Our "Cat Run" - an Outdoor Cat Enclosure

Cats can be happily kept inside all the time, and an indoor cat is much healthier and safer than an outdoor cat.  But, if you have the space, you might want to consider providing your kitties with a "cat run" where they can go outside at will and watch birds and doze in the sun.  Below is the cat run we have had since the first year I bought the house.  It's about 3/4 the length of the house, and 5 feet deep, built of redwood and wire mesh.
Our Cat Run
Our Cat Run
Our Cat Run
Our Cat Run
Our backyard
The cats access the cat run through a door in the large window (off of the laundry room). The sides and top are wire mesh. In the first picture are Tuxedo, Beauregard, and Sophie. The cats have an upright tree branch for scratching and climbing. The "shelving system" is made of pine planks and was purchased ready-to-assemble (we bought two units) from Fred Meyer's store, plus there are other shelves throughout the run.  There are two houses inside the cat run.

The photo with my shadow shows the "people door" into the run.  The last photo is of the backyard:  what the cats see when they look out from their cat run.  If you want to see more photos of my pond, arbor, garden, and rose trellises, I have a photo album at Webshots.

Here are some links to cat runs/enclosures built by others and a few pre-built enclosures you can buy:

Articles about enclosures/cat runs:

This idea was received from a fellow cat lover named Larraine:

"I was in cat rescue for about 25 yrs and have always tried to contain my cats with all manner of enclosures, netting you name it.  A while ago I was watching as one of my cats tried to stay on my kitchen counter when she lost her grip on the smooth edge.  I had a lightbulb moment.  A smooth rounded cap on an existing fence is all that's needed!!   I bought several of those white PVC pipes ( the ones without holes in them) they use for sewer or water, that come in diameters of 3" to 5" and will fit over almost any fence railing once you split them in half lengthways one $11 pipe will cap 20 ft of fence. Just drill a few holes on either side and screw it to the railing.  The cats cannot get over it!!!  Also keeps raccoons out, as long as you don't have trees they can use."

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