-size door so people can access the incredible backyard gardens and pond, which the cats spend their days watching and enjoying.

More information on Bob and Glenda’s blog.

October 23rd, 2010 A Safe Kitty Haven with Southwest Flair

When Stokely and her dad moved from Long Island to Las Vegas, she was used to living outside, but there are all sorts of desert predators in Vegas that might prove dangerous to an outdoor kitty, so dad built her a special enclosure for their new Southwest home. Stokely now has a beautiful outdoor patio where she can lounge during the day and at night she goes into her own private house that’s locked safely inside a predator-proof fence where she can sleep without any worries. With food and water and lots of places to nap — plus I’m sure she sees the occassional lizard run by for entertainment — Stokely seems to be enjoying her desert paradise.

October 5th, 2010 Introducing the Complete DIY Catio Design Guide to Help You Build Your Own Outdoor Cat Enclosure!

If you’ve been wanting to build your own catio, but you don’t know where to start, then this is for you! Introducing the brand new complete DIY Catio Design Guide. This guide includes a full set of plans to help you build your own outdoor cat enclosure, no matter how much, or how little, space you have.

The DIY Catio Design Guide includes complete plans for building four different catio models in a variety of sizes. The guide includes a tools and materials list for each model plus color 3-D architectural drawings to help guide you through the process. The four models are:

Model 1: The Luxor Catio

The Luxor Catio is the most spacious design, perfect for cat owners with a big yard or large outdoor space who want to build a safe and spacious sanctuary for their cats. The Luxor is built away from the house and is connected by a cat run or tunnel “catwalk” which allows your cats to get from the house to the catio safely. The Luxor plans include Extra Large (16×16), Large (8×24), Medium (8×16), and Small (8×8).

Model 2: The Ritz Catio

The Ritz Catio attaches to one side of your house with access through a cat flap on the side of the house. This model allows you to use an existing door to access the catio yourself when you want to spend time with your kitty. The Ritz plans include Large (8×24), Medium (8×16), and Small (8×8).

Model 3: The Windows on the World Catio

The Windows on the World Catio is ideal for cat lovers with limited outdoor space. It attaches to the side of your house and uses the existing window to allow your cat access from inside your house. The Windows on the World Catio plans include Large (2×10) and Medium (2×5).

Model 4: The Petite Window Catio

The Petite Window Catio is supported on your window frame much like an AC unit. No more worrying about unsafe windows once you have your simple and secure Petite Window Catio built. Perfect for the urban cat lover!

The Catio Design Guide is exactly what you need to build your own catio, or use it to hire a handyman. The guide was created with the following considerations:

  • Easy to construct with common tools even if you have little prior carpentry experience
  • Detailed step-by-step instructions anyone can follow
  • Simple design and construction process, complex building techniques are not needed
  • Built from inexpensive common materials available at all local hardware stores
  • Protected by buried wire screens to keep your cats safe from dangerous predators like coyotes
  • Attractive designs which complement your home
  • Plans can be scaled to suit your individual catio needs
  • Easily customizable models, the simple addition of shelves and plants and a touch of your own creativity will make your catio complete

The complete DIY Catio Design Guide includes all 10 catio plans (Luxor – extra large, large, medium & small; Ritz – large, medium & small; Windows on the World – large & medium; and Petite Window) in a downloadable pdf for $49.99. The guide comes with a 60-day no questions asked money back guarantee, so if you don’t find it useful, your money will be refunded.

And just for visiting the site and submitting your email, you can receive five free bonus items:

  • Tips for Growing Catnip & How to Make a Great Catnip Toy
  • Deadly Plants for Cats
  • Tips on Growing Oatgrass
  • Tips on Growing Wheatgrass
  • DIY Ideas for Your New Catio

Order your guide today!

September 5th, 2010 Linda and Randy’s Amazing Oregon Catitat


When Linda and Randy moved from Seattle to Bend, Oregon, they wanted to create a space for their cats to go outside, but they were concerned about the coyotes and barn owls in the area since they live near a large land preserve. So they decided to build this incredible “catitat” to let their kitties have a safe place to roam.


Linda and Randy hired a fencing company to build the structure and then stained the wood themselves. The main structure is 24 feet by 40 feet and it is filled with climbing shelves, ramps, grass, and natural elements like a large dead tree, perfect for natural scratching! The main supports are sunken into the ground about 6 inches and secured with concrete. Also the wire fencing extends about 6 inches blow ground to keep other critters from burrowing in. There is a full-size door into the catitat so Linda and Randy can join the cats in their outdoor paradise, which they do frequently when the weather is nice.


The cats access the catitat through a long walkway leading from a cat door inside a cabinet in the house to the main enclosure. The roof of the walkway comes off in segments, just in case there is an emergency and a cat needs to be removed from the walkway.


As you can see, the cats sure do seem to enjoy this incredible structure. I wonder if they know just how lucky they are!


August 16th, 2010 Lyn’s Little Lanai

Lyn's Little Lanai

When Lyn took her two cats from their home in Florida to New England for the summer, they were missing their outdoor enclosure, so Lyn’s son built this little portable enclosure to tide them over. The screened in cubicle sits on a picnic table outside a window, allowing the kitties to get some fresh air. A simple solution for a vacation home.

Lyn’s son would be happy to build you one at a reasonable price if you are interested. Please contact me at kate (at) moderncat (dot) net and I will put you in touch with him.

July 31st, 2010 Colorful Catios in Fresno, California


Harvie and her husband decided to build not one, but two custom catios at their home in Fresno, California. These gorgeous spaces, full of light and color, look like a perfect cat paradise and a wonderful place to hang out with feline family members.


To start the project, they first enclosed a large covered patio area that faces toward their lovely pool and backyard. They hired Tom Whitling of The Avian Home, a custom builder who specializes in bird aviaries. This is the first cat enclosure that he has worked on. Tom pre-constructed the custom panels and then secured them in place with concrete bolts and screws into the stucco walls. All the panels were painted before installation, as you can see below.


After the panels were in place, Harvie and her husband went back and caulked around the bottom to keep water and bugs out, plus they added clear Plexiglas panels along the bottom portion on the outside of the panels to keep out rain spatters, water from the pool sweep, and dust from the gardener’s leaf blower.


They added two shelves, one at waist height and another way up high, for kitty climbing, plus lots of cat trees, scratchers, a litter box, and food and water. Comfy human furniture, colorful decor, and a ceiling fan add just the right touches to make everyone feel right at home.


The cats access the catio through the sliding glass doors, which have cat flaps installed in the screens. There is an alternative entrance into this catio from the kitchen window.


Since the first catio was such a success, Harvie and her husband decided to add a smaller catio off the master bedroom. This catio also has a climbing shelf, cat trees, and a loveseat.


As if living in California isn’t nice enough, these lucky kitties sure do have a wonderful home!



July 20th, 2010 Celebrity Catio: Basil Farrow’s Private Retreat


Basil Farrow — formerly owned by Mia Farrow, now fiercely adored by his new mom, Gothic Lolita fashionista La Carmina — likes to enjoy a cup of tea on his private catio in Vancouver. It’s always nice to take a little break from the paparazzi, and what better place than outside catching a warm summer breeze.


La Carmina enclosed the balcony for Basil Farrow using plastic fencing that extends up to the railing and curves over to discourage jumping, which I’m told Basil Farrow isn’t really interested in doing anyway. A baby gate was installed at the top of the stairs leading to the back yard. This isn’t the kind of catio for rambunctious cats, but Basil Farrow is quite well-mannered (no jumping or escaping), plus he is always supervised on his catio, I’m assuming by his bodyguards.


Read more about Basil Farrow’s catio on La Carmina’s blog.


July 17th, 2010 Frances’ Fire Escape Catio


Living in a third-floor railroad car apartment in Brooklyn, you don’t have many options for allowing cats outdoors, but Frances got creative and made a lush little catio on her fire escape. Using pre-cut lumber and easy to carry materials from her local hardware store, she enclosed the area and added lots of greenery. The cats seem to be enjoying their little getaway.


Here’s a view of the fire escape B.C. (before catio).


July 11th, 2010 Lynn’s Lovely Deck Catio


Lynn had this lovely catio added on to her home in New York. She hired a handyman to build the structure on top of the existing deck using wood to match. The entire structure is enclosed with wire mesh that almost disappears. There’s a door with a latch so people can get out into the yard, as long as they remember to close the door behind them.

Great job, Lynn! The cats sure do seem to be enjoying it.


June 16th, 2010 Catio Living Moderncat Style in Phoenix, Arizona


I started this blog a while ago, when I was designing my own catio, as a way to gather my research in one place. Now that the finishing touches are complete, I figured I should show you the results, plus the topic of catio design is gaining national recognition with a recent article in the New York Times.


My 1100 sq ft condo in Central Phoenix came with a nice back patio that was already walled in, however, the wall was easily scalable so it was off limits for my cats until I could enclose it. My good friend Mike was the real force behind the catio. He helped me design and build the structure by extending the roof and creating metal mesh panels to connect the concrete block walls to the roof line.  Here are some before and after photos:


You can see the old rotting patio cover and the bougainvillea plants that had to go.


We used sturdy metal roofing material over a solid wood frame. The metal mesh for the side panels came from a local metal supply store. We had it powder coated for durability. Mike made sure there are absolutely no escape holes.


I added climbing shelves and an enclosed litter box area at one end with a sisal wrapped scratching post that extends all the way to the ceiling. This is a popular feature. The more agile cats can climb all the way up the pole to the top shelf.


I’ve filled the catio with all sorts of products that my cats love, like a two-story cat condo from Modern Cat Designs, The Cat’s Trapeze (hanging in the middle), a Litter Pod (used for lounging instead of litter), a Scratch N Slumber comfort center, and various scratchers and other toys. There’s also a rattan lounge chair from Ikea and a bistro table and two chairs so I can join the cats on the catio.


Having a catio is a dream come true for both me and the cats. They love to be able to get fresh air and watch the birds, and I love that they are safe from harm. We plan to enjoy this catio for many years.


January 6th, 2009 Beverly’s Expansive Catio Deck

Beverly lives in Thorpe Bay, Essex just outside Southend on Sea in the United Kingdom. She built this fabulous enclosed cat run for her Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats, and her moggies, a British term for house cats.

January 5th, 2009 Ragdoll’s Royal Residence

This custom cat enclosure was designed and built by the Australian company, Advanced Cat Enclosures (ACE). The owners of ACE, Sue and Steve Williams, have been building cat enclosures for fourteen years and they have excellent suggestions on their website for people who are considering building a cat enclosure.

Check out some of the other enclosures from Advanced Cat Enclosures in their gallery.

January 4th, 2009 David and Mary’s Tiny Treehouse

David and Mary really made the most of a small space and a tiny budget when they created this treetop catio for their cats in Austin, Texas. They started with a 4 x 7 foot balcony nestled in the trees. Using only $75 of materials, they built lightweight walls, screened it in with sturdy plastic netting, and added a plastic tarp roof cover for shade and light rain protection. Since the walls are stone and the exterior door is metal, they couldn’t add a kitty door, so they just leave the door open for the cats who love to sit on the ledges and watch the squirrels and birds…just out of reach in the trees. Deer passing through the yard just below the balcony provide additional entertainment.

January 3rd, 2009 Jamaka’s Mojave Desert Cat Compound

Jamaka and her husband created an elaborate cat enclosure on this property in the Mojave desert. They started by enclosing the outdoor area next to the 4-stall stable, but they didn’t stop there. They insulated two of the stalls, poured a concrete slab which was covered with all-weather boat deck carpeting, installed cat doors for indoor/outdoor access, and they even went so far as to install a swamp cooler and misters for the summer months and a heater to keep it nice and toasty in the winter. Elevated sleeping cubicles and a corner multi-level platform add extra spots for perching and napping to these special accommodations.

Back at the house, they added a catio for the indoor crew. Cat doors allow easy access and a 3-perch climbing structure along with rugs, pillows, and a variety of toys and interactive exercisers complete the environment. A perfect desert oasis for some very lucky cats!