Every product and service on My Pet Needs That is independently selected by our editors, contributors, and experts.
If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a referral fee. Learn more
In busy neighborhoods crawling with speeding cars, it’s often impossible to keep an outdoor cat. Especially if your older cat doesn’t have claws: vets urge owners to keep clawless cats indoors due to the high risk that, if in a fight with another animal, they can’t climb up trees to escape the threat. However, although many cats aren’t overly bothered to be missing out on climbing trees and meeting other felines outside, what they do enjoy (and often miss) is the crisp, fresh air and sunshine.
So, if you don’t have enough space for a permanent “catio”(a cat patio), how can you grant your indoor cat the opportunity to feel the sun’s rays on their backs? Outdoor cat enclosures are a wonderful invention that are able to pop up and fold away at a moment’s notice. Within our trusty buying guide, the ten portable cat playpens that have made the cut will keep your cat safe in the great outdoors.
Available in eight different sizes and colors, EliteField’s foldable pet playpen provides the perfect second home for your inquisitive feline. Complete with two accessory pockets and a water bottle pocket, everything your cat could possibly need has a designated spot. If you want to chuck in a few toys or blankets for their comfort, each one of the eight sizes is big enough to hold numerous toys from your cat’s indoor toy box – for reference, the largest playpen EliteField offer boasts 62 inches depth and breath and height of 32 inches.
There are two doors on this cat enclosure, with each one including locking zippers to grant you the peace of mind that you crave – even though you should be right beside your cat as they play outdoors. For those who don’t have a garden, this pet playpen is designed to be carried around, and even comes with a handy storage bag.
Roomy playpen is spacious enough to fit many toys
Playpen folds up easily into a storage bag
Both doors feature locking zipper for your pet’s safety
Water bottle pocket keeps pets hydrated and safe in their pen
Combining security and airflow with 360-degree visibility, the Furhaven pet playpen provides a safe and comfortable haven for pets. The mesh screen windows let your dog or cat look out at the world as they relax which encourages them to use the shelter.
This versatile enclosure is available in four different sizes to suit cats of all breeds and in three attractive colors.
Stand-out features are the top zippered panel that can be removed and the zippered side entrance that also has a fabric tie. The pop design means that it can be assembled and collapsed in minutes and it folds up into a handy bag for transport.
Available in a variety of shades to match the personality of your cat, Zampa’s Pet Playpen is the perfect second outdoor pet home. The stylish eight-panel design is made for all-seasons. Whether it’s the height of summer or the middle of a frosty winter season, the water-resistant materials and detachable roof will keep your cat dry and ventilated.
If you’re quickly rushing out to hang out the washing, taking your cat with you will take no time at all. Just take Zampa’s outdoor cat playpen out of its carrying bag and it will pop up on its own accord. Putting away this portable catio is just as simple, and Zampa have even put together a video teaching confused pet owners how to fold it away. Personally, we couldn’t love this cat shelter more.
Reinforced corners keep pets safe when playing
Zero assembly required thanks to pop up design
Folds flat to store away easily in the carrying case
Special water bottle holder and exterior side pockets allow your dog to access snacks when playing
Kittywalk’s teal outdoor net cat enclosure is certainly a little pricier than other kitty enclosures, that’s for sure. But this product will be the last outdoor pet enclosure you’ll ever have to buy. Shaped like a tunnel, the open net construction provides 360-degree visibility and the best outdoor ventilation available for your indoor cats.
If you live somewhere like the “Windy City”, for example, the solid steel wickets and rip-stop netting will keep this outdoor cat enclosure tethered to the ground. If you believe that your boisterous cats will be the crux of the problem, outriggers stabilize the tower: even astute cats who love to plot escapes won’t be able to outsmart this incredible secure cat enclosure. But customers (and our personal) favorite feature has to be Kittywalk’s cat enclosure’s compatibility with the Kittywalk Lawn system that further extends the space they have available – and likewise their comfort.
Two doors are constructed to maximum security
Playpen is weather resistant for all seasons
Open-net design guarantees optimal ventilation for your feline
Comes with a travel and storage bag, including a strap
The Necoichi Portable Stress-Free Cat Cage and Litter Box Set provide your cat with all home comforts in one place in a secure area. Included in the set there is an enclosure, a comfortable fleece mat, and a litter box. This is an ideal purchase if you intend to travel with your furry friend.
The enclosure features two large mesh panels for airflow and makes sure that your cat can see what is going on which reduces stress. However, if the kitty needs some privacy, the sides can be rolled down. For car travel, there are seat belt straps and the whole cage is easy to transport and store – even the litter box collapses
Set that includes an enclosure, mat, and litter box
Outback Jack’s small pet enclosure can hold multiple cats by virtue of its thirty square feet of activity space. The high-quality mesh is fitted at every side of the cat enclosure – even the bottom to prevent any nasty cat stains from marking your cat tent.
If you’re that delighted with your outdoor enclosure purchase and wish to offer your cat even more space to run around, manufacturers have ensured that Outdoor Jack’s cat tunnel can be added to the mix. Portable, foldable, and affordable, add this compact design to your basket so you cat can enjoy countless hours of fun in the sun.
High-quality mesh design allows cat to observe every part of their garden space
Two tent pegs are included for securing cat enclosures to the ground incase of wind
ESK’s portable, foldable playpen is the ideal model for facilitating outdoor play. Differing from your average cat condo, ESK’s model even features a removable bottom on their enclosures. This is especially perfect for cats who love to sniff around their environment and enjoy feeling the cool blades of grass on their paws and tummies.
For owners, the pockets on the outsides of this portable cat cage are great for storing treats so, if your cat is well-behaved inside their outdoor enclosure, you can instantly reward them with a tasty snack. You can do so by either unzipping the door or the top panel, that also allows your cat to watch the birds flying high in the sky without any obstructions.
Lightweight playpen takes all of two minutes to install
Bottom of the cage can be unzipped so your cat can feel the blades of grass
Wildwhiskers’ outdoor feline funhouse is great for injured pets who have isolate, adult cats who love feeling the breeze, and new litter of fragile kittens. Completely enclosed in mesh, your cat will have such a great amount of space that they’ll be able to stand up on their back legs to stretch without even hitting the top. Another innovative design feature are the stakes that keep it nicely secured to the ground for those felines who have the misfortune of living in windy states!
Even travelling in RVs will be an improvement for your cat with this nifty cat furniture. Cat houses that they’ve frequented before will make them feel much more at ease if it’s a space that they feel comfortable in. And with its pop-up construction, it will take pet owners absolutely zero DIY effort to set this heavy duty cat tent up.
Features two openings to help your cat get out
The perfect height for felines to move about in all directions
Strong Camel’s Portable Pet Fun House offers kitties a taste of the outdoors without putting themselves in harm’s way. Suitable for both indoors and outdoors, this one-piece unit comes in a handy zippered carrying bag that can easily be taken on days out.
This fun house’s “set-up” doesn’t even quality as such: the cat tent pops open in a matter of seconds. And in only a few more, your feline will have access to their outdoor enclosure thanks to the secure zip that’s large enough to allow even larger felines to enter. Undoubtedly, this tent provides an outdoor habitat cat owners and felines alike will treasure!
Made of waterproof thermoplastic polyethylene to offer superior impact resistance
Unit easily stores flat in zippered carrying bag
Black and green design blends into any garden area
Available in four vibrant colors, ToysOpoly has designed a outdoor cat playpen luxurious enough to please even the pickiest of cats. The roomy eight-panel design is made from durable water-resistant materials such as 600D Oxford cloth that is free from toxic materials like BPA, lead, and phthalates.
If you or your pet aren’t enamored with this premium playpen’s open-top design and spacious construction, ToysOpoly are more than happy to refund your money at any point, with no questions asked.
Zipper closure for top and bottom of pet playpen
Eight-panel design features reinforced corners to guarantee pet’s safety
Comes with 100% satisfaction guarantee
600D Oxford cloth guarantees durability for years to come
Things to Consider When Buying an Outdoor Cat Enclosure
Does my prospective cat enclosure offer a 360-degree view for my cat?: Not only do outdoor cat enclosures with mesh allow you to watch over your cat from all spots in the garden, cats feel much more comfortable when able to view the world from every angle so they can be sure no predators are coming for them.
How many indoor cats will use this outdoor cat enclosure?: It’s important to be aware that most outdoor cat enclosures are designed to fit one feline and many toys for cats. However, there are a number of spacious models available, such as Strong Camel’s Portable Cat House.
Benefits of Outdoor Cat Playpens
Your cat won’t have to be left alone at the weekends: Unfortunately, cats have become so well known for their independence that many owners deem it acceptable to leave them alone for long periods of time. A cat will cope if their owners have to attend their 9-5. However, when socialites leave their cats every weekend to attend picnics in the park or head round to mates’ homes for a few beers, they’re not showering their cats with the companionship they truly crave. However, purchasing a outdoor cat playground changes the game entirely. The beauty of an outdoor cat enclosure is that they can “pop up” anywhere that there is a safe patch of grass or patio, so you can bring your cat along to these quiet social events, too. As your cat will be familiar with their playpen, they’ll feel at ease and comfortable basking in the sun beside you.
Safety Tips For Your Fur Babies in Cat Enclosures
Keep an eye on your cat when they’re in their outdoor enclosure: Just because your cat cannot wriggle their way out of their net enclosure to find other animals doesn’t mean that other animals cannot make their way to them. Predators such as stray dogs, coyotes, and racoons may make their way into your yard and attack your cat, who will be an easy target in their mesh outdoor pet enclosure.
Your cat should be vaccinated: Just because your feline is an indoor cat at heart doesn’t mean you should miss a single vaccine. Many people aren’t aware that nasty parasites like ticks and fleas thrive living outside in their gardens amongst long grass and under dead leaves. Accordingly, you should keep vaccinating your lovely cats and designate a trimmed spot of healthy grass for them to lie in when in their outdoor enclosure.
Best Outdoor Cat Enclosure FAQ:
Q: Do cats like outside enclosures?
A: Most cats love outside enclosures. Even animal rights organization PETA confirms this truth, stating that if our beloved felines could speak, they’d be begging you to buy them a catio.
Q: How big should a kitty enclosure be?
A: We’ve once again taken the advice of PETA, who say that whatever size your small enclosure is, your cat will love you for it. As long as there is space for them to play and a roof so they’ll remain dry if the rain comes on, they’ll be satisfied.
Q: Can cats live in an outdoor playpen?
A: Pertaining to the types of playpens reviewed in this little guide, it will unfortunately not be possible for your cat to live in their playpen. Temporary mesh playpens do not provide the right type of environment for cats to eliminate their waste properly. Although they’re the right size for a cat to enjoy a few happy hours of sunshine in, it wouldn’t be right to keep them in this size of enclosure all the time.
Q: What else can I put in my cat’s enclosure?
A: Portable cat enclosures are often spacious enough to add in many of your cat’s favorite toys. Consider flinging in a scratching post, hanging a dangling toy from the mesh, or a cat kong for your cat’s enjoyment. The best outdoor cat enclosures even allow you to add pop-up tunnels – just like Outback Jack’s outdoor enclosure – so your cat can experience joy squeezing and curling up into these small areas. Finally, if it’s nearing winter, a few soft blankets will really spruce up your cat’s enclosure, making it feel much more like a second home.
Our Top Pick
If there’s one outdoor cat enclosure that has captured our heart in this buying guide, that product is undoubtedly EliteField’s Soft Pet Playpen. Boasting a two-year warranty, removable zip-off floor mat to facilitate easy cleaning, and a well-ventilated top, it’s impossible for your cat not to fall in love with this model. As their mental wellbeing improves with exposure to the sunlight, your cat will also profit from the water bottle pocket that they can access, keeping them well hydrated. As EliteField’s model is available in many sizes, it’s important to secure your preferred size of playpen before they all run out due to popular demand.
Sharon is a Ph.D. scientist and experienced pet content writer. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a Cockapoo puppy. She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and turning it into easy-to-understand articles that offer practical tips. When it comes to our furry friends, she knows that there is always something new to learn!