We recently adopted a stray feral kitten, Koneko. She cannot be allowed outdoors yet, but we wanted her to have some access to fresh air and outdoor views. So we built this enclosure for my son's bedroom. I called this an outdoor pet run until I ran into the term "catio" or cat patio.
It is nearly invisible from a short distance, as the green fencing is very similar to the color of our house. Here is how we constructed it.
The fencing we purchased had a 2x3 inch grid. Ensure that whatever fencing you get is small enough to prevent escapes.
- 1 roll green wire fencing
- 2 metal corner beads with holes
- 1 roll wire (or use cut pieces from fencing)
- Remove any weeds or plants in the area, about three feet out from the window. We also cut out a small groove to bury the fencing in the ground.
- Attach the metal corner beads to the house, on either side of the window.
- Attach one side of the fencing to the holes in the metal corner bead with twisted wire, starting at the bottom to ensure that about 6 inches of fencing is buried. We needed to connect another piece of fencing in the middle to make it tall enough to cover above the window.
- When one side is attached, start attaching it to the other metal corner bead. This will create a semicircular structure in front of the window opening.
- Cut a piece of fencing to cover the open top and twist the wire together.
- Make sure the bottom fencing is well buried to avoid digging. Another idea would be to add a bottom piece of fencing to make a fully enclosed cage.
- Add a cat tower or other items to give the cat a way in and out and a place to nap or birdwatch. We added concrete blocks as stair steps and an old planter with a pillow. We plan to build or buy a regular cat tower to place in there soon.
Koneko loves it! She is out there all the time, although she is so skittish that it took a couple of weeks for me to get a picture of her in it. I'm planting cat grass around the perimeter to further hide the edge from the regular grass.
The only problem with this is that it is only accessible from the inside, without a lot of deconstruction. When it is time to paint the house, we will probably unscrew the metal corners in an attempt to keep it in one piece.