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Make Your Garden Cat-Friendly With Your Own Outdoor Cat Kennel

Updated on May 18, 2015
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Image courtesy of

Making the most of the beautiful outdoor weather year round can be a challenge when you have cats. This is particularly true when you live in an urban area where keeping your cats off of busy roadways and on your property is a priority.

No matter where you live, building an outdoor cat kennel and contained play area is an ideal solution to this problem. These can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, but the more you add to the kennel the more the cat or cats will enjoy being outdoors.

Carefully choose the location of your cat kennel or outside play area. It should provide shade and protection from predominant wind. It should also have protection from rain. You can add cat condos or a small enclosed cat house within the enclosure to provide this type of protection for your pets as well.

Size and Design

There is no maximum size you can use for an outdoor cat enclosure; it is based on the space you have available and what you wish to add to the interior for your cats.

A good general sized enclosure for one or two cats would be eight feet square and five to six feet in height or about two and a half meters square by one and a half to two meters in height. You can get creative and make two cubes and join them with an enclosed runway or choose to make one side of the cube taller to incorporate a bigger climbing tree.

The simpler the actual frame for the enclosure is the easier it will be to construct. Cubes are the easiest so if you are doing this on your own this is an important consideration.

Image courtesy of
Image courtesy of


A wooden frame with fine mesh wire is a great option for cat enclosures and is very low cost. For a permanent enclosure, wood posts can be used for the corners and set into the ground for additional stability. This is the best choice if you are building the enclosure off of your house or patio area as it will blend into the existing structures.

You will also have the option to put a cat flap between the exterior enclosure and the interior of the home, allowing your cats to choose when they go inside or out.

Make sure to stain or paint the wood using non-toxic materials to preserve the wood and prevent it from rotting. Also carefully chose the wire and ensure it is for outside use so it won’t rust. Other materials you will need include staples to attach the wire mesh to the frame, nails, measuring tape, hammer and saw.

There are also pet product manufacturers who sell pre-made cat enclosures that allow you to have some choice of configuration. These kits can be relatively costly depending on the size and the features you select.

Cat-Friendly Interiors

Within the cat enclosure, you can be as creative as you like. Ramps, shelves to sleep on, hammocks, cat trees, scratching posts and lots of cat-friendly toys can add to the fun the cats will have.

Keep in mind anything you add to the enclosure needs to be safe and, in the case of cat trees or scratching posts, secured to prevent accidents. This is a fun project for the whole family to tackle over a weekend, and you will be surprised at how quickly and inexpensively you can make an enclosure your cats will really enjoy.

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