At our last home, we built three outdoor cat runs, and have one now. Each run has a high perch for the cats to watch birds. Our door cat runs are a wonderful place for litter-boxes, and by six weeks of age, kittens use the cat doors. We like the small “Extreme Weather Cat Door” made by PETSAFE.
Keeping litter-boxes outside makes a tremendous difference to families with asthma. The cat runs keep allergens and dust to a minimum, and reduce tracking in the house. Litterboxes are placed on the wood shelves to keep bending and lifting to a minimum.
The runs are made from treated framing, cedar trim, polycarbonate roof, and heavy gauge 2” wire. In the winter, two outside walls are covered with polycarbonate to keep out rain. In the future, we would use vinyl-coated 2” mesh hardware cloth instead of chicken wire, for durability and cleaning.
Our Catios have a spring-loaded door for us to access, fabricated from the same materials. We keep it padlocked to prevent accidentally letting cats out.
The cost to construct an outdoor cat run is $1000 – $5000, depending on size, materials used, and DIY skills.