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How to build a catio?

Finding My Feet

How to build a catio?




Hi all,

I am trying to find a cheap way to secure a section of courtyard to allow my cat to the safety and freedom to go outside when she wants too. 


My issues are:

I live in a rental with brick walls that cannot be drilled in to.

There's no grass, just concrete and a garden bed.

The neighbouring fence is unstable so cannot use it to secure or anchor

There is another cat that likes to visit & isn't friendly and want him to be able to get out of his own.


I am thinking of setting wooden posts around 2m tall in buckets of cement to which I can then attach netting/mesh for the walls and add angled fence brackets at the top


My questions are:

Would this work the way I imagine?

Would it be stable and not topple over in the wind?

What size buckets would be needed to keep it stable?


Thank you in advance 


Edited - 

added pics.

Area is aprox 4m long & 3m wide.

Sliding pet door insert for anytime access.

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: posts set in cement buckets - cat enclosure

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Mel_K. It's amazing to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about building a catio.


You're idea could certainly work, but I'd encourage you to use 20L+ sized buckets. Something like this 20L handy pail would work.  A concern I have is how you'd get the netting to wrap around the lower bucket section. As an inside cat owner I would be paranoid about my cat getting under the netting.


I recently wrote an article on building a catio (cat-patio), and here are my thoughts:


  • Consider the space you have to work with and how you'll design the catio to use it best. An excellent way to make the most of a small footprint is by using height to your advantage and designing a tall enclosure. 


  • Ensure the space is comfortable and stimulating for your cats by utilising climbing structures, scratching posts and hiding spots.


  • Using sturdy materials and ensuring the catio is escape-proof is important. If you include any doors, they must have latching mechanisms so they can't be forced open.


  • When selecting a location for your catio, pick a spot protected from the elements that is shaded from the hot sun. Also, ensure the structure is well-ventilated, especially in the warmer months.


  • It's important to select materials that will withstand the elements and the wear and tear of your cat's claws.


  • Sturdy materials are a must, and exterior-grade timber makes a great choice for frame construction. Covering your frame with a galvanised wire mesh or timber lattice will allow light and air into the enclosure. Its open nature allows your cat to look out whilst being robust enough to prevent any escape attempts.


  • It's important that the structure is robust and stable and secured adequately to the ground or house. If in doubt, consult a professional or experienced builder to ensure your catio is built safely.


  • Remember that when building a catio the space should be as stimulating and engaging for your cat as possible. Catios can't substitute for regular interaction and exercise, but with good planning, they are an excellent extension of your cat's indoor life.


I'd encourage you to think carefully about how you could use these Tumbleweed Garden Waste Storage Cages. The enclosure could be made entirely from these and joined together with cable ties. Depending on how you design it, it could be self-supporting and need no connections to the house or ground.


The other option is to use bird netting, though you'll need to find locations where you can fix it. If you'd like to post a few pictures of the area, then I'm sure our members could come up with some mounting solutions. Please let me know if you need assistance uploading images.


Please let me know if you have any questions.




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Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: How to build a catio?

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Mel_K. We are looking forward to seeing how you can build a catio for your furry friends.


Just thought I'd add that these are our two most popular cat projects on Workshop:








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Re: posts set in cement buckets - cat enclosure

Hi Mitchell,


Thank you for your response, very helpful and lots to think about. I have put up some photos. I know there's a solution out there, just got to find it

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: posts set in cement buckets - cat enclosure

Hello @Mel_K 


Have you considered building a temporary frame to hold the net? You can use 70x35 framing timber to build a large area for the catio. Plus if you ever decide to move, the timber can be disassembled and taken with you. It will be heavy enough that the cat won't be able to move the frame. Please have a look at the sketch below and tell me what you think.


If you have any other questions we can help with, please let us know.




Mel_K catio1.jpgMel_K catio2.jpgMel_K catio3.jpgMel_K catio4.jpg


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