Cat enclosures

Cat enclosures & confining cats | Outdoor cat runs

May 19, 2015

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Which cat enclosure is best for your pet?

So you want to let your cat go outdoors, but you are…

  1. Fed up of standing out there with it on a lead for hours
  2. Worried that your partner/children will leave it out overnight again on the lead and you will wake up to a very upset moggy
  3. Struggling to think of a way to keep it in the garden, as you’ve tried the harness and the cat is a mini Houdini!

The best solution is a cat enclosure, there are lots out there….

DIY cat enclosures

Knock up your own enclosure, this may sound like the cheap option, but I know a number of people who will reliably tell you it isn’t, why? Well wood and other materials will set you back at least $400 plus you still have to then build it – I know some people who have had the materials for 2 years and still no cat run has materialized….. So yes you may save a few $$, but you also may not have a finished run!

The other option that is often used for DIY is to take an existing object, e.g. a rabbit hutch, or bed and add chicken wire to turn it into a cat enclosure – what can I say, yes it is an option, but no it will not necessarily look good in your garden!

Custom cat enclosures

There are a lot of companies out there online who will build you a custom cat run that fits the exact space you want, is strong, sturdy and like Fort Knox. The benefits are that your cat is going nowhere! The downside is usually the price and the fact that if you move house it’s hard to take with you.


You will see a few netting enclosures, these are usually wooden posts with the netting nailed to them. By netting I mean fine rope, twine. Pluses for the netting are that usually they are easy to assemble as you buy a kit, so no waiting (unlike the DIY option), the netting is flexible making it easy to move and fit into awkward places. It also doesn’t make you feel that you have put your cat into a prison camp because usually it will blend with your garden.

Netting is usually not permanent, so that if you move house you can take it with you, or if you want to move it in the garden it’s easy to do so.

However, the netting can be nibbled on by small animals and before you know it your cat has escaped. The other possibility of netting breaking is if your cat climbs up it, and breaks it with it’s claws and/or weight – although this would probably take repeated climbing.


Cat enclosures made from powder coated steel wire, such as those from Omlet, make great outdoor runs. The wire doesn’t rust due to the coating, can’t be eaten by other animals and it provides a nice climbing aspect to the enclosure without the fear that they will break the wire with their weight/claws. The wire is green and blends in with your garden, and you can always train some plants up it as well if you want extra shade or disguise for it!

Because the Omlet cat enclosure is a kit and comes in panels you can easily take it apart if you move house or even if you want it somewhere else in the garden.  The only slight downside is that this enclosure comes in 1m panels, so if you have a slightly odd shaped area you would either need to bend or cut it to get it to fit.

What cat enclosure should you choose?

At the end of the day if you need a cat enclosure and aren’t overly keen on DIY and know that your partner is not always the fastest with a hammer, I’d give that option a miss, as it doesn’t actually work out any cheaper.   The netting could be an option if you are fastening it onto part of the house, if you want a stand alone enclosure then the powder coated steel wire from Omlet is the best option. But if money is no problem then go custom and get the ultimate in cat enclosures!

More reading on cat enclosures

DEPI – Cat confinement – enclosures and fencing

Written by: Lara Solomon from

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