Yes! Window box enclosures (aka window box catios) are easy to build. Our DIY window box enclosure is a quick and easy weekend project that your cat will love. Catios are a fantastic way to provide the stimulation your cat needs through safe enjoyment of the outdoors, so learn more about how to add one to your home below:
What Is a Window Box Cat Enclosure or Window Box Catio?
The Window Box is a 3-sided catio that’s an excellent addition to homes or first-floor apartments (with landlord approval, of course). They are easy to build and install plus they ensure cats get the opportunity for fresh air and a bird’s eye view of the outside world. The window box sits outside the window and is supported by two to three angle braces secured to your house, similar to attaching a deck, railing or air conditioner brace. If you are unable to bracket to the building, you can create a “tabletop”(mini deck) with posted legs for it to sit on for first-floor windows.
Like all our catios, window box enclosures allow your cat to safely enjoy the outdoors. The Window Box catio makes it safer for your cat than a simple window screen that can be scratched or pushed through. It also gives your cat access to actually BE outside, instead of watching and wishing from the window. The wire mesh recommended in the plans is specifically selected with cat safety in mind, meaning your cat will not be able to claw or chew out of it as well as protecting your cat from predators (like coyotes).
Window box catios are a great complement to the home, too. The wood frame can be painted, stained or left neutral, depending on your preference, to suit your home’s style.
Why Should I Consider a Window Box Cat Enclosure or Window Box Catio?
Cats naturally want to be outside where they can enjoy the sights, sounds and stimulation of the outdoors. Catios are the perfect solution to the indoor/outdoor dilemma while keeping your cat safe, happy and healthy.
If cats are allowed to roam freely outdoors, they are at risk of a variety of outdoor hazards, including vehicles, predators, poisons, other cats, diseases and many other concerns to keep you up at night. Cats can also pose a big threat to birds and wildlife, but not within the safety of a catio!
Cats need stimulation and enrichment on a daily basis. Without it, they can begin to act out in uncharacteristic ways: refusing to use the litter box, making the couch their new scratching pole, meowing incessantly, overeating or attacking sibling cats. These are not signs of a bad kitty—they are signs of a bored kitty. Read our article on ways to enrich the life of your cat if you think your cat needs a little more stimulation, and consider a catio.
Window box catios (and other catios) are a great solution to kitty boredom, allowing your cat access to the outdoors, without all the dangers free-roaming cats encounter.
Window box catios can either be stand-alone or part of a larger catio network for your cats to enjoy.
Is It Hard To Create a Window Box Catio?
Not at all! Our DIY catio plans make it easy.
What if I can’t anchor into the side of my building?
We have a solution for that! If you’re on the first floor, simply create a posted table-top (similar to a mini deck) to set the catio on, instead of connecting it to the side of the building. One or more of the legs can be anchored in concrete for stability and then removed in the future.
How Can My Cat Access Their Window Box Catio? Does The Window Have To Be Open?
There are multiple ways your cat can be given access to a window box catio. Ultimately, it depends on your preference and the style of window you have.
If you have a sash window (opens up), you can:
- Remove the screen and open/close the window on your own (this allows bugs and cold air in, so may not be your first choice!)
- Place a hole in a window screen that allows your cat to come through.
- Install a removable compression cat door that sits between the bottom of the window and the window sill (like an air conditioner). These are available with weather proofing for various climates with single or double-flap lockable cat doors.
If you have a slider window (opens sideways), you can:
- Place a hole in the bottom of your window screen that allows your cat to come through.
- Install a removable cat door that fills the open window space and includes a door at the bottom of the door panel. These are available with weather proofing for various climates with single or double-flap lockable cat doors. This is my favorite option for both types of windows.
Can I install the window box catio under the window sill? If so, how will my cat access it?
Yes. The catio can be located under the window sill with cat access through a wall-mounted cat door.
A variety of cat doors are available at pet and home improvement stores or online.
How do I get started?
Easy! Purchase one of our DIY catio
plans (PDF download)and either get
started yourself on this fun weekend
project,or hire a local carpenter to
build the plans for you. It’s that
Catios are the purrrrfect way to keep
your cat happy and healthy outdoors
while providing you peace of mind.
Life is good in a catio!