Building Your Cat A Window Catio For Less Than $100 [2022 Update]

Window Catio

Building Your Cat A Window Catio For Less Than $100 [2022 Update]


Do you want a full-size catio but don’t have the space or budget at this time? There are other options! This article is all about building your cat a window catio for less than $100.

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Cats love to be outdoors. This helps them enjoy exercise, fresh air, and allows them to get the sounds, sights, and movements within nature that help them develop.

Are catios good for cats?

Yes, they absolutely are good for indoor cats! A catio is a cat patio that is enclosed and usually attached to your home by a tunnel or cat door. It is your cat’s safe space to enjoy fresh air and sunshine while still having access to getting in and out of your home.

Unfortunately, the outdoors pose several dangers for your feline friend. Here are just a few ways your cat could be hurt outside roaming free:

Modern Furniture For Cats
  • Outdoor cats have more risk of being hit by a car
  • Ingesting chemicals, anti-freeze and even poisonous plants
  • Encountering a mean-spirited person
  • Confronting a wild animal
  • Fights with other cats that carry disease
  • Getting stuck in a tree or compromising place with no way out
  • Inclement weather injuries and sickness
  • Indoor cats love basking in the sun
  • You can buy cheap cat scratchers for the catio instead of expensive indoor ones

Building a catio, or having an outdoor cat enclosure is becoming more and more popular since it is a safe way for your feline to enjoy time outside without all the dangers. You can make an outdoor catio relatively inexpensively especially if you are handy. Many catio owners like to have a cat door that attaches the cat patio to their home.

If your cat companion is an indoor cat, then getting outside could cause some worry about their safety. If so, then building your cat a window catio or outdoor cat enclosure is most likely going to be the purrfect solution to your problems. It will also keep your cat healthy, happy, and, most of all, safe.

Being able to walk from your house into his own outdoor deck by way of a cat door or tunnel, will surely make him purr up a storm!

Hey can I get a catio for this window frame?

Cat enclosures, or what are popularly called catios, is a trend that has picked up significantly over the past few years. Thanks to sites like Pinterest and Instagram, cat owners now have a platform to proudly display their feline luxury home masterpieces. Cat enclosures are usually cat pens that are not attached to your home; although cat enclosure and catio are used interchangeably more and more.

Eye-candy for other cat owners and cats on the internet created barkitecture envy. This no doubt fuled the utdoor luxury cat home craze; now they are popping up all over the world!

We love catios because they provide your cat some safety while giving her outside time. Imagine having to stay inside all the time! Sun and fresh air improves her overall lifestyle.

The combination of the words cat and patio, (duh, you probably picked up on that by now) make up the cute word, catio.

Catios come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and and are fantastic for porches, windows, patios, yards, and even decks. Your feline bestie can gain access to his catio through a cat door that has been installed in the wall, window, or the door. Whether small or large, from basic to jaw-dropping luxurious, the appeal of catios for cats, is too hard to ignore.

A Purrfectly Cozy Space: Introducing Window Catios

Window catios are kind of like window boxes for cats! They are custom-built outdoor enclosures designed to fit over your window or patio door, allowing your cat to safely enjoy the outdoors from the safety of your home. They provide your feline friend with a safe and secure area to explore and enjoy fresh air, while keeping them secure from potential predators and other dangers. Window catios are a great way to give your cat the freedom to enjoy the outdoors in a safe and secure environment!

Are Window Catios Good For Cats?

DIY window catio plans

Window catios can be very good for your cat! They are the perfect DIY small alternative to having a full catio. Cats in apartments now have a way to enjoy sunshine too. Cats have lots of fun watching from the comfort of a window sill, imagine how exciting it will be for them to do it outside, without a glass barrier.

Benefits of a window catio are:

  1. It will protect your cat. The outdoors is full of danger. Vehicles and predators like coyotes, dogs, and raccoons can prove dangerous for your cat. There are other problems, like antifreeze from a car, pesticides from a local farm, exposure to parasites, your cat could get lost, and there’s also the possibility your precious kitty gets catnapped by the local shelter. A catio will allow your cat to enjoy the outdoors from a safe distance.
  2. Vet bills could be reduced. Vet bills are pricey. Outdoor cats can get into fights or suffer from other injuries that can dip into your pocketbook. There are also rabies and other diseases like FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus to worry about. 
  3. Outdoor cat enclosures reduce the population of free-roaming pets. These can give your cats their freedom and also reduce the chances of them wandering into unknown and possibly unfriendly territory. Neutering and spaying alongside catios can significantly reduce the number of cats roaming freely.
  4. Cat enclosures will reduce any issues you have with being an owner of multiple cats. Cats may be able to share their indoor space with other cats, but deep down, they are territorial by nature. They are also solitary hunters. A catio is a purrfect way to add new territory and reduce any feline conflict and bad behaviors in your household.
  5. Enhance your human and feline bond with time spent outdoors. If your catio is large enough for a chair or bench, then having your cat enjoy the laziness and relaxing time outdoors next to their human is a fantastic way to build your bond with your cat. Plus, nature and fresh air make for some excellent quality time.
  6. You can reduce the number of indoor odors with an outdoor cat enclosure. A litter box inside the house can get a little funky. While its part of owning a cat, odor-producing waste rarely smells like roses. One way to cut down on this is by adding a litter box in the catio. It should never replace the indoor one because accidents can happen if you do get rid of it. Both will help alleviate a lot of the odor.
  7. Like a good neighbor, your cat will stay here. Some humans don’t like cats. This can include your neighbors. If your cat got out and used their new freshly planted flower bed as a litter box may cause some conflict. It can also cause problems if they have territorial cats of their own or strained the good neighbor relationship you have.
  8. You will have peace of mind. A catio will significantly reduce the amount of worrying you do as your cat can be outdoors and stay safe. They will also get rid of any guilt you may have of keeping them indoors as it will help accommodate your feline friend’s desire to be out in nature. 

How much does a catio cost to build?

Cat Furniture Shelf Color Dark Walnut

Catios can range anywhere from $100 to $20,000 and up! There are many options including outdoor luxury cat houses, cat enclosures (small catios) and window catios. Cat owners can hire a catio builder for help with design ideas and building, or use their own catio design plans for DIY builds.

Factors that will determine how much it will cost have so much to do with expenses. A few answers to these question that will determine the price include:

How much does a custom catio cost?

A custom catio can start at $500 and go as high as $20,000.00 depending on how big and robust it is. There are all types of factors to consider such as your location, how big your catio will be, what materials will be used and how many extra tunnels, shelves and built-ins you will have included.

In order to get a quote, you can check for a catio builder in your area by checking our catio directory at: just click on this link.

How can you stay on a catio budget of less than $100?

So, you’ve decided to expand your cat’s territory, but you’re also on a budget. Don’t worry, as long as you are willing to DIY, your neighborhood hardware store has everything you need. You can also order many of the items from Amazon and have them delivered right to your door in less than 48 hours.

You do need to consider the location, access, size, sun/shade, a great stimulating view, and have a level foundation. It also needs to be escape-proof. Keep in mind; cats are crafty and curious.

Building materials needed for a DIY catio

  • Wire – 16-gauge galvanized fencing wire is highly recommended. You can get this in different sizes. Other options are vinyl-coated wire for secure attachment via a staple gun.
  • Flooring – If you build this on your deck or patio, then this part is needed. If it’s one the ground, consider adding bricks or pavers to help your cat from tracking in any unneeded dirt or mud.
  • Cedar shelves – This is an excellent wood for horizontal and vertical movement for your cat. You can get pre-made corner pieces for your feline friend to take a cat nap or lounge gracefully in the sun. You can also use a sturdy ¾” exterior grade plywood. Cover it up with some outdoor carpet for added comfort and to avoid splinters. 
  • Roofing – Roofing can be a wire or plastic mesh to ensure your cat doesn’t escape and is well protected. 
  • Also, don’t forget toys, cat-safe plants, water bowl, litter box, cat scratchers. Decorate to your heart’s content. 

A stainless steel water bowl is ideal for outdoor use. These will not rust and can withstand the beating of wind, rain and constant sunshine. They are easy to clean and made ideally for cats. Kitty cats can get whisker stress if their bowls are not wide enough, these are super wide! Your DIY catio is almost complete!

You can also use a stainless steel litter box, also ideal for outdoor use and repels odor like no other product.

RELEVANT: Should A Catio Have A Litter Box?

You can find a basic plan here at Although a window catio is smaller than a full blown outdoor cat house, it is still a great add-on to improve to your cat’s enjoyment.

A window catio is also a fantastic way to start small, and you can always add on to it at a later time. The exact way to build your own window catio can be done for less than $100!


If your budget is limited or the thought of building a luxury cat house is super overwhelming, a window catio can be a great alternative. Smaller window catios are also idea for apartments; be sure to discuss it with your landlord in advance. With a window catio, you don’t even need a cat door. Your feline can climb out the window and right into his sunny window box.

If for some reason, outdoor space is not possible for your feline, even in a window, check out window cat seats. There are a variety to choose from on Amazon with some great reviews. It is very helpful to read the reviews so you can determine ahead of time how easy it was to assemble and install; and most importantly if it will hold your weight bearing kitty!

Until next time, head butts and purrs.

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Why Is Kritter Kommunity Your Trusted Pet Partner?

Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC. She has a tuxedo male adult cat currently and she has had him since he was a baby kitten; so Lisa knows well the kitten lifecycle, the teenage cat lifecycle and the adult cat lifecycle (he is currently 11 years old). Prior to her cat Finnegan, Lisa had two FIV positive cats for a decade. They inspired Lisa to invent a cat enclosure so they could safely sit outside and enjoy fresh air and sunshine. She brought the product to market and eventually designed a line of portable catios; they sold on Amazon, Skymall Catalogue, Wayfair and countless other websites. Her experience being a cat parent coupled with her business development and product management experience make her a trusted cat enthusiast partner. She and Finnegan (her cat) test, research and review pet products to give readers the best feedback possible.

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Lisa Illman

Lisa Illman


Lisa is the owner of Kritter Kommunity and the inventor of the @KritterKondo cat enclosure. She is owned by her mischievous and adorable kitty cat, Finnegan. He has his own Facebook too.