Out of all the types of catios available, the window catio may be the most popular style.
It’s a catio that goes by many names; sometimes also called a ‘catio window box’, ‘catio window insert’, ‘cat window cage’, ‘window sill cat perch’, or ‘cat window patio’.
Whatever you wish to call it, they all provide a similar function – they let your kitty experience the sights and sounds (and even smells!) of the outdoors, whilst keeping them safe too.
What Is A Window Catio?
A window catio is a type of outdoor cat enclosure that you install on the outside of your house where a window is positioned.
They are usually made of either a metal or wooden frame, covered by a wire mesh or strong netting material.
Here’s an example of a DIY custom window catio made from wood and wire mesh:
Why Get A Window Catio?
They enable your cat to go out into the enclosure whenever they want via either an open window or a window cat flap, providing an interesting space for your cat to explore, watch out on the world or just chill out and snooze in!
It’s important for cats to have a varied life to prevent boredom and various health problems. A window catio is one way of providing some environmental enrichment for your cat.
Catio window boxes are relatively easy to install and are often one of the most affordable options available.
How To Create A Window Catio
Broadly speaking, there are 3 ways you can create a window catio:
- By installing a ready-made window catio kit
- By building your own custom DIY window catio
- Hiring a local carpenter/ handy person to build a custom catio for you
1) Window Catio Kits:
Ready made catio kits or enclosures are the cheapest and simplest option. They usually come flat-packed through the mail and are designed to be put together and installed using a few simple tools at home.
The downside is they come is standard sizes, so you need to find one that fits your window size, or could be adapted to fit over your window using some brackets or fixing plates.
-> Check out our favorite Catio Kits here
2) Building a custom DIY Window Catio:
Building your own window cat enclosure gives you a lot more flexibility to design it exactly as you wish.
Many people choose to make their own window catio as it allows them to make it fit the space they have available, meaning their lucky cat will probably end up with more space.
You can also make it look how you want and paint it a certain color to match your window frames.
The obvious downside is that you need to be good at DIY, and have the time to do it. Plus, it might well end up costing you more than just buying an off-the-shelf kit.
-> Check out our guide to building a DIY Catio here
3) Hiring A Carpenter/Handy person to help
There are some carpenters out there who specialize in making custom catios, but you can also just hire a non-specialist local carpenter or handy person to do the job too.
You need to show them what you’re wanting, talk through the design and materials and then oversee the work to make sure it’s what you’re looking for.
The result is a really nice window catio which you don’t have to build yourself!
The major downside is the cost, which is likely to be a few hundred dollars at least between the materials and labor, plus you’ll need to find the right person to do the job.
Catio Window Ideas & Examples
It’s always good to get inspiration from others when embarking on a project like this. Check out these window catios example from around the web: