Outdoor-loving pets and feral cats need a space to call home, and the best outdoor cat houses will provide them with a safe place to ride out inclement weather. To find the right abode for your furball, you’ll want to consider the size and how much protection from the elements you’ll need.
If you have a large amount of open outdoor space you to put your house you may not be as concerned with its dimensions, however, if you plan on installing yours under a porch, for example, make sure to measure carefully. And if it's portability you're after — so you can move it from a sunny spot to a covered one on damp nights — a model that's soft-sided and collapsible works well.
In terms of the structure itself, not all are appropriate for every climate, so as you shop, here are some helpful terms to consider:
- Weatherproof: Just like many dog houses, these will offer basic safeguarding against unpleasant weather thanks to things like water-resistant materials and doors with removable flaps (to keep warmth in). For heavier rain and/or wind, an elevated and hard-sided model will provide the best defense.
- Insulated: These offer the most protection from bitterly cold winter days as all interior surfaces (from the floor to the roof) will have extra layers of protection built into the walls to retain warmth. Keep in mind, however, they are more expensive than other options and tend to be bulkier.
- Heated: Some options come with a pre-drilled hole that makes it easy for you to string a heating pad cord through so you can give your cat a warm bed to rest on (even better — some also include the pad itself). Just note that you will need to have an outlet within reach to power it on, and you'll want to make sure that the heating pad has the proper safety features for keeping outside.
Once you decide which of the best outdoor cat house is right for your needs, don't be discouraged if they don't take to it right away. Cats are notoriously cautious when it comes to new experiences, so it might take them a couple of days to realize that the new abode is for them. Other cat owners recommend putting treats in the house to coax skittish kitties inside until they get comfortable going in on their own.
Check out all the great outdoor cat shelters below to find the best one for your pet.
1. This Durable Weatherproof House Made Of Eco-Conscious Materials
- Overall dimensions: 21.8 x 19.1 x 20.2 inches (width x depth x height)
- Interior: 16.9 x 16.9 x 16.7 inches (width x depth x height)
- Entryway: 6.3 x 6.3 inches (width x height)
This weatherproof cat house, which can hold one adult size cat comfortably (or two smaller ones), is made with ecoFLEX, which is a non-toxic recycled polymer and reclaimed wood, that, per the brand, is resistant against typical weather-related wear and tear like fading and rotting. In addition to its solid construction, its double-panel walls give it the ability to withstand low temperatures and high winds (it's not technically insulated, but some clever reviewers mentioned adding their own). Plus, the building is slightly raised (about 2 inches off the ground, according to one Amazon fan) so rainwater will pass by instead of pooling. There are also two doors — both with removable flaps — so your kitty can make a getaway if a raccoon or other curious stranger corners them.
Best of all it's very easy to assemble, with no tools required except the included hardware. The inside can be wiped clean with a wet sponge and may want to add straw or a folded pet blanket to make it even cozier for your pet.
One happy cat owner: "Was pleasantly surprised by the great quality of this feral cat house. Although we're in Canada and the winters are really cold, we think it can be easily insulated with some styrofoam pieces. And the snow will slide right off the slanted roof. It's made of just 6 incredibly thick vinyl solid pieces that went together easily... Very impressed. Would buy this again for sure."
2. This Charming Elevated Cat Cottage With A Sun Porch
- Overall dimensions: 29.5 x 19 x 29 inches (width x depth x height)
- Interior: 27.5 x 17.5 x 20 inches (width x depth x height)
- Entryway: 8 x 10 inches (width x height)
Made from long-lasting and water-resistant cedar, this is another great weatherproof cat house option that comes with plenty of extra features that make it worth its price. Not only is it elevated 6 inches off the ground, the roof is also made of real shingles. The back door has a flap, while the front entrance remains open (but there is a sweet awning above it to helps keep water or snow out). In addition to a clever removable step that acts as a sun porch, there's also a window box that can be used as a play area or you can even add some easy- to- grow cat grass to it. Reviewers found it easy to assemble using the included hardware and a Phillips head screwdriver.
In terms of heat retention, it's not insulated, but one of the sides of the house has three pre-drilled holes in it, so you have the option to place a heating pad inside. In addition to the gray color pictured here, you can also get this model in wine red. Amazon shoppers report that this model is roomy enough for two to three adult cats, but if you need even more play space Petsfit also offers a two-story version and even a three-story one.
One happy cat owner: "We have 3 outdoor kitties that live in a large catio. We added this house for sleeping quarters, and a place to duck into when they need to escape noise of a lawn mower etc. We added a thick pillow and cozy acrylic blanket to the interior and they were all inside in minutes. Having the second exit is great, they don't feel trapped and we can view them without disturbing them."
3.This Collapsible Heated Cat House
- Overall dimensions: 18 x 22 x 17 inches (width x depth x height)
- Interior: 13 x 16.5 x 16 inches (width x depth x height)
- Entryway:6 x 8 inches (width x height)
All it takes to assemble this cat shelter is simply securing all sides with the built-in hook and loop fasteners and zipping on the roof. That easy folding (and easy-to-store) design has made it very popular amongst cat lovers on Amazon having earned a 4.7-star average after more than 6,700 reviews. It's made from 600 denier polyester and has a vinyl backing that makes it water-resistant. The two doors have removable flaps, but since it's a soft-sided structure, it's only moderately weatherproof and not meant for heavy rains or frigid temperatures. Instead, it's best kept on a covered porch in drier climates or even for bringing indoors as a private lounging spot for your kitty. Either way, you'll want to ensure you have a power outlet within reach as your cat will no doubt love napping on the included heating pad (which has already been safety tested for outdoor use) that sports a handy 5.5-foot power cord.
Keep in mind that because the interior is on the smaller side, it may only fit two smaller cats or one larger. So if you need more space, consider picking up the extra-wide version instead.
One happy cat owner: "Little old man, showed up at our house not sure where he came from, he was hungry and cold. Had him vetted, (vet estimated him to be 12 +) We wanted to make sure he was comfortable so we researched and found this house. He sure is enjoying the warmth and cozy cushion in his new house! We have put it up on a shelf in our garage with all of his other necessities. We couldn't be more happier with our purchase!y."
4. This Fully Insulated Cat House
- Overall dimensions: 22 x 23 inches (diameter x height)
- Interior: 21 x 17 inches (diameter x height)
- Entryway: 5.25 x 6.25 inches (width x height)
The floors, ceiling, and walls of this insulated cat house (or tube home) are all crafted with a flow-through foam layer that keeps all moisture caused by condensation from ever reaching the bed area, making it 100% waterproof and winter-proof. The shell, which is made from post-consumer recycled materials, comes in two parts and requires no tools to assemble. The awning over the door (which has a removable flap) prevents rain and snow from getting in and the house has vents that can be closed and opened by turning the lid, to further weatherproof the house (bonus: the holes also act as handles for easy transport if you need to move it). The lid is also removable for an easy way to wipe down the inside.
This version comfortably fits up to three cats and comes with a removable and machine-washable comfy cushion, but you can also get one with a straw layer instead.
One happy cat owner: "This is the BEST CAT SHELTER EVER !!! We are having super cold winters in Long Island. It seems that frigid temps, heavy snow, icy rain, and strong winds are the norm now and since my two feral cats got their new Kitty Tube, they are toasty warm and comfy in their new house. The Kitty Tube stays dry during heavy snowstorms and heavy rains. As far as I am concerned, this is just the best product out there."