GADGETS & ACCESSORIES

Cat Window Box DIY: A Safe Outdoor Perch for Your Cat

white cats in window box
Jeremy Vaughn
Written by Jeremy Vaughn

We all love our cats, and we don’t want anything to happen to them. While you can keep your cat as an indoors-only cat to shelter her from dangers, cats are generally playful and like to explore. Your cat would certainly be happier if she were allowed some extent of contact with the outside world. You might wonder, then: Is there a way to let her enjoy the outdoors from a safe distance? There is. You can achieve that with a cat window box DIY.

Thanks to the cat window box, or as some may know it, the cat patio, you can let your cat explore and be safe at the same time. You can buy a commercial one, but this is quite the expensive contraption. The good thing is, we have compiled a procedure that you can follow to build this cat window box at home with ease. After reading this article, you would be able to design a patio for your cat that will allow her to move around freely, both indoors and outdoors without literally having to get out of the house.

From simple to complex patios, here’s a procedure on how to come up with a pocket-friendly but effective cat window box. The basic procedure is the same, but as we explain the materials that you need to prepare, how to make the measurements, and how to construct the cat window box, we will also list a few adjustments you can make to better tailor it to your cat’s unique needs.

Get the Right Materials

round cat window box

The right material for the construction of a cat window patio is as important as the process of construction itself. If you want your patio to last for a longer period of time, you need to get strong and durable materials.

Since the cat patio is going to be outside and subjected to the battering of the elements, it should be able to withstand such weather conditions. Namely, the material should be sun and water resistant.

  • Cabinet grade plywood is usually the most suitable form of material to use for this kind of project due to its durability and flexibility. Although, the type of wood you use would be dependent on various factors—including but not limited to the weather conditions, the location, and termite risk. Depending on those factors, you can visit the timber supplier and inquire about which wood to use that would best fit your location and preferences. This is to ensure that you use materials that would last for a long time.
  • You would also need a scratch-resistant Plexiglas that will act as the roof of the cat patio—thus enabling the cat to view the sky and the birds appropriately. The scratch resistance feature is needed because cats are prone to scratching surfaces with their claws, whether they mean to do it or not.

See Also: How to Cut Cat Nails

Find the Right Window Location for the Patio

white sash window

A cat patio is a small box. It should easily fit in most windows, but the best type of window for this is a sash window. Don’t worry if you don’t have a sash window; you can still construct this patio with a bit of creativity.

Basically, what you need to consider keenly is the exact window location for the patio. Cats love adventure and thus love places where they can see their surroundings and appreciate nature. This makes them happy.

See Also: How Do Cats See

In finding the best location for the cat window box, you should try to be keen with your cat’s wants. Monitor her routine and favorite spots. This will help you get an idea of which window she likes best and thus which one to place the patio on.

If you place the patio on a window that has no spectacular views of the outside, then it would be hard to convince the cat to use that particular window. On the other hand, if you place the cat patio on a window loved most by the cat, you wouldn’t even need to convince her to use it as she would automatically be attracted to it.

Measurements for the Cat Window Patio

black cat window patio

First and foremost, you would need to lock yourself inside where you want to build the patio and keep your cat away from the scene. This is to avoid any form of interruptions from the cat that would lead to you making mistakes or simply being distracted.

You then need to get a tape measure. Also, make sure you have the right equipment for cutting. Use your tape measure to get the size approximation of the window in order to know what size of a box you would need for the cat.

Some of the factors you would need to consider when measuring the dimensions of the cat window box include the following:

  • Comfort. Will the box be big enough to allow the cat to move and relax in while playing?
  • Ease of Cleaning. Will you have ample time to clean the box from time to time?
  • The Neighbor’s Opinion. If you are living in an apartment, for example, you would need to ask yourself if the cat patio will bother your neighbors. It shouldn’t cause any trouble for your neighbors.

See Also: Best Cats for Apartments

Having considered the above factors, you now know how big you want your cat patio to be. The next step is to cut the materials to the appropriate size.

When it comes to the plywood, the standard size you can use is ¾-inch thick boards that you can then cut into different dimensions depending on the size of the window. Cutting the boards into 8 x 11 inches planks is standard.

As much as this is a do it yourself activity, there are some things that should perhaps be done for you by the professionals. Take for example the cutting of plywood—which is the main material of the patio.

Normally you can cut this at home, but it would be advisable if you let the DIY store attendant or timber merchant cut the ply for you since you would avoid making mistakes in the measurement and hurting yourself.

Apart from the plywood, you would also need to buy a Plexiglas window for the top of the box that would easily enable your cat to view the outside environment clearly. The glass is appropriate for the cat since it is scratch proof. It’s difficult—or more appropriately, nigh impossible—to cut Plexiglas yourself at home, so be sure to purchase one already cut to the appropriate size.

Constructing the Cat Window Patio

white cat sitting in window box

Much as a cat window box looks like a complicated contraption, the construction process is actually pretty straightforward. You don’t have to be a DIY expert for this; all you need is the right equipment and material. Then you are good to go.

  • STEP ONE: After you have purchased all the tools and materials needed for the construction of the cat window box, you would need to gather them together in one place so that you don’t end up being confused about what to use and where it is. After you have placed everything together, it’s now time to get to work. Some people would need a hand while others would be comfortable constructing the box on their own.
  • STEP TWO: Using screws and bolts, piece the planks of plywood together until you’ve created a sturdy cat box. Make sure to leave the top open so you can install a see-through window there.
  • STEP THREE: Using a marker or any drawing object, draw some windows and a door. You need to be accurate with the size of the door as this is the entry point for your cat.
  • STEP FOUR: Now, using cutting equipment of your choice, cut out the doors and windows that you have drawn earlier. If you’re not confident in your ability to cut through plywood, get an expert to do it for you.
  • STEP FIVE: A roof can then be installed. For this, you may use a ¼-inch thick Plexiglas.
  • STEP SIX: You can now paint your cat window box—preferably using marine paint since it is durable and resistant to the elements. Try to use light colors for areas that are exposed to the sun. If, for example, you decided to paint such parts with dark colors, then the box could become so hot that it would even pose a risk to your cat.
  • STEP SEVEN: Using screws and bolts, mount your cat patio to the chosen window.

Add Some Comfort Features

cat lying on pillow

When building your cat window box, you can let the creative juices flow. Everyone has his or her own way of doing things and thus it is up to you to decide your way. However, there are some basic fundamental features that would be required for a standard box so that the cat will feel comfortable lounging inside.

Some of the fundamental features that would be wise to add to your construction would be:

Feature #1: Drinking Water

You should be able to provide your cat with water to drink while she is in the box. This means that you will need to find a way to place the water inside the box without it spilling all over. To achieve this, you can nail a water bowl to the floor of the box.

See Also: How Much Water Should Cats Drink

Feature #2: Beds or Pillows

You would find your cat taking a nap on your bed or the couch but rarely on the floor. Do not deny your cat the comfort she has been enjoying all along in the house when you place her in the box.

The box should be able to offer the same or close to the same level of comfort that the cat enjoys while she is inside the house. This way she would be able to adapt easily and get used to the box.

Feature #3: Ventilation

A continuous supply of air is needed inside the box so that the cat doesn’t suffocate. When constructing the cat window box, you should create enough air passages by adding windows that aren’t big enough for your cat to jump through, but big enough for air to pass through.

Feature #4: Temperature Control

Control the temperature inside the box if possible. Different seasons have different weather conditions. Cats, just like humans, are warm-blooded and thus will benefit from a temperature adjustment system. You can control the temperature inside the box by using fans for cooling and a heating pad for when it’s cold outside.

Feature #5: Predator-Proof Screening

You may be living near the wild. If that’s the case, your cat may be prone to attacks from predators that are present.

In order to prevent such an ordeal, you would need to make the box safe enough by installing a predator-proof screen. You can do this by creating a cage of steel around the cat window box so no outside threat will be able to get to your cat.

After you have put all that into consideration, you can now get to work and build your cat a beautiful window box.

Wrap Up

cat lying in window box

As mentioned earlier, building your own cat window box is a simple DIY activity that would give your cat a great view of the outside world without necessarily letting her loose.

The reason as to why many people would prefer this cat window box is because of space. Most people living in apartments have little to no outdoor space which limits the movement of their pets. In order to let your cat bask in the sun and get some fresh air while still staying safe, you would need to build her a cat patio.

These are usually quite easy to build. However, for those who don’t believe they could do it at home, some stores sell already-designed patios. Or you can hire a carpenter who will help you construct a custom-made cat window patio.

Generally, however, it would cost you more to buy a pre-built patio or have someone install it for you than to just buy the materials and do the construction yourself. We know you can do it. As long as you follow the instructions in this article and apply that in coming up with a new lounging place for your cat, you’ll be able to finish your very own DIY project in no time.

Are you interested in building your own cat window box? Did we miss anything while outlining the steps to DIY-ing a cat window box? If yes, please don’t hesitate to give us a shout in the comment box below. Are you perhaps more interested in a cat window perch instead of a window box? If so, try visiting this web page for more information.

About the author
Jeremy Vaughn
Jeremy Vaughn

Jeremy Vaughn is a member of Canadian Professional Pet Stylists, who lives in Winnipeg. Creating new looks for cats and other pets is his passion. Jeremy shares his house with the wife and wonderful Siamese cat.

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