Kritter Kondos Outdoor Cat Enclosures, Catios, and Pet Furniture

Building Your Cat A Window Catio For Less Than $100

window-catio

Building Your Cat A Window Catio For Less Than $100

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This post was updated on January 20th, 2024

NEED A CATIO FOR YOUR CAT?

You’re in the right place as am a cat parent and have been for well over 20 years! And if you haven’t noticed, I am a cat blogger who invented a portable catio for your feline’s outdoor adventures. Plus I do a ton of research on cat enclosures, building catios and traveling cat pens!

I’m going to walk you through the process of building your cat a window cat for less than $100. PLUS take you through the process of finding a good catio builder, and even getting a portable catio if full size is not possible. I’ve had three cats; walked one on a harness / leash, invented them cat enclosures for butterfly gazing and designed them a portable catio for traveling. Not to mention write and research a ton for this very topic!

I’m here to demystify it all fur you!

If you’re a cat owner, you know how important it is to provide your feline friend with outdoor time. However, not everyone has the space or budget for a full-size catio or cat enclosure. That’s where a window catio comes in handy. In this article, I’ll be sharing with you how to build a window catio for less than $100.

Window catios are a great solution for cat owners who want to give their pets a safe outdoor sunroom but don’t have the capacity for a full-size catio. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of a window catio, the building materials needed for a DIY project, and how to stay on a budget of less than $100. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner, this article will guide you through the process of building a window catio for your feline friend.

window-catio
image from MyOutdoorPlans.com

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.

DO CATS LIKE CATIOS?

Yes, cats usually love their catios! Provided your catio is safe and secure, it will offer your feline outdoor time, which is priceless for an indoor cat.

As a cat owner, you want to provide your furry friend with the best possible environment to thrive in. One of the ways to do that is by building a catio, which is a safe and enclosed outdoor space for your cat to enjoy fresh air and sunshine while still being protected from the dangers of the outdoors.

Catios are becoming increasingly popular among cat owners, and for good reason.

ARE CATIOS GOOD FOR CATS?

YES, catios are a good way to offer your pet outdoor space without the dangers of roaming free.

  • Safety: Outdoor cats are exposed to many dangers, such as getting hit by a car, ingesting harmful substances, encountering aggressive animals, and more. A catio provides a safe and secure space for your cat to enjoy the outdoors without these risks.
  • Health: Cats need sunshine and fresh air to stay healthy, just like humans do. A catio allows your cat to bask in the sun and breathe in fresh air, which can improve their overall health and wellbeing.
  • Enrichment: Cats are natural explorers and hunters, and a catio provides them with opportunities to engage in these behaviors in a safe and controlled environment. You can add toys, scratching posts, and other enrichment items to make the catio even more enjoyable for your cat.
  • Cost-effective: Instead of buying expensive indoor cat scratchers, you can create a cheap and fun playground for your cat in the catio.
  • Eye-candy: Catios come in all shapes and sizes, and they can be customized to suit your cat’s needs and your personal style. They are a great way to show off your cat’s luxurious outdoor home and inspire other cat owners to create their own catios.

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 increasingly 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 a cat door that attaches the cat patio to their home.

Catios are a great way to provide your cat with a safe and enjoyable outdoor space. They offer numerous benefits for your cat’s health, safety, and enrichment, and they can be customized to suit your cat’s needs and your personal style. If you’re looking for a way to enhance your cat’s quality of life, consider building a catio today.

window-catio
Balcony Catio

If your feline friend prefers the indoors but you’d love to give them a taste of the great outdoors safely, a window catio or an outdoor cat enclosure might just be the ideal fix. Not only will it keep your cat in top shape and in high spirits, but most importantly, it ensures their safety. Imagine your furry buddy strolling from your home to their own outdoor deck through a cat door or tunnel—it’s a surefire way to set off a chorus of contented purrs!

Do Catios Need Roofs?
window-catio
Hey can I get a catio for this window frame?

Window Catio by Habitat Haven

In the world of feline luxury, the Habitat Haven Window Catio Enclosures stand out as a haven for cats seeking a taste of the outdoors. These innovative window catios, designed with a cozy indoor access hatch, offer a secure platform just outside the window for cats to enjoy sights, smells, fresh air, and sunshine. Veterinary-approved, these 22″ deep customizable enclosures are not just limited to windows – they can be easily installed on any flat surface, making them versatile starter components for larger catio systems.

Installation is a breeze for the average handy person, but the option for expert guidance is just a call away. Additional features like doors, shelving, and canvas awnings can be added for a personalized touch. The Purrfect Fence team, owners of the shop, ensures eco-friendly practices with carbon offsetting on shipping.

CAT HAVENFEATURESBENEFITS
Window CatioAn outdoor cat enclosure attached to a window, providing a safe space for cats to enjoy the outdoors while remaining indoors.– Allows cats to experience the outdoors safely without the risks of roaming freely.
– Provides a protected environment for cats to enjoy fresh air and sunshine.
– Prevents potential dangers such as traffic, predators, or getting lost.
Cat Window BoxA box installed on a window sill for cats to perch, observe the surroundings, and enjoy sunlight.– Offers a comfortable spot for cats to observe the environment from an elevated position.
– Provides mental stimulation and entertainment for indoor cats.
– Allows exposure to natural light, which is beneficial for a cat’s well-being.
CatioA term combining “cat” and “patio,” referring to an enclosed outdoor space specifically designed for cats.– Offers a larger outdoor area for cats to explore, climb, and play.
– Provides a secure environment, minimizing the risk of escape or exposure to potential dangers.
– Encourages physical activity and mental stimulation for cats.
Cat SolariumAn enclosed sunroom or window-mounted space designed for cats to bask in sunlight and enjoy outdoor views.– Allows cats to enjoy sunlight and outdoor views while being protected from the elements.
– Provides a comfortable and warm space for cats to relax and nap.
– Enhances the overall well-being of indoor cats.
Catio WindowA cat patio or enclosure specifically designed to attach to a window, allowing cats easy access to an outdoor space.– Enables cats to have direct access to an outdoor environment through a window.
– Offers a convenient solution for apartment or indoor-dwelling cats to experience the outdoors.
– Enhances the living space for both the cat and its owner.
Catio EnclosureA secure and enclosed outdoor space designed for cats, providing protection from potential hazards.– Ensures the safety of cats by preventing them from wandering into dangerous areas.
– Allows multiple cats to interact and play together in a controlled environment.
– Provides an opportunity for owners to monitor their cats’ outdoor activities.
Catio OutdoorAn outdoor extension or enclosure designed to allow cats to safely enjoy the outdoor environment.– Expands the living space for cats, promoting physical exercise and mental stimulation.
– Protects cats from outdoor hazards such as traffic, predators, and toxic plants.
– Enhances the overall well-being and happiness of cats.
Window CatA cat that enjoys spending time by windows, observing outdoor activities or wildlife.– Provides entertainment for the cat by allowing them to watch birds, squirrels, or passing activities.
– Allows the cat to receive natural light and maintain a connection with the outdoor environment.
– May contribute to reducing boredom and anxiety in indoor cats.

Cat Enclosures

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.

Purrfectly Cozy Space: Introducing the Window Catio

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 enjoy the outdoors from the safety of your home safely. They provide your feline friend with a safe and secure area to explore and enjoy the fresh air while protecting them 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?

window-catio

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:

Protection

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.

Reduced Vet Bills

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. 

Protect Wildlife with a Window Catio

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.

This can protect your cat, other pets and wildlife. Bird lovers will definitely appreciate your cat being safely enjoying fresh air and sunshine inside his enclosure. Birds and small wildlife like chipmunks will also be safer!

Multiple Cat Happy Home Life

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.

Outdoor Bonding Time

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.

Window Catio Reduces Odors

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.

Friendlier Neighbor

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.

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?

Depending on size and features, a custom-made catio can vary significantly in price. Prices can range from $2,000 to $20,000 or more. These catios are designed to fit your needs and include multiple levels, tunnels, shelves, and built-in cat trees. 

A catio kit is another less expensive option than a custom-made catio. These kits can still cost up to $5,000, but they come with all the necessary components for assembly, such as panels, doors, and hardware. A window catio can be an excellent option for those on a budget. These enclosures attach to a window and allow your cat to enjoy the outdoors while staying inside. Depending on size and features, window catios can range from $100 to $2,000.

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 big will your catio be?
  • Where will it be built?
  • Will you DIY or will you hire a builder?
  • What materials will be used?
  • How elaborate will your catio be?
  • Does your city require permits?

How much does a custom catio cost?

You can expect quotes for custom catio around $2,000.00 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 window catio

Here is a video of a very nice and super easy window catio. One comment I will note: hawks love cats! Be sure to add additional barriers to hawks and large birds especially if you will not be there to monitor your cat 24/7.

  • 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 Shelve – 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. 
  • Cat-Friendly Decor – 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 MyOutdoorPlans.com. 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!

Catio Conclusion

In conclusion, building a catio that connects to a window can be a great way to give your cat a fun outdoor space without breaking the bank. Using a DIY approach and opting for a cheap catio or a window box catio can help keep costs low. Consider installing a cat door to make it easier for your cat to access the catio. You can also explore options like a catio window insert or a cat window catio to make the most of an exterior window. With a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can create a safe and enjoyable outdoor environment for your feline friend.

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. A smaller window catio is also ideal 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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🐾 Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC! 🏡 She’s got a dapper tuxedo cat who’s been her sidekick since he was a tiny furball. 🐱 Before Finnegan came along, Lisa cared for two FIV-positive cats for over ten years! 🌟 Their love inspired her to create a cat enclosure and a portable catio, giving kitties the purrfect spot to bask in the sun and feel the breeze. ☀️🌿

As a kid, Lisa shared her home with a Poodle and a chirpy parakeet! 🐩🐦

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