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Best Catios for 2022

A catio is a portmanteau of ‘cat patio’, an outdoor cat enclosure that provides safety and enrichment. Your cat will still get fresh air and exercise, but won’t be able to roam too far.

They’re mostly used by people who have indoor cats but who want the cats to get fresh air. They have space to explore, without damaging your home.

A catio can either attach to your home, be freestanding in your garden or be fitted to a balcony. Access can be granted through an open door or window, or through a cat flap if you want to give them a bit more free rein (and prevent cold draughts!)

It allows your cat a sensory experience they otherwise wouldn’t have, whether you can’t allow them out because of where you live or because of medical conditions such as FIV.

When choosing a catio, there is a lot to consider. You need to think about the space you can afford to give to the enclosure, as well as the material. Wood will drill into the brickwork of a house easier than metal, yet metal needs less upkeep.

Below are the best catios and outdoor cat enclosures available to buy online, in various sizes and for various uses.

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Omlet Outdoor Cat Run
    • Plenty of space for beds and extras
    • Pretty flexible on setup
    Check Price
    Cat Balcony Enclosure
    • Adjustable size
    • High
    Check Price

    The Top Outdoor Cat Enclosures Reviewed

    Omlet Outdoor Cat Run

    Larger than most other catios available, and feeling a lot more secure too, this run will give your cat plenty of freedom to explore while staying safe.

    There are two heights available, so you can buy a taller version if there will be climbing equipment in there or if you’d want to join them. A detachable running skirt surrounds the entire catio, which will prevent any other animals digging under, or your cat squeezing under. You can also lock and unlock the door from the inside or out.

    The high version has an optional stable door design, so you can give them some food or toys without risking the Great Escape. Additional doors can also be added to the catio in various places too.

    It is easy to extend, whether when you buy it or a few years down the line when your feline family grows. You can also add a porch if you want an extra level of security when you are going in and out, or a partition to keep cats separated.

    You can either leave it freestanding in your garden or leave one side open and attach it flush to your home so your cats can come and go via a window or door.


    • Plenty of space for beds and extras
    • Pretty flexible on setup


    • Material: Steel Mesh
    • Dimensions: Minimum 2.2 x 2.05 x 2.2m

    Cat Balcony Enclosure

    City buildings can be difficult to provide your cat with all they need. You don’t feel safe letting them onto the balcony as it is, and you don’t really want to allow them to go outside because it is a) difficult to get them out and b) busy roads and cats don’t mix.

    So, a catio balcony enclosure is an ideal option. It is safer than netting and balcony fencing as it is completely closed in with a roof, and can’t be broken or chewed. You can relax knowing they are safe, and they can go out to watch the world go by whenever they want.

    This enclosure has been designed to fit almost any balcony and can be extended to make the most of the space you have, and there will be plenty of room for you to join them. You can even buy an optional porch to give you an ‘airlock’ style entrance, for added security, and covers are available too.

    The depth is narrow enough to fit on any balcony, and it can be extended between 1.84 and 3.68m to either fill your balcony or leave space some free. A removable run skirt can be used to fit it to your balcony, and to attach it to your home, just use suitable metal fittings.


    • Adjustable size
    • High


    • Material: Steel Mesh
    • Dimensions: D0.9 x H2.07 x W1.84-3.68m

    4Wire Wooden Cat Enclosure

    This cat enclosure is incredibly large, making it ideal for bigger cats like Bengals. It has shelves all around the enclosure so your little tiger can explore new heights and even has a little ladder leading onto the shelves.

    Multiple platforms allow your cat to look out and rest at a higher level. There’s plenty of space to run and jump, and since it can be attached to patio doors, the cat can simply come inside when they’re tired.

    It’s the perfect way for your cat to play outdoors while staying safe, and for added convenience, the enclosure can be custom made to fit the dimensions of your chosen area.


    • Promotes climbing and exploring
    • Made from cat-safe wire mesh


    • Material: Wood, 16G cat safe wire mesh
    • Dimensions: Standard - 243 x 243 x 243 cm

    Buying Guide

    What we looked for in the best catios

    First of all, a quick search of ‘cat enclosures’ comes up with dozens of choices. However, not every result is actually suitable for cats. A large enclosure made from chicken wire that is fine for poultry isn’t going to be strong enough for a crafty cat. We looked for the strongest materials and dedicated for-cat use.

    The material of the mesh should always be metal so your cat can’t chew through it, and nothing else can get in either. As for the build, they’re usually metal or wood – the former is stronger, but the latter can be easier to fix to your home or outbuilding by drilling or screwing it in place. It will need more care and attention over time with weatherproofing, though. We’ve given you the choice.

    There are no rules about how big your catio has to be. As long as your cat has enough space in your home to get enough exercise every day, the catio will just be a bonus so they get some fresh air. Most are adaptable, however, with additional panels available.

    You will want to measure how large your outdoor space is – will it be on a balcony, on a patio, or just freestanding in your garden? Double-check your chosen catio’s standard dimensions.

    A big thing to think about is height. Will they appreciate a taller catio they can jump and play freely in, or a larger wider space to explore at floor level and feel the grass in between their toe beans?

    Other Buyers Ask...

    Where do I put a catio?

    As mentioned, they can go on a balcony, on a patio or in your garden.

    If it will be attached to your house, think about where. It will need to be secured flush to your brick or concrete all the way around so you need plain walls. But also think about how they will be getting in and out of the catio – will this be through your door, through a window or through a cat flap? If you’re struggling, there are tunnels and smaller enclosures available to act as a thoroughfare.

    If they will have access at all times, a flap is probably best – this way, you won’t be letting cold into your home by leaving the door open all the time!

    Catios can also be placed in your garden as outbuildings. A cat can either be placed in there by yourself, or you can leave it open so they can go in there of their own free will when they need shelter or access to toys.

    How do I get my cat into a catio?

    Is your enclosure in your garden, and you don’t want them to run off when you are transporting them there? If you’re concerned about carrying them, cat harnesses or cat carry boxes are available.

    Just ensure your cat doesn’t get stressed out using these.

    However, if you have an indoor cat, we would always recommend attaching the catio to your home to limit their exposure to the open.

    What are the benefits of a catio?

    • Keeps your cat safe
    • They can’t get lost or wander off
    • Protection from predators, and other cats
    • Protects birds and other wildlife from your cat
    • Good for busy areas and houses near main roads
    • Reduces issues with cats getting bored or too warm inside
    • Can eliminate litter smells from the house if a tray is in the catio
    • Keeps your cat out of neighbours gardens if there have been issues
    • Keeps ill or elderly pets safe yet still able to get fresh air

    How much will a catio cost?

    A pre-made catio can be expensive as they’re basically an extension to your home. Budget anywhere between £300 and £700 for a standard large catio that attaches to your home, with those on the lower scale probably at the smaller end.

    It is possible to build your own if you know what you’re doing, but you may not save enough money to make this worthwhile. You’d also have to really look into materials and strength.