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Choosing the Right Cat Barrier

Cat doors, enclosures or special cat playpens are great for keeping your cat safe and happy.

May 24, 2018 6 min read
Choosing the Right Cat Barrier

Cats, like dogs, are physically active domesticated animals and letting them roam around inside your house without supervision could cause damage and scratches to your bedding and furniture. If you want to prevent that from happening, cat barriers such as cat doors, enclosures or a playpen are very helpful in keeping your feline friend in a safe and contained area. Such pet containment systems are also a great way to keep your cat away from aggressive dogs and other dangerous stray animals in the neighborhood.

Here are a few types of cat barriers and the many good benefits they can bring to you and your beloved cat:

Cat Doors and Flaps

A cat barrier, in the form of a cat door, will allow your kitty to enter and exit the house in a safe manner. As you know, cats are naturally territorial and they enjoy playing inside and outside the house. If you have a small cat door installed, it can make the life of your cat easier and convenient; hence, no more need to be available to open the main door whenever your cat wants to go outside. As well as allowing your cat to enter and exit the home at will, feline flaps provide safe, instant protection against wind, rain and other harsh elements while you are not home.

Another type of entry and exit for the home comes in the form of a cat door which can be installed in any standard-sized sash window which opens and closes vertically. These unique doors are designed for cats up to 20 pounds and come in permanent and removable styles. The non-permanent door works great for apartments, condos or homes because it can be removed at any time without any harm or permanent damage to the window. Most include a secure weather-tight design that locks the unit in place for stability and some also come with a locking system which allows you to to control your cat's access. There is also a version which allows your cat to relax in the window and enjoy the sights sounds and smells of the outdoors without access to them (for those owners whose cats are exclusively "indoor" pets).

Cat Enclosures

For outdoor use, cat enclosures are very functional for containing your cat in the backyard or the park. More than a cage, this spacious cat containment system can serve as an outdoor feline barrier where your furry friend can play, run, exercise and rest safely while enjoying the beauty of the outside world. These enclosures come in a variety of sizes and shapes consisting of fine wire mesh walls to allow airflow and visibility, and include a canvas roof to keep your cat contained as well as cool in warmer temperatures. Many of these systems can be connected to allow for larger areas, which can be especially useful if you have more than one cat. Another nice feature of these enclosures is that they are quick to install and most come with carrying cases so you can take them with you.

Cat Playpens

For indoor use, a cat playpen can be a useful and safe place for your cat or kitten while you are at work or need to be away from home for long periods during the day. Although most people don't use these, some owners with more aggressive cats or exceptionally mischievous cats will find this a necessary and welcomed addition to the home, especially when they cannot be home. These enclosed wire cages are also a great option for someone with a new kitten that is being litter box trained or needs some extra protection while being introduced to pets already in the home.

This type of barrier provides a comfortable space for your feline pet to stretch out, move around and play inside the house, while preventing her from coming in contact with valuable or fragile objects such as furniture and other precious decorations. Most cat playpens come with a shelf to allow your cat a place to jump up and down; giving them exercise as well as appeasing their active and adventurous nature. These cages are easy to move from room to room, as they are easily collapsible and come in a variety of sizes to suit both large homes and small apartments.

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Cat Fences

Most domestic cats have a strong desire to be outside, enjoying fresh air, sunshine and the natural environment. However, they can readily escape from any yard with a conventional fence, putting them at risk for getting lost, hit by cars, attacked by other animals or picked up by animal control. There are many manufacturers of cat fence systems who create systems that will not only keep your cat confined to your yard, but will also greatly reduce or eliminate access to your yard by wild animals and neighborhood strays. These systems can be professionally installed, or you can purchase/construct a system yourself with a special kit.

Below is a comparison of the various cat barrier/enclosures and the benefits provided by each:


Comes in a variety of sizes


Provides safe exit and entry from the home without human assistance



Allows outdoor access for your cat while keeping him in your yard

Allows your cat to enjoy outdoors, but limits access to entire yard

Contains shelf to provide a two-level area for exercise


Provides instant safety from harsh weather or aggressive animals


Prevents access to your yard from strays and other animals

Protects your cat from other pets, outdoor animals and children

Easily collapses for transportation to another room or location

Allows safe exit and entry from the home while you are away


Great for outdoor cats nursing injuries as it restricts their access beyond your yard while protecting them from other animals until they are fully recovered


Comes in a variety of sizes and can be connected to provide plenty of room


Provides a safe place to sleep at night or while you are away from home for extended periods


Many come with a locking system to control or limit access when necessary Provides outdoor exercise while protecting your pet from harsh weather

Good training tool when introducing an indoor cat or new kitten to the outdoors

Provides safety from other animals or small children in the home





Easily transportable to other locations if necessary


Good place to litter box train a new kitten



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