Cat Window Boxes: the Man Caves & She Sheds of Cats

Picture it: you wake up Caturday (yes, I said Caturday) morning, open one eye as you’re stretching lazily and, lo and behold! It’s your cat, sitting on your chest with those accusatory eyes that say, “I’m bored. Entertain me, Human. And make it snappy.” How do you keep your furry friend mentally engaged (without swatting at your head at 5am on weekend mornings)? Give them their own space, with access to the outdoors, in their very own cat window box!

Wrigley - Mascot Cat

What Exactly is a Cat Window Box?

I hate to be accused of being too literal, but a cat window box is exactly that: a window-mounted box for cats. These enclosures are installed in your window opening (like an AC unit). Some of these cat enclosures are open to the elements, some are not, but there’s no question: no matter the structure, cats love having a “home away from home” space of their own. It’s basically like a time share for them, but without the mind-numbing sales pitch.

What Types are Available?

Wire. You can buy one or make one yourself out of chicken wire or wire boxes.

Screen or Mesh. This kind of window box, made from a wood frame with mesh or screen to cover the openings, can be bought or made as a DIY project. Some people like these more than the wire, because you can paint the wood to match your home so that it’s not as noticeable.

Plexiglass. This clear window box, often made of all plexiglass or wood frame with plexiglass panels, gives cats a 180-degree view of the outdoors, but no exposure to the elements.

The Catio. This is like the penthouse for cats. It’s less of a window box and more of a full cat patio (hence the name), typically made from wood and wire, where cats can frolic to their heart’s content and you don’t have to worry about traffic or predators.





Why Do Cats Need This in Their (Nine) Lives?

Your cat is part of your family (the functional part). You want to make him or her happy, especially since studies have proven that a bored cat causes problems, like scratching, crying, and destroying your furniture, clothes, and most cherished belongings. So why not give your cat its own outdoor (sort of) getaway with a “catio” of its own?

In its own window box abode, your cat can lounge, warm up in the sun, and watch the wildlife (or your neighbors) go by. “But wait—my cat already lays by my sliding glass door. Why is this any different?” you may say. Well, we all know how much cats love boxes. Couple that cat-tastic shape with fresh air and safe access to the outside where they can act like a predator and “hunt” birds and small animals without, well, having to actually hunt them. Win-win.

Cat getting comfy, box-style

Depending on the type of window box that you buy or build for your feline friend, having one may also be advantageous for you and your family. For example, an attached yet enclosed catio is the perfect place for your litter box, with fresh air wafting any unsavory smells to the wind (not your house). And any allergy sufferers in your home can breathe (full stop) a sigh of relief with having a contained area in the house where your cats spend a lot of time.

Love Cats?

Check out the 2016 Catio Tour by the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter –

What if I Want a Window Box for Plants?

If you’ve been with us long, you’ve likely found that we are your source for all things window box. Explore our site for hundreds of window box designs, from durable fiberglass and European-chic wrought iron to self-watering options that keep your plants hydrated for more than a week at a time. Easily mount them to your home’s exterior, or balcony or deck railing, and plant away! You—and your family, including your kitty—will enjoy looking out at your lovely, long-lasting window gardens for years to come.

The Whole Kitten Caboodle: Cat-Safe Plants for Window Boxes

  • Petunias
  • Snapdragons
  • Zinnia
  • Impatiens
  • Violet
  • Bugbane
  • Bromeliads
  • Spider Ivy
  • Pansies
  • Aster
  • Sweet Potato Vine
  • Marigolds

Excited to build your own cat-friendly window garden? Browse hundreds of our window box designs at or call us with questions or orders at 1-888-427-3362.

Photo credits (top to bottom, left to right): MartinHots, Maegan Elizabeth DesignCatio Spaces,  Cats with an AltitudeBeesferryvet,, and Cat Solarium (three photos).

1 reply
  1. Bill
    Bill says:

    Hi Annie:
    Thanks for including a picture of our Kitty Peeper cat window patio and our website link ( in the photo credits at the bottom of this excellent article! As you point out, cat window patios offer indoor cats a bit of the outdoors which they crave, while keeping them safe from a whole host of dangers. We’d love to hear from any of your readers that have additional questions. Thanks again for this wonderful article!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *