7 Best Portable Outdoor Cat Enclosures

Cats love to be outside, but letting them freely run outdoors can lead to a shorter lifespan. There are many hazards cats can come across when they’re let outside, including diseases, cars, fights, and wild animals. As the owner of several cats, I never let them outside unsupervised. It is simply too big of a risk. 

But that doesn’t mean cats can’t enjoy the outdoors. You can use a harness and a leash to take them on exploratory walks around the neighborhood. You can also purchase portable outdoor cat enclosures to give them a secure place to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. We’ve compiled a list of the best portable outdoor cat enclosures, and we want to share them with you!

There are specific things you want to look for when looking for the best portable outdoor cat enclosures. They need to be made of quality material, to ensure your cat doesn’t escape. They should also align with your budget and space. Sizes can range from pretty small to quite large, so it’s important to choose one that fits in your yard or outdoor area. 

Cats are curious creatures. They should be able to fulfill that desire by sniffing the outdoor air in a safe space! 

We’ll get into our top 7 picks for best portable outdoor cat enclosures, but first let’s unpack the benefits of purchasing one, and what to keep in mind when choosing it. 

If you’d like to skip ahead to our picks, check out our list here: 

Table of Contents

Why Purchase a Portable Outdoor Cat Enclosure?

As we stated earlier, cats are safest when they’re indoors. But cats are curious, and like any animal, benefit from being outdoors. Sunshine provides vitamin D, and there are dozens of studies indicating the mental health benefits of being outside.

Aside from building an enclosed patio – or ‘catio’ – buying and utilizing the best portable outdoor cat enclosures is a great way to give your cat the pros of being outside without the cons. Because these enclosures are portable, they can fit in many areas, and are super easy to set up. They’re ideal for renters, too, as they’re not permanent. 

Portable enclosures are also amazing because they allow for you to move it around, keeping it exciting for the cat. Cats get bored frequently and will thrive when they have variety.

What to Look for in a Portable Outdoor Cat Enclosure

Cats can be rough on things, and love to use their claws to tear up fabric. So you’ll want to buy one that can withstand their claws. There are plenty of enclosures made of sturdy material.

Typically, the best portable outdoor cat enclosures will be a mixture of some type of mesh and cloth, as they are meant to be lightweight. But mesh and cloth aren’t created equally. When choosing the best portable outdoor cat enclosures, pay close attention to how thick the materials are, and what reviews say about tearing and ripping. Keep in mind what type of cat(s) you’re getting an enclosure for and how active they are. 

Remember that one of the biggest concerns with an outdoor cat enclosure is how secure the closure is. You don’t want your cat escaping and getting lost. So we recommend picking an enclosure that is closed on all sides. Cats can be very eager to escape once they’re outside, so don’t underestimate their determination. 

Another thing to keep in mind is the enclosures size and ability to be easily set up. If it’s hard to set up, then you might be reluctant to use it. Look for one that has reviews indicating that set up is a breeze. There are many enclosures that spring up similar to a tent. 

Best Overall – Outback Jack Kitty Compound

Our Top Pick for Best Portable Outdoor Cat Enclosures

This kitty compound can provide endless entertainment for your cat. It is made of a durable mesh material all around, which is easy for cats to see through and get some sunlight. It also has a detachable tunnel, so entering the tent is tons of fun!

The tent interior is 30 square feet, and the tunnel is 62 inches long, which is ample size for up to three cats to enjoy at a time. Setting it up is super simple, and it’s one of the reasons we made this tent our top pick. You don’t need any tools! A carrying bag is included so you can bring it anywhere.

Not to mention, this tent is extremely safe and secure. It will be very difficult (pretty much impossible) for your cat to escape. This is the enclosure I have for my four cats, and we have not had any mishaps! They absolutely love this thing and will constantly meow for me to set it up. So be prepared for that! It’s the main reason we have chosen it as the top pick for best portable outdoor cat enclosures.

My favorite parts about it:

✔️ It has room for multiple cats

✔️ It’s easy to set up, take down and store

✔️ It’s durable and difficult to scratch/tear

✔️ It has a tunnel entrance

My least favorite parts about it:

❌ The price

❌ That my cats beg for me to let them play in it!

Best Affordable – Strong Camel Portable Pet Fun House

The Strong Camel Portable Pet Fun House is similar to the Outback Jack Compound, but it’s cheaper and simpler. It doesn’t have a tunnel, but that makes it even easier to set up.

The entrance is a vertical zipper, similar to a tent. At 65 x 75 inches, there’s enough space for multiple cats and even a human. Assembly is super simple, and requires you just snap in a few pieces.

The mesh is somewhat thinner, but it is still durable, and allows for more breeze to enter. It comes with a storage bag, which we advise using as it will help the tent last longer. We have even seen this being used indoors as a way to keep pets separated when one is recovering from surgery or being potty trained. At an affordable price, you can’t go wrong, and can get years of use out of this. We included it in our list of the best portable outdoor cat enclosures because it has so many benefits for the cost.

My favorite parts about it: 

✔️ It’s cost effective

✔️ It’s simple to set up and store

My least favorite parts about it:

❌ The mesh isn’t as thick

❌ It is basic and no frills

Best Easy Setup – OUTINGPET Cat Tent

Setup can’t get any easier with this tent. It simply pops open in four steps, and can be easily stored in its included storage bag.

Another added bonus of this enclosure is that it comes with a removable UV shade, so the sun won’t be too strong. It’s 74 x 63 inches, which comes out to about 30 square feet, allowing for a considerable amount of space. The zipper door is circular, and about 4 inches larger than most other enclosures, which is ideal for bigger cats.

The mesh fabric is double strength so it’s very durable, preventing claw damage. It was designed with travel in mind, and is often used for camping trips or other outdoor activities. I think this enclosure gives you a great bang for your buck, and can last for a long time, so we included it in our list of the best portable outdoor cat enclosures.

My favorite parts about it: 

✔️ Setup is SUPER easy!

✔️ It’s durable

My least favorite parts about it: 

❌ It is a simple design

Best for Active Cats – 6 in 1 Cat Tent

This is one of the most interactive cat enclosures we’ve come across. With three main ‘hubs’ and three tunnels, your cat will love exploring this tent.

There are six total zipper doors, allowing for you to section off certain areas or make it extra secure. You can also detach each part, using just one tent and one tunnel, or one tunnel or one tent. The experience is very customizable, giving cats the ability to have endless fun.

It can be used indoors or outdoors, it’s lightweight and can be easily moved around. Although it has multiple parts, setting it up is pretty easy, as it folds up and stores similar to a sunshade for your car windshield. 

My favorite parts about it: 

✔️ It has multiple sections and is customizable

✔️ Folds up easily 

My least favorite parts about it:

❌ The multiple sections can be annoying to set up

Best for Multiple Cats – BETYMAN Outdoor Cat Enclosures

One of the best portable outdoor cat enclosures for multiple cats is this tent, which has over 15 square feet of activity space, plus a tunnel. It has a large opening, measuring about 17 inches wide, so even larger cats won’t have a problem jumping in.

Because of the 110 inch long tunnel, multiple cats wouldn’t have a problem enjoying this enclosure together. The durable mesh fabric keeps cats securely inside and it is easy to pop open or closed. The included ground steaks ensure that the tent doesn’t blow away in the wind. It’s so compact when it’s folded up that you can store it in a beach bag. 

My favorite parts about it:

✔️ The long tunnel

✔️ Streamlined storage

My least favorite parts about it:

❌ The cost

Best for Senior Cat – FurHaven Soft-Sided Cat Playpen

This is the most simplistic of the best portable outdoor cat enclosures, but that means it is extremely easy to set up and store. We like this playpen for a senior cat or an inactive cat, as it’s just enough room for them to move around in and get some fresh air without being annoying to set up.

The X-Large is 51 inches wide and 29 inches tall. Because it’s not completely exposed to the outside, it’s a great choice for cats who get overstimulated easily. The door securely closes so cats aren’t able to escape. Storage is super simple, you can collapse it and put it inside a carry bag. It pops up easily for setup and has no hard parts to assemble. 

My favorite parts about it: 

✔️ The setup is easy

✔️ Storage is simple

My least favorite parts about it:

❌ It is basic 

❌ Might be small for a bigger cat

Best Multilevel – 3 in 1 Compound Pet Playhouse

While this one isn’t as easy to move around, it offers much more excitement than any other enclosure on our list. It is basically a jungle gym for cats, with a three level portion which allows them to jump and climb.

The tunnel connects the main tent to the jump area, giving cats the ability to run. The biggest con to having this type of enclosure is that it may take some time to set up. There are multiple pieces, and it doesn’t fold up and store as easily as the rest of our favorite enclosures.

This one is best for someone with more yard or patio space, who can keep the enclosure set up on a longer term basis. It’s not great for someone who hopes to travel with their enclosure or bring it to a different location every time. 

My favorite parts about it:

✔️ It has an exciting layout

✔️ It’s great for multiple cats

My least favorite parts about it:

❌ Setting it up can be a pain

❌ Storage isn’t simple 

Final thoughts…

These seven products are amazing choices for anyone looking for the best portable outdoor cat enclosures. They all have different benefits and downsides, and you’ll have to discern which one is best for your particular situation and your cat’s preferences. 

Ashley is the co-founder of CatProductGuide.com. She is a professional writer, whose work has been seen in many top publications and websites, like Digital Trends, Opposing Views, Men's Health, and more. She is passionate about all animals, and loves her cats Felix and Lola. Ashley enjoys finding the best products and foods to ensure they're living their best lives possible!