Build a Catio ~ a tiny screen house for kitty cats!


Build a Catio ~ Your Cats Will Thank You!

Okay, call us crazy cat people and we’ll confess to being guilty as charged! Ever since I saw a few ideas on the internet for making cat enclosures for inside cats to enjoy the outdoors, I have wanted to make one.

Luckily, my husband liked the idea even more than I did! So it was time to build a catio! For $280 in materials, our three housecats can now sniff the breezes, watch the birds and feel like queens of the jungle in their own little 3ft by 6ft screened enclosure!


Build a Catio!

Here’s what our completed catio project looks like. Scroll through the following pictures to see how it was made.


Finished Catio Frame

We decided that our catio should be attached to the house and have a window entrance for the cats. A simple rectangle frame was built of pressure treated lumber, complete with a door. The door will make it easier to take items in and out and clean the catio.


Catio ~ Built in perching shelf!


Catio ~ Roof Detail

If you have ever painted pressure treated lumber, you will know it sucks the paint right off the brush! It took as long to paint two coats on the catio as it did to frame it up! Don’t forget to also paint wood strips for covering the stapled screen panels.

Painted Catio Frame

Painted Catio Frame


Painted Wood Strips


Wood strips applied over the stapled screening.


Screened in Catio

Metal screening was used to cover the catio frame so the cats can’t tear it and are safer. It really is a two-person job. One person has to stretch and hold the screen in place while the other staples the screen onto the frame. Nail the wood strips over the staples and touch up the nail holes with paint.


Inside the Catio ~ ready for the grand opening!

Now for the fun part! We hauled in our cat condo, a crate turned on its side topped by an old rag rug and hung toys from eye hooks in the ceiling. Grass has been planted in a container that we will add as it grows. Rolly balls and other favorite toys are on the floor to bat around.


Catio ~ Door to the outside!

To get in and out, the cats just jump onto the low window sill in the laundry room and walk down a small board scrap onto the cat condo. The window can be easily closed and locked at night or when we aren’t home.This entry can be used until it gets frigid cold since our laundry door is always shut and this area is mostly cut off from the main house heating and cooling.


Shayna demonstrating how to go inside!


Lacey testing out the new Catio !


Shadow was the first one in the Catio!

12 Responses so far.

  1. Melissa says:

    Fabulous! Love the design, love the paint colour, love the idea, love the cats! Well done!

  2. Judy A Muche says:

    Wow! This is great. Too bad I don’t have cats…LOL…What a wonderful idea!

  3. Michele says:

    Well I just love it! The best of the indoors and outdoors. We built a screened in porch off the den. With all the mosquitoes here we enjoy it immensely. However, we’ve always said we built it for the kitties. There is, after all, a pet door in the house door to the porch;)

    • Barb says:

      That’s perfect, Michele! Our back roof and deck area wasn’t high enough or we would have a big screened porch, too! But we have a gazebo and now the kitties have a catio : )

  4. This is fantastic Barb!! Our cats would LOVE this so much! Definitely saving and pinning. Your cats are stunning, by the way! Is one of them a ragdoll by any chance?

  5. That is purr-fect Barb. Our daughter and SIL did something similar for their cats at their old house.


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