Cat Runs

Kalleriia’s P-Litter in the cat run, 2009

At our last home, we built three outdoor cat runs, and have one now.  The cats love them, and they are a wonderful place for litterboxes. This reduces tracking and keeps allergens and dust from the litterboxes to a minimum.

All our litterboxes are outside, except when we have young kittens – though by six weeks of age, they use the cat doors.  Keeping litterboxes outside will make a tremendous difference to families with asthma.

The runs are made from treated framing, cedar trim, polycarbonate roof, and heavy gauge chicken wire. In the winter, two of the outside walls are covered with polycarbonate in winter to keep out rain. A Catio can be accessed from a sliding patio door, or from an outside door.

Our Catios have a spring-loaded door fabricated from the same materials as the rest of the run.  It is padlocked to prevent someone from accidentally letting the cats out. Litterboxes are placed on the wood shelves to keep bending and lifting to a minimum.  Each run has a high perch for the cats as well. 

The cost of materials to construct an outdoor cat run is $500 – $1500. We like the small “Extreme Weather Cat Door” made by PETSAFE.  In the future, I might use vinyl-coated 2” mesh hardware cloth instead of chicken wire, for durability and cleaning.