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Best outdoor cat enclosure 2022: Allow your cat to roam safely

Best outdoor cat enclosures
(Image credit: Getty)

Investing in an outdoor cat enclosure is the ideal way to allow your feline friend a taste of nature's beautiful backyard while still ensuring they stay safe and secure. The indoor vs outdoor cats debate continues to rage on and while research shows that outdoor cats live substantially shorter lives, with a cat enclosure, your indoor kitty can enjoy all of the benefits of being outside with none of the risks. 

When it comes to mental and physical stimulation, the great outdoors is hard to beat. While having plenty of the best cat toys on hand can be a great way of providing your indoor kitty with plenty of enrichment, being in nature gives your feline friend the chance to feel, see and smell new things that they might otherwise not be exposed to. 

Although the best cat harnesses do provide you with one way of letting your kitty spend some time in nature without it posing a threat to their wellbeing, a cat enclosure offers a lot more freedom - both for them and for you! They don't have to stick to your side and you don't necessarily have to spend the entire outdoor session with your cat either, making enclosures great for anyone who is pressed for time. 

When shopping for an outdoor cat enclosure, you'll find you're spoilt for choice, with a range of great options on the market to choose from. From traditional wire and mesh options to modern wood designs, there's an enclosure to suit every style preference. Plus, you'll find plenty of size options too, from the petite to the palatial, so no matter what the size of your backyard, we've got you covered. 

PetsRadar's pick of the best outdoor cat enclosures

PawHut Large Wooden Outdoor Cat House

(Image credit: Amazon)

PawHut Large Wooden Outdoor Cat House

Best overall outdoor cat enclosure

Specifications

Measurements (inches): 76.75" L x 37.25" W x 68.75" H
Weight (pounds): 100
Materials: Fir Wood, Wire Mesh

Reasons to buy

+
Escape-proof
+
Durable wood and wire design
+
Weatherproof

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Okay, so before we start raving on about how much we love this enclosure from PawHut, it's only fair that we come clean quickly and let you know that this is one of the more expensive enclosures out there. But, if you have the budget? Boy oh boy is it worth it!

This fully enclosed large playpen is ideal for multiple cats and the design is hands down one of the best we've seen. Multi-tiered, the main house includes a paned window, sliding door, a small hinged door, and a ramp to help for easy access into the house.

You'll also find plenty of room inside for a cat bed and litter box, and the doors and windows allow for plenty of air to flow through on hot days. There's a large run area for your kitty to stretch their legs in and the large front door with secure safety latches lets you gain easy access to your kitty. 

Made from fir wood and wire mesh, this is a super durable enclosure and the flat roof is covered with asphalt for enhanced weather protection against both sun and rain. It's all held together by pet-friendly sealant and the assembly instructions are clear and easy to follow. 

Overall, this large and roomy enclosure ticks all the boxes - except perhaps price, but if you're able to stretch to it, we're pretty sure you won't regret investing in this little beauty. 

best outdoor cat enclosures

(Image credit: Amazon)

Outback Jack Outdoor Cat Enclosures For Indoor Cats

Best budget option

Specifications

Measurements (inches): 31 x 21.5 x 6.5
Weight (pounds): 7
Materials: Polyester, mesh

Reasons to buy

+
Simple to assemble
+
Portable
+
Fits a balcony/small garden

Reasons to avoid

-
Some reports of parts breaking

As much as we’d all like loads of money and a huge garden, most of us don’t have these luxuries. While this doesn’t have the sheer scale of Omlet’s offerings, it is undoubtedly a much more realistic prospect warranting closer examination.

It may not look the biggest from the pictures, but it offers a lot of room for your kitty, encompassing over 30 feet of space. The tunnel zips onto the end of the supplied tent – a masterstroke since cats love running down tunnels, and will have a lot of fun with this.

Totally surrounded by a polyester mesh material, the gaps are small enough that no bugs can get in. We suspected that it might be susceptible to getting torn by claw-happy cats, but we haven’t seen any reports of this in reviews, so we’ll give Outback Jack the benefit of the doubt.

Assembly couldn’t be simpler. Once out of the packaging, simply undo the ties and the tunnel pops out. From there, it’s simply a case of zipping it onto the tent, and everything’s effectively done.

There were reports of the zip breaking in user reviews, but these were few and far between. For the relatively low price, we’re not expecting anything especially sturdy, but it’s comforting to know that there are so many happy customers.

While we wouldn’t recommend leaving your cat in it for hours on end, it seems perfect for giving them a few hours in the sun. Coupled with its affordability and portability, and you have something that could be worth an investment.

Kitty City Claw Indoor and Outdoor Mega Kit Cat FurniturePets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Kitty City Claw Indoor and Outdoor Mega Kit Cat Furniture

Best indoor and outdoor cat enclosure

Specifications

Measurements (inches): 33 x 47.25 x 46.75 inches
Weight (pounds): 11.8 Pounds
Materials: Nylon Mesh

Reasons to buy

+
Works indoors and outdoors
+
Zip door for easy access
+
Rearrangeable cubby cubes

Reasons to avoid

-
Cubby cubes can be wobbly

Fresh air fun is guaranteed when you purchase this mesh outdoor cat enclosure. Fully enclosed but with full 360-degree visibility, this breathable play set is durable enough to withstand energetic play and the occasional claw climb!

The rearrangeable cubby cubes provide plenty of places to hide and snooze, and because you can move them about, you can mix things up from time to time and provide your feline friend with some much needed variety.

Measuring 33 x 47.25 x 46.75 inches, this outdoor cat enclosure is ideal for multi-fur baby households and the zip door makes getting your cats in and out an absolute breeze. You can also expand the enclosure by zipping on other Kitty City products, such as tunnels, so there's lots of options for keeping this play set feeling fresh.

best outdoor cat enclosures

(Image credit: Amazon)

PawHut Large Wooden Outdoor Cat House

Best combination outdoor cat enclosure

Specifications

Measurements (inches): 76.75 x 37.25 x 68.75
Weight (pounds): 100
Materials: Fir wood, asphalt, wire mesh

Reasons to buy

+
Includes a cat house
+
Durable and weatherproof
+
Fully enclosed with plenty of space

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive

Upon purchasing an outdoor cat enclosure, one of the first resorts is usually to purchase some cover to protect your cat from the elements. Here, there is no need to worry about this, with the design incorporating its very own kennel to assist in providing some vital shelter.

This is more expensive than a lot of other cat runs we’ve seen, which is unsurprising considering the relatively high quality of the construction materials. But bearing in mind the almost entirely positive Amazon user reviews, this added expense has brought with it security – both for your pet and for your peace of mind.

The fir wood materials offer a sturdy framework for this enclosure, and the asphalt provides a good level of waterproofing. Inside, a ladder provides easy access to the cat house, which provides ample shelter. Outside, there’s plenty of room for your cats to lie around in. We recommend putting a couple of scratch posts in there, maybe a freestanding platform or two.

All in all, it’s hard to find a lot wrong with this particular enclosure. It even looks nice – the grey paint aesthetic giving the impression that it has actually been designed, rather than hurriedly put together like some of the unpainted wood-themed products out there.

If you don’t mind paying the hefty price tag, then you’ll get a well-made outdoor cat enclosure. With a few additions, this could be all your cat could want.

 

Kittywalk Outdoor Net Cat EnclosurePets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

Kittywalk Outdoor Net Cat Enclosure

Best for balconies and patios

Specifications

Measurements (inches): 72 x 18 x 24
Weight (pounds): 14
Materials: Solid steel wickets & rip stop netting

Reasons to buy

+
Self standing
+
Maximum visibility and ventilation
+
Weather resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
The access in and out can be tricky

If you don't have a backyard but still want to give your kitty some fresh air, never fear because this small outdoor netted cat enclosure from Kittywalk has got you covered! Perfect for use on decks and patios, it measures 72 x 18 x 24 and is self-standing with open-net construction for maximum visibility and ventilation.

Completely enclosed with two doors for entering and exiting, the enclosure requires no assembly and features rip-stop netting to ensure it can hold up to your kitty's claws. It's also weather-resistant, which makes it ideal for use all year round and it comes with a storage bag for handy travel. 

best outdoor cat enclosures

(Image credit: Amazon)

AmazonBasics Large 3-Tier Cat Cage Playpen Box Crate Kennel

Best to keep on the balcony

Specifications

Measurements (inches): 35.83 x 22.44 x 50.6
Weight (pounds): 37.4
Materials: Metal wire, rust-resistant e-coat finish

Reasons to buy

+
Easily portable
+
Fits in small spaces
+
Requires minimal measurements

Reasons to avoid

-
Might be too small for some cats

If your needs are of a considerably lower scale than what you’ve seen previously in this guide, then this Amazon Basics offering might be more to your liking. Although it’s much smaller in size, it has the advantage of being portable, relatively inexpensive, and ultimately perfect for placement on a balcony. The swing-open doors have secure latches too, meaning there’s little risk of your cat performing a Houdini act.

Comprising three tiers – perfect for your cat to jump around on should they want some exercise, or simply a better view – it offers a safe and secure environment in which they can do so. Should they try to claw at or chew the cage, the durable metal wire – adorned with a black e-fish – is perfectly safe for cats. It requires no real maintenance, apart from the odd clean if it gets dusty.

If you want to move it, you can simply wheel it around or fold it up, ready for transportation elsewhere. Though few breakages of any kind have been reported, a year’s warranty is offered, so either way, it’s nothing to worry about.

It also provides a handy dual purpose: litterbox training. Some cats don’t like being watched, so placing a tray at the bottom could provide a handy alternative.

While it might not be exactly what you’d think of when looking for cat enclosures, we can’t deny that it is handy for those living in more confined spaces. If you’re one of those people, it could serve as a handy middle ground against a full-sized enclosure.

 

best outdoor cat enclosures

(Image credit: Amazon)

ToysOpoly #1 Premium Pet Playpen

Best portable cat enclosure

Specifications

Measurements (inches): 26 x 19 x 1.9
Weight (pounds): 5.6
Materials: Open mesh

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and portable
+
Relatively affordable
+
No assembly required

Reasons to avoid

-
Flimsy in places

If you’re the sort of person who likes to take their cat away with them, then this could be the solution you’re looking for. Letting them roam around in an unfamiliar environment isn’t ideal, so being able to take something with you that makes it easy to keep an eye on them while they experience the outdoors is not to be sniffed at.

This playpen from ToysOpoly – intended primarily for outdoor use – provides your cat with an open and risk-free environment (it is BPA-safe and lead-safe, third-party tested and certified non-toxic). It’s durable and waterproof, and easy to assemble, popping up in seconds upon removal from its packaging.

Fill it up with some toys and it’s perfect for a few hours in the garden or on the balcony on a nice sunny day. What’s more, if you’re confident that your cat won’t attempt a leapfrog, you can unzip the roof, allowing them to bask in the sun.

Inevitably, considering the relatively low price, some parts are susceptible to breaking. The zips are particularly flimsy, with some customers reporting these breaking. Like the rest of the material on this product, it seems that more care and attention than usual is required when handling this.

While it might not necessarily have the longest lifespan, you definitely get what you pay for – a safe and open environment for your cat to play around in, allowing them to experience the outside world at a safe distance.

outdoor cat enclosurePets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Aivituvin)

Aivituvin Cat House Outdoor Catio

Best catio style enclosure

Specifications

Measurements (inches): 71 x 38 x 71
Weight (pounds): 123
Materials: Wood

Reasons to buy

+
Plenty of space for activities
+
Durable
+
Can be customized inside

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Takes up space

If you have the luxury of space or a big garden then certain other cat enclosures become available as options – this offering from Aivituvin is one of them.

Constructed from wood, this comes highly recommended by Amazon, and it's easy to see why. Containing a number of platforms on either side of the enclosure, it gives plenty of opportunities for cats to jump from balcony to balcony, as well as to climb. 

If it all gets a bit too much from them then there are two enclosed bed areas, both to shelter from the elements and to escape the sun. The enclosure is completely weather-proof too – the waterproof asphalt roof will ensure your cats – and anything you choose to add to it – are safe from the elements. 

Speaking of which, there is plenty of room inside for you to add pieces of cat furniture, should you decide to. A couple of scratching posts would be great, for instance.

Inevitably, this all comes with a price tag. It's not cheap, and what's more, you'll need to be sure that you have room for it. If you do though, then it could prove to be a great addition.

KUCDBUN Outdoor Cat EnclosurePets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Amazon)

KUCDBUN Outdoor Cat Enclosure

Best outdoor cat enclosure with a tunnel

Specifications

Measurements: 27.55"L x 27.55"W x 27.55"H
Weight: 9 pounds
Materials: Mesh and nylon

Reasons to buy

+
Multiple set up combinations
+
Small mesh fabric to protect your pet from bugs and predators
+
Deluxe and roomy

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as robust as other enclosures

If you're after an outdoor cat enclosure that offers endless fun and multiple combination options, then this great model from KUCDBUN is well worth considering. 

Featuring three cat tents in different shapes and three cat tunnels with six zippered doors, there are so many ways that you can assemble this enclosure, and with a hanging feather toy also included, there's little chance of your feline friend becoming bored.

Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, the enclosure is made from a very fine mesh that ensures your kitty will stay protected from bugs and predators. The pop up system and compact design also make it a breeze to fold down when not in use and the convenient carry bag mean you can easily transport it with you wherever you go.

How to choose the best outdoor cat enclosure

Outdoor cat enclosures come in many forms, probably more than you previously imagined. With this in mind, you’ll need to think carefully about what exactly you require from one. For us, the primary considerations to bear in mind are:

What is your budget?
These products range from easily affordable to quite substantial financial outlays. If you can afford it then great, but don’t pay more than you can afford.

What do you have room for?
Can you physically fit it in your outdoor space? Do you have a whole garden or a balcony? Choose accordingly.

Is it pet safe?
This is why it pays to purchase products from recognized manufacturers, and not retailers with no reviews online. Some things are worth taking a punt on, but not the health and safety of your furry friends.

What are the return policies?
Some cats take time to adjust to outdoor enclosures. Some just plain dislike them altogether. Rather than persisting and making your cat uncomfortable, have your exit route planned should they not take to it.

What does it come with?
Would you like a kennel included, or are you going to customize it yourself? Keep an eye on what is included.