If you have noticed lately that your cat is trying to escape or wanting to spend time outdoors, you may want to find an outdoor enclosure for them. We’ve compiled a list of the best cat enclosures on the market today in order to help you find one that suits your needs.
We’ll walk through the benefits and drawbacks of several different styles, makes, and models of cat enclosures, so read on!
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Should You Buy an Outdoor Cat Enclosure?
If you have an indoor cat, you have probably had to deal with your cat trying to escape your home at some point or another. Even the most content indoor cat tries to make a quick escape every now and then. This leads to the question of if you should allow your cat outdoors or keep them primarily indoors.
Those living in a very safe area may be able to safely allow their cat outdoors periodically, but this is not recommended. Providing a safe home for feral cats in your area is always a commendable thing to do, but do not put your primarily indoor cat outdoors on its own. Instead, you may want to look further into quality outside cat enclosures.
There are many benefits of purchasing an outdoor cat enclosure for your pet, including:
- They allow your indoor cat to experience the outdoors without getting injured. This is great for those who want to take their cat with them on camping trips, outdoor events, or just allow their pet to get fresh air.
- Your cat gets to experience nature! Most cats love the chance to get outside and these enclosures allow them to get the outdoor experience they desire.
- Many cats enjoy enclosures because they offer play space and other bonuses like toys that they can enjoy. Multi story enclosures are great for cats that like to jump, play and climb.
- These outdoor enclosures actually protect wildlife from your cat. Many cats enjoy chasing down birds or other small rodents, which they will often kill if they catch. Not only is this sad for most pet owners but it also can lead to injury for your pet.
Features to Consider When Buying a Cat Enclosure
Once you decide if you would like to purchase an enclosure for your cat, you will want to take into consideration what you need in this enclosure. If you plan to use it daily, you will want something more durable than if you only use it every now and then. Also, the type of cat and number of cats that you have will play a major part in what you decide to purchase.
Here's some key features to consider when buying a cat enclosure:
The Size of the Enclosure – If you have a large cat such as a Main Coon Cat, you will need a very large enclosure for the cat to fit safely and comfortably. However, if you foster kittens or have a smaller breed, you may be able to use a much smaller enclosure. Of course, if you plan to fit more than one cat into the same enclosure, you want to pick a very large option that is abundant in space and playing room.
The Exact Dimensions of the Enclosure – This is a major question because you will need to ensure that the area you are placing the enclosure in can fit it safely and easily. If you plan to put the enclosure on a deck or patio, you have much more limited space than if you are putting the enclosure in a larger garden or yard area. You will want to measure the available area and compare it to the specifications of the enclosures you are considering.
Is it Weatherproof for Outdoor Use? It is Designed for Indoor Use? – If you are purchasing an enclosure for strictly outdoor use or sporadic use, it may be best to consider a pop out tent option that comes with a basic mesh material. However, if you want to use this both indoors and outdoors, you may want to pick a sturdier option that can be easily moved indoors and is more appealing to the eye. If you are fostering cats or want to simply provide your cat a safe haven, having an indoor and outdoor enclosure option may be best.
Does is Have Added Play Areas? Is There a Sleeping Area? How Much Play Space is Available? – There are enclosures that are designed for kittens specifically, but it is important to remember that cats continue to grow, and older cats need more space. If you have a senior cat that does not jump or play much anymore, you may be able to get a smaller enclosure with less extras. However, younger, more active cats need plenty of space to run, play, and climb. This can take the shape of tunnels, ledges, hides, and many other different types of enriching extras.
Is the Enclosure Made of Durable Materials? Is it Designed for Safe Extended Use? – If you plan to only leave your cat in the enclosure for a couple of hours every now and then, you do not need as big of an enclosure. However, if you plan to leave your cat outdoors in the enclosure for an extended period of time, you want something big, very durable, and has locking entrances to avoid your cat escaping. You want to make sure that a cat left outside for several hours a day is protected from the elements and has plenty of space, food, and water.
Will My Cat Like an Outdoor Enclosure?
If your cat has been trying to escape your home for the great outdoors, there is almost no question that it will enjoy a cat enclosure. For many cats, this outdoor enclosure is a great choice, and they will be completely content. In some cases, your cat may get annoyed in the enclosure or may not want to spend many hours inside, but it is a great option for playtime for your pet.
It is important to remember to get your cat spayed or neutered before allowing them outdoors. Many cats try to escape when they go into heat or smell another cat in the area. Spaying or neutering your cat before allowing them outside will ensure there is no accidental pregnancies, stop other cats from entering your area, and keep your cat more content.
There are actually several health benefits that your cat will experience with outdoor enclosures. Some of the reasons your cat may love being outdoors and can benefit from it are:
It Gives Them More Space – Indoors, your cat has a limited space and they often get used to this space or get bored with it. When you allow your cat to go outdoors in an enclosure, it can enjoy new space and it can encourage play. This can keep your cat at a healthy weight and give them fresh scenery to enjoy.
It Is Very Enriching – Once again, inside the home your cat is seeing the same views over and over, which can become very repetitive. While your cat can get some views of the outdoors from windows, it is not the same as what they will experience in an outdoor enclosure. When in an enclosure, your cat can experience new smells, sights, and other experiences that are enriching to their mind and senses.
They Can Help with Behavioral Issues – If your cat has seemed very sporadic lately, solitary, territorial, or just exhibiting other behavioral issues spending some time outdoors can help. When cats become bored or feel too isolated, it can lead to unwanted behaviors that can be hard to fix. However, spending some time outdoors can benefit your cat’s mental health tremendously.
It Can Lower Indoor Odors – Most cat owners know that litter boxes are one of the most difficult parts of owning a cat and can lead to super nasty smells in the home. While you should always change your cat’s litter box regularly, adding a small litter box to their outdoor enclosure can lower indoor smells significantly. Your cat can use this outdoor litter box while enjoying fresh air and will use the indoor litter box even less, leading to less smells indoors.
It Allows Them to Socialize – While you do want to protect your cat from other animals, such as larger cats and dogs, it can help them socialize with those in your neighborhood. When your cat is in their enclosure, they are protected but still able to see the world around them in more detail. Whether your cat gets to meet the cat from down the road or the neighborhood children, outdoor enclosures can help your pet become more socialized.
The Best Cat Enclosures Available Today
Now that you know more about the benefits of outdoor cat enclosures for your pet and what to look for in your enclosure, let’s jump into the best options available today. On our list, you will find everything from feral cat boxes to portable cat tents.
Regardless of which option you choose, these are some of the absolute best on the market today.
Zampa Portable Foldable Cat Playpen
Ensure a super comfortable playing area for your small and medium-sized pet which they will love as much they love you. Designed to provide a safe place to your four-legged friend, this pet playhouse can be easily plunked in the garden or carried to campsites.
The Zampa playpen is commonly chosen as temporary and permanent pet home and can be used both indoors and outdoors to keep your pet entertained and refreshed. It comes with two mesh doors and mesh windows on all the other sides along with a complete mesh roof to make sure that your pet doesn’t feel anxious.
If you are looking for an easy enclosure for your pet that is safe and quick to pop together, this foldable pet playpen is a great option. This outdoor cat playpen comes in one easy to pop out piece that is made from durable, water-resistant materials. This would be a great option for allowing your pet time outdoors in a safe way or to keep your pet safely enclosed when needed.
These enclosures come in three sizes, which works well for small cats and even all the way up to large dogs, depending on your needs. The pop out playpen comes with a carrying case, which allows you to take the enclosure practically anywhere. It folds down to a very small size, allowing you to store the enclosure away easily when not in use.
The attention to detail with this enclosure is amazing, and the extras make using it simple. You will find a cute water bottle holder that dispenses water to your pet. You can also use the side pocket to keep treats, collars, or other cat necessities that you may need to take along with you.
- Extra Small = 29"x29"x17"
- Small = 36"x36"x24"
- Medium = 45"x45"x24"
- Large = 61"x61"x30"
What We Like
- It is a super versatile enclosure with multiple size options.
- The fold up and storage process is simple.
- The carrying case is easy to use.
- The attention to detail.
What We Don’t Like
- This enclosure is not as sturdy as others since it is a pop out option.
- Folding the enclosure to store away can take a bit of getting use to.
If you want a cat enclosure that you can easily take with you on trips and store away when not needed, this is a great choice. It is relatively inexpensive and comes in several sizes to choose exactly what you need.
AmazonBasics Large 3-Tier Cat Cage Playpen Box Crate Kennel
The AmazonBasics brand is a great option if you want something a little less expensive but still very high quality, which is exactly what you will get with this cat crate. This crate is three tiers of fun for your pet and keeps your cat completely safe. If you need an outdoor cat shelter for multiple cats, this will work well for a few adult cats or several kittens.
The crate itself is made like a wire caging but is very durable and provides a safe haven for your cat. You can lock the swing open doors with the secure latches or leave them open if you want to allow your cat entry and exit. The metal itself is black and made with a rust-resistant coating to stay clean even when used often.
This is a great choice for kittens as you can fit several kittens safely in the crate, making it a top choice for rescues, shelters, fostering, or other similar uses. Also, each tier comes with removable floor pans that are leak proof and can be sprayed or wiped clean as needed. You can fold the crate down when not in use and store it away fairly easily.
- The crate measures 35.8 by 22.4 by 50.6 inches
- It weighs 37.4 pounds
Things We Like
- This crate is actually on wheels, which makes it easy to move from room to room.
- The AmazonBasics products come with a 1-year limited warranty!
- Features three staggered shelves for easy playing and resting.
Things We Don’t Like
- This crate can be a bit bulky compared to others.
- It is heavy.
This is a great lower cost option if you want a more permanent enclosure that is very durable. This option does still fold down smaller if you do want to store it away, but is more durable than many tent options. It is very spacious and easy to clean.
YDYL Easy Installation Mesh Cat Play Tent for Indoor Cat
Cat parents are very much caring about their kitties when they traveling out for road trip or camping for couple of days, bring a indoor cat to a wild outdoor always make them nervous. So a outdoor playpen, or play tent is needed when you bring them to enjoy the outdoor adventure.
Our easy installation cat tent offers roomy space for more than two cats, and also extra rain fly and two zipper door is offered to help to make connection to the play tunnels.
Indoor cats that want the experience of the outdoors will love this YDYL Easy Installation Cat Tent. You can bring your cat outdoors in a safe and easy way by popping up this quick tent. The installation is extremely simple, and the unique construction is something your cat is sure to enjoy.
This cat tent is very big and spacious, offering an abundance of room for one cat and plenty of space for two. You can use it indoors if you would like, on balconies, or even outdoors as a way to protect your indoor cat but give them some fresh air. It is made completely from mesh, which keeps it very ventilated and airy for your pet inside.
The set up itself is great and something your cat will enjoy exploring. The tent has a cat tunnel that your pet can easily travel through into the tent itself. The tent comes equipped with an extra rain fly which prevents rain from getting to your cat and protects your pet from harsh sun rays.
Things We Like
- The tent comes with an easy to carry storage bag that you can use to take it from place to place.
- The company offers a 100% money back refund if you have any issues with the tent.
- This enclosure offers amazing entertainment for your cat along with protection from the elements.
Things We Don’t Like
- It can be hard to fold this tent back up and put away, which can get frustrating.
- This is best for those who want to let their indoor cat enjoy the outdoors but is not a daily used enclosure.
This portable outdoor cat enclosure can easily be popped up for your indoor cat to enjoy outdoors. It is great for protecting your cat against the elements and can be folded away when not in use. If you want to give your indoor cat an outdoor experience, this is a great choice!
Sandinrayli Outdoor Cat House
This is one of the most expensive but most luxurious cat houses on our list today. The Sandinrayli brand is extremely durable and offers a ton of space for your cat to play. You can easily find enough space in this wooden house for one cat, two cats, or several kittens.
If you want something that is environmentally friendly, this pine material is great and offers a lux look that will mesh well with your home décor. The enclosure is pet friendly and very durable, lasting for years to come when cared for properly. The company is very committed to the quality of their products and promises your cat enclosure is safe, durable, and beautiful.
This wooden cat enclosure is great for use in a patio, backyard, or other outdoor areas, but can also be used indoors, if needed. These large outdoor cat enclosures feature six large platforms that your cat can play or rest on safely. It features a large door with a latch that allows you to keep your cat safely inside.
- Overall Enclosure Dimensions - 66.5” Length X 34.6” Width X 71” Height
- Door Dimensions: 36.2” Length X 19.1” Width
- Weight: 83.5 pounds
What We Like
- Sandinrayli offers 100% quality assurance on all products for 1 year.
- Very spacious but still appealing to the eye.
- Made from environmentally friendly wood.
What We Don’t Like
- The enclosure is very big and heavy.
- It cannot be folded down or stored away.
This is one of the only options on our list that cannot be stored away and is much more permanent. However, it is also very beautiful and is an enclosure that you can leave up year-round for your pet. This is a spacious option for those with multiple cats.
ecoFLEX Albany Outdoor Feral Cat House
If you have an outdoor cat that you want to provide a safe, durable home, this ecoFLEX home is a great option. Whether you own your outdoor cat or simply have a cat that is hanging out around your home and you want to provide shelter, this is a top choice. This amazing home is resistant to fading, warping, rotting, bugs, and pretty much every element.
Often, outdoor cats are fearful of being trapped, which is why they avoid going (or being dragged!) inside of a house. However, with this enclosure, there are two easy ways for your cat to exit the home safely. This makes your cat feel secure inside without getting the panic of being trapped that can often happen.
There is no major assembly required for this enclosure and you simply pop it together and it is ready to go. It is very durable once in place and can be used in practically any weather by your cat. This could be used indoors as well but is made for primary outdoor use.
- Size: 21.8 x 19.1 x 20.2 inches
- Weight: 17.4 Pounds
Things We Like
- The material is very easy to clean and can simply be wiped or sprayed out.
- There is little assembly required and no tools are needed.
- The enclosure is made from a non-toxic recycled plastic wood polymer that is very durable.
What We Don’t Like
- Great for outdoor cats but does not protect against all temperatures.
This is a great choice if you have an outdoor cat or simply want to provide a safe place for a feral cat in your area. If you do choose this enclosure, it has two openings (that do not lock) allowing your cat to enter or exit as they choose. Overall, this is a very durable option.
PURR...FECT FENCE Purrfect Play Tent
Our final amazing choice is another great option if you would like to take your indoor cat outdoors for some fresh air and enjoyment. This tent is great for any small pet, including cats. And it can be set up on balconies, campsites, decks, or practically anywhere outdoors. Though this is a pop-up tent, it is very durable and made from high quality components that are built to last.
You can set up this tent in seconds and it requires no major tools for easy use. Once you are done using the tent, you can fold it back up and store it away for future usage. The tent comes with a shoulder carry bag that you can be used for storage and easy traveling.
If you are using this tent for your cat outdoors, it is very secure and allows you to see inside from practically every angle. You can also add a rain, sun, or wind cover to the tent to further protect your cat from the elements. This is easily locked into place with attached clips and can be removed during nice weather.
- The large sized tent provides 32+ square feet of space.
- Overall Size - 76” Long x 62” Wide x 40” Tall
Things We Like
- Easy to pop out and can be folded to store away simply.
- The tent comes with fiberglass poles that are 40% thicker than standard tent poles.
- Has removeable wind, UV, and rain protecting layer that can be added for extra protection.
Things We Don’t Like
- To ensure durability of the tent, you will want to use the stakes included. It is not durable enough for daily use.
This amazing pop up tent is a great option for those who want to take their cat with them outdoors but keep them protected. You can add an extra layer of protection to protect your cat against the elements. Compared to other tent options, this is a very durable option.
Give Your Cat Safe Outdoor Fun
If your indoor cat is dealing with boredom, behavioral issues, or you simply want to offer them new enrichment, considering a quality outdoor cat enclosure kit is a great option. Make sure you purchase an enclosure that fits your cat’s size and needs that is safe for your pet. Those mentioned in our list above are great options that you should consider for your feline friend.