Catio Runs and Play Pen Ideas To Keep Your Cat Safe!

Catio runs are fantastic ideas for all cat lovers! They put your mind at ease while giving your cat air and territory to patrol (no matter how small!)

Catios; Keeping Your Cat Safe Outside
Catios; Keeping Your Cat Safe Outside

With all the horror stories currently making the rounds, many cat owners are opting to use a cat run instead of allowing their cats free to roam.

We have all seen the wildlife shows that cats in the wild patrol a hundred square miles of territory, which is the same for cats all over the world. But, with this exploration comes risks, we have three cats and will never let them beyond the garden after the last year.

They have come home with puncture marks above their tails from dogs grabbing them before making an escape, rips and we also had our cat (Felix) return one day covered in wood glue!

Why Build A Catio/Cat Run?

Yes, there are some nasty characters around that seem to like inflicting injuries on animals!

Protecting Your Cats
Protecting Your Cats

With the high climb in cat-related offences, we made the decision last year to build our own catio/cat run, which was a complete success! We have it kitted out with cat-friendly plants, shrubs, climbing boards and tree branches for them to sleep and walk around on.

  • Neighbour disputes
  • Angry neighbour dog
  • High cat-related crime
  • General indoor cats to get some air
  • If you have a rare breed that could get stolen or injured!
Perfect For Rare Cat Breeds
Perfect For Rare Cat Breeds

Make Your Own Or Purchase a Cat Run

Cat runs can be an expensive project, especially if you’re going to purchase it as a single solution. If you have some great ideas or wanted a bigger than average cat run, then we would suggest you build your own. For smaller cat runs, we have listed some great designs and brands below the end of this article.

DIY Catio Run

If you happen to be good with a saw and have a creative mind, then we suggest you build your own. But, failing that we would suggest you draw a plan and get a local company to make it for you.

It is a straightforward process for a qualified carpenter, and you would be paying far less than a bespoke ordered cat run or playhouse.

Do You Need Planning Permission For A Cat/Catio Run?

Planning permission for a cat run is not needed unless it is higher than 6 feet! But, ask your neighbours before building your cat run if you live in a terraced house.

Not all neighbours are cat people and might make a complaint to the local council. So, before building any elaborate cat playhouse, we would advise you first to contact them for a second opinion to be on the safe side!

  1. Ask/tell your neighbours if it is in their line of sight
  2. Contact the city council for a second opinion
  3. Design your cat run!

What To Put In Your Cat Run/House?

Planning, building, or purchasing your cat run is just the start! We have listed some must-haves for any cat playhouse. For a cat to enjoy its new outside home we would suggest you not to clutter it up r the cat might not take to well to their new playpen.

Catio Accessories
Catio Accessories

Using logs for scratching and climbing is a must-have. But, do not forget his little house within the playpen. I know it is for outside purposes only, but cats love their sleep and will feel more at home in the cat run if they can have a cat nap!

  1. Logs: Cats love wood, they like to climb on it scratch it and even chew it at times
  2. Branches: Great for climbing, we have two large branches our cats jump up and nap on
  3. Plants and shrubs: cat love to sent and chew plants and shrubs
  4. Grass: a small patch of real grass is excellent for a cats digestive tract or furball removal
  5. Water & food bowls: never forget the water bowls especially on those hot days when cats enjoy the suns rays
  6. Thick rope & toys: making your cat at home is vital for them to enjoy the experience
  7. Heating: Remember cats can get cold like us humans, but this can depend on your design and materials used
  8. Exercise Wheels: these cat wheels are great but can be bulky if used in smaller cat runs

Plants & Shrubs Your Cat Will Love!

Cats are sensitive creatures in more ways than one. They love chewing and centring on certain bushes and shrubs. Having these plants in the cat run will calm and make them more at ease. Here is a selection of plants that you could introduce for your cat/s to enjoy:

  1. Catnip
  2. Cats claw
  3. Lemongrass
  4. Mint
  5. Parsley
  6. Thyme

Safety Issues With Your Cat Run

Cats are going to want to try and escape their cat run at some point, especially if they were a roaming cat before you built its new run.

So, before allowing your cat in the run check for sharp wire and be sure it has been secured to the ground correctly. You should double-check the structure each day because you never know what happens in the garden at night!

  • Double-check the mesh is still intact
  • Be sure to double-check any locks or side doors
  • Always make sure water is topped up
  • Fresh litter and general cleanliness are critical for cats!

Concluding Cat Runs

Like we said earlier on in this article, cat runs are amazing! They provide the owner with peace of mind and a far better environment for the cat to explore and feel at home.

They experience outside life with fresh air and sun rays in the summer. The cat will not be coming home with cuts or glue pasted on them, but more importantly, you know they will always return once let out in the cat run.


  1. Alf February 21, 2020
    • Wezaggle February 21, 2020

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