The Importance of Cat Enclosures

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 25 June 2014

Those of us who are self-confessed cat people know that our kitties love nothing more than exploring the great outdoors. We also know that while most times it’s all just harmless fun, other times our feline friends like to get up to a spot of mischief that can spell out trouble.


Unfortunately our beloved cats are exposed to a number of threats when they partake in outdoor playtime, with danger lurking at every corner. Dogs, traffic, other cats and wildlife often harm our pretty little pals; while parasites, feline AIDS and other deadly diseases pose a major threat to our unattended cats.

Don’t be fooled though, our pretty purrers aren’t always the victim. It’s natural instinct for cats to prey on and hunt birds and small native wildlife, and as cat owners will know, it’s often a present for their human. How thoughtful!

So how do we give our cat companions the freedom and experience of the outdoors that they so desire, and also keep them out of harms way? Outdoor cat enclosures are a great alternative for those who don’t wish to keep their cat permanently indoors, but want to provide their pretty little pals with a safe and secure indoor/outdoor home.

We all know that cats are quite complex creatures,  and that they like to be constantly challenged, so cat enclosures that are a standard and simple build just won’t make the cut for your kitty. Cat enclosures need to allow your feline friends to develop natural feline behaviours, pursue an active lifestyle, and experience the wonders of the great outdoors, all while keeping them safe and sound.

In saying this, don’t fret and think that finding perfect cat enclosures is a big deal, or that it has to be kitted out with all the latest and greatest mod-cons. Just be sure to look for a few key things when searching for ideal cat enclosures, and we can promise you peace of mind that your precious pal will be purr-fectly happy.

1. Safety First!

The number one need for cat enclosures is to keep our furry friends out of the claws and jaws of pesky predators (and innocent wildlife out of theirs!), so it’s important that cat enclosures are purpose built with the height of security in mind. When choosing cat enclosures, it is best to ensure that they are properly fitted with a galvanised wire mesh that is fixed firmly in place- this will stop kitty from becoming a buffet! Cat enclosures should also be fitted with proper locks, sliding bolts and padlocks (not flimsy twist closes!), to keep your curious cat from sneaking out and stalking its prey. If you’re after a little extra security for your kitty, and want the ultimate in cat enclosures, motion sensor lights and wire mesh flooring are ideal add on’s.

2. Room to Run, Roam & Rest

Cats are sun loving creatures, which is why it is so hard to keep them as indoor pets. How often does your kitty stretch out for an afternoon kip right in the spot where the sun hits the tiles oh so perfectly? (what a grand life they lead!) When we look back at the cat’s origins in the Middle East, as desert creatures, cats have developed a high heat tolerance, with the heat of the sun helping them to stay warm, thereby conserving their energy. Their high metabolism and their style of hunting explains the reasons cats seek out warm spaces. It is important to keep these origins in mind when searching for cat enclosures, ensuring that is has plenty of sunlit area for your feline friend to bask in. Add their favourite ‘cat tree’ and some catnip as a treat and it will be the envy of all cats and their cat enclosures.

Dark Burmese cat on cat tree in Kitty Kastle enclosure

3. Cat Nap

As much as our kitty counterparts love the thrill of the chase, they really are softies at heart and love nothing more than snuggling up for a sleep and a scratch, so it’s important that cat enclosures cater to all their napping needs. Keep an eye out for cat enclosures that have a safe and cosy area (add their favourite blankets and cushions for extra comfort), where your furry friends can take a catnap when the pressure of being a cat just becomes all too much. If your cheeky counterpart is partial to a cuddle, seek out cat enclosures that provide you with external access to their sleeping area.

4. Promote Playtime

Cats never really grow up when it comes to playtime, and while hunting birds might be their choice of play, it is important that cat enclosures provide them with the stimulation and entertainment they would naturally receive from being outdoors. Cat enclosures should host an area where play is possible for your purring pals, and play bars are the purr-fect complement. Your feline friends will climb, tangle, play and be entertained for hours-all activities they would perform in their natural environment. Hang some toys from the bars for extra feline fun!

5. Kitty on the Move!

The purpose of outdoor cat enclosures is to mimic their natural habitat as much as possible, and to provide them with the stimulation they would receive being a free roaming cat. So, cat enclosures that are mobile are highly regarded, and a must for a happy chappy cat. To keep your tabby on it’s toes, cat enclosures that are portable mean new smells, new sights, and super stimulation whenever they so desire to take care of those cat cravings- and no need for expensive permanent fixtures to your house!

We all want our furry friends to be with us for a long time, and with statistics indicating that indoor cats live for longer than outdoor cats, we want to provide our pretty pets with the safety and security of living indoors, whilst allowing them to benefit from developing natural feline behaviours associated with being in their natural habitat-not to mention the joy they get from being outdoors!  This is why outdoor cat enclosures are so vital in giving your cat the best of both worlds, they are provided with the creature comforts of indoor living in an outdoor setting, and give you as an owner peace of mind that your furry friend will be here for many years to come.

Backyard Chicken Coops have a range of cat enclosures to choose from that even the fussiest of cats will fall in love with. View our entire range here to pick out the purr-fect home for your precious pet.

Sources and further reading