How to build an outdoor wire cat enclosure

Updated April 17, 2017

Many cat owners like to let their cats have the opportunity to spend some time outside. Unfortunately, allowing a pet cat to wander freely is dangerous, as they can be attacked by wild animals, hit by cars or simply get lost. One compromise solution is to build an outdoor cat enclosure, a large enclosed outdoor cage that gives your cat the freedom to be outdoors while keeping it in a protected area.

Build the mainframe of the enclosure using 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards. Start with the outside edges to create a box shape (or whatever shape you want your enclosure to be) and add additional supports as necessary to make the whole structure secure.

Add shelves and perches at varying heights within the enclosure by nailing wider, flat boards to the mainframe. Attach these securely and use thick enough wood to ensure they will all be safe for your cat to climb and jump on. Include at least one substantially shaded area, as well as a fully enclosed space to keep the weather out if you intend to have the cat spend most of its time in the enclosure.

Build a door frame and attach it to the main frame, and build a slightly smaller frame to serve as the door itself. Connect the door to one side of the door frame with hinges and attach a latching mechanism to the other side.

Build the frame of a small tunnel, large enough for your cat to walk through, connecting the mainframe to a window or cat door in your house. This tunnel will allow your cat to freely enter and exit the enclosure. The tunnel does not have to be at ground level, but if it is placed higher up, it should be placed so that the cat will easily be able to enter and exit the tunnel within the enclosure. Add a solid wooden floor to the tunnel.

Enclose the entire frame in galvanised or powder-coated wire fencing, including the top and bottom, and connect this to the frame using nails and washers. Cut the wire between the door and the door frame, and attach the cut-out piece to the door frame. Do not cover the entrance of the tunnel, but attach the ends of the wire to the frame of the window or cat door the tunnel connects to. The entire enclosure, with the door closed, should form a large cage with no opportunities for your cat to escape.

Place a layer of clean soil or gravel over the fencing wire on the ground so that your cat will not have to walk directly on the wire. Avoid using sand so that your cat will not use the entire enclosure as a litter box.

Things You'll Need

  • Timber -- 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) and wide boards for cat perches
  • Hammer and nails
  • Door hinges
  • Door latch
  • Galvanised or powder-coated wire fencing
  • Large washers
  • Soil or gravel
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About the Author

Ryan Voss is a freelance writer/blogger and artist/graphic designer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His areas of specialty are current events, politics and the martial and fine arts. He has been freelancing in a variety of creative fields since 2005.