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All About Cat Runs: Options, Considerations, & Best Practices

3 min read

All About Cat Runs: Options, Considerations, & Best Practices

Cat runs are an increasingly popular option for those who want to enrich their pet’s life by giving them access to the sights, sounds, textures, and smells of outdoor spaces. Cats, like humans, dogs, and many other animals, enjoy the stimulation of the outside world.

Also referred to as a catio, cat enclosure, or cat kennel, there are even more options than names for them! Since your internet search has likely brought you here, you are probably in the middle of your research to find the bestcatio cat run for you. Here are several options to help you decide which is perfect for your beloved pet.

Outside Cat Run Options

1. Design and Build aCustom Cat Run

A commonly selected option for those with skills, confidence, or both is to take on the challenge of designing and building your own cat run. This generally involves using raw materials purchased at home improvement stores. Then, the individual makes either a design discovered online or attempts to replicate a more formally engineered solution from the commercial options available.

These options generally are one of the following:

  • Fully enclosed enclosure made from wood framing with welded wire covering.Example plan here.
  • Modified existing fencing with PVC rollers, arching arms, or a variation of each.Example here.

Theseoutside cat runs can be wonderfully successful for people with the right skills and budget. The issue is that the majority of people who attempt this do not see great results due to the difficulty of building durable solutions for the outdoors. Also, and maybe more importantly, cats tend to be extremely athletic, clever, and persistent, and will exploit even the slightest mistake you make. Unfortunately, mistakes can often lead to escapes.

Expected Cost: $500-5000

Expected Time Commitment: 16-40 hours 

2. Hire a Contractor to Design and Build Your Catio Cat Run 

A handyman drilling a hole into wood

A popular option for those with a higher than average budget is to hire a local contractor to design and build your cat run to suit. Contracting out your run is a great option if you can find a competent and experiencedoutside cat run builder. 

Custom options often are in the higher pricing range due to the cost of design, materials, and labor involved in the process. Professionals that offer these services are usually in high demand.Custom cat runs built by contractors are typically wood-made and often require significant maintenance due to the material quality. 

Expected Cost: $1500-10000+

Expected Time Commitment: 1-6 hours

3. Commercial Do It Yourself Cat Run

This option removes a lot of the guesswork and confusion around your outside cat run's design and material selection. Many different companies offer various solutions. Some are based on the idea of open-air fencing barriers, such asPurrfect Fence, while others rely on fully enclosed catio-style enclosures like those offered byHabitat Haven. Be sure to check out thetunnels andtowers.

The homeowner can install these options, or a local handyperson can be hired for assembly. DIY solutions tend to be the most economical overall, considering the level of durability and effectiveness of these systems.

Expected Cost: $500-5000

Expected Time Commitment: 2-6 hours 

Build Your Outside Cat Run with Purrfect Fence

No matter whichcat run option works for you, it is important to ensure you are fully comfortable with its level of safety, effectiveness, and cost. You should also find out what it will take to fit thecatio cat run to your situation properly. It certainly helps to carefully review the various options and talk to as many experts on the subject as possible.

Ready to work with the world-renowned experts at Purrfect Fence to see if ouroutside catio cat runs are suitable for you? We would be happy to consult with you via email or phone. We think you will be pleasantly surprised by how helpful we can be! 

Contact us here.