An outdoor cat house doesn’t guarantee your outdoor cat or feral’s safety, but it can provide shelter from cold or stormy weather and offers some privacy. The best outdoor cat houses are strong, sturdy, and protective.
Quick Look: Our Top 3 Outdoor Cat Houses
Kitty Tube Gen 3
New Age Pet ecoFLEX
K&H Pet Outdoor Heated Cat House
Choosing the Best Outdoor Cat House:
The best outdoor cat houses protect your cat from cold and stormy weather.
Look for weatherproof and waterproof houses that will keep cats dry and comfortable in damp, stormy weather. If you live in a climate where the weather gets cold, look for a small, insulated house that will contain body heat.
The best outdoor cat houses are well-constructed.
Just like anything else you buy for your cat, an outdoor cat house should be well-designed and made from durable, high-quality materials.
The best outdoor cat houses are cat-friendly.
The best houses have designs and shapes that cats enjoy. They’re small enough to keep cats warm, but they won’t make the occupants feel cramped.
Should cat houses have two doors?
Most outdoor cat houses have an entry and exit door, enabling your cat to exit the back if a predator or aggressive feline starts to invade through the entrance. While this can offer protection from animals to which your cat is equally matched, it will do little to save your cat from a vicious domesticated or wild dog.
Does a predator-proof outdoor cat house or shelter exist?
There really isn’t any such thing as a predator-proof outdoor cat house. Any cat who lives outdoors is at risk of being attacked by a predator whether they’re inside of a cat house or not. Large catio-style enclosures and cages are more protective than an open house, but they’re also not impenetrable.
This website offers a guide to discouraging coyotesr from entering your property.
Top 5 Best Outdoor Cat Houses Reviewed
The Kitty Tube Gen 3 Outdoor Insulated Cat House Review
The Kitty Tube has a number of thoughtful design features that set it apart from other cat houses for sale, especially for cold weather use. It’s approved by Alley Cat Allies and Feral Fixers.
The entire tube is insulated and is excellent at containing heat during cold weather. It comes with enough bulk straw to create up to two layers of fresh bedding.
The house has handles that can remain open for full ventilation or closed to trap warm air inside of the Tube. While the majority of customers describe it as a waterproof, weatherproof cat house, some say that water can collect on the lid and seep into the house.
Unlike other houses with an entry and exit door, the Kitty Tube has only one small entrance hole.
The inventor of the Kitty Tube says that this design feature is intentional, explaining that “the true predators of a cat (dogs, coyotes, etc.) cannot get their head inside the special sized and shaped door opening of the Kitty Tube. Coyotes especially know how to catch cats. If your cat escapes out a second opening, there is a good chance your cat will be caught and killed. Your cat is safe inside the kitty tube in an attack, as the predator cannot get inside like it could with an Igloo or similar product. Also, the single door dramatically keeps the heat inside the Kitty Tube.”
However, raccoons and aggressive cats will be able to get into the Kitty Tube and things could turn ugly. No outdoor cat is entirely safe, so you’ll have to decide what tradeoff you’re willing to make.
Every Kitty Tube is made in the United States and guaranteed to never chip, crack, or fade.
- Well-insulated for winter weather
- Has a subtle design that fits into the yard and garden
- The small entry hole is designed to prevent larger predators from accessing inhabitants
- Water may get into the Tube if it pools on the roof
- Lacks an escape door
New Age Pet ecoFLEX Albany Outdoor Feral Cat House Review
This cat house is constructed from ecoFLEX, a non-toxic recycled polymer of wood and plastic. It’s designed to resist the cracking, warping, and splitting that other houses may experience. The house has both an exit and entry hole, ensuring that occupants aren’t trapped. The doors are covered with flaps for added security and warmth.
The entryways don’t have awnings, so if there is a heavy snow, your cat may be snowed in. To prevent this from happening, some people place a lawn chair over the entryway to keep snow from falling directly in front of it.
The house is small, measuring 21.8 x 19.1 x 20.2 inches. The small size helps to keep the interior warm and, in most cases, restricts occupancy to just one cat.
The house is covered by the manufacturer’s 10-year warranty.
- Small size helps to lock in warmth
- Well-constructed for longevity
- Attractive design
- Costs over $95 and may be too expensive
K&H Pet Products Outdoor Multi-Kitty A-Frame Heated Cat House Review
This heated cat house includes a power cord and uses 40 watts of electricity to gently warm an included 19″ x 24″ warming cushion. There’s no temperature control and the bed is not warm to the touch—the warmth is only noticeable when something is lying on the bed. When a cat lies on the bed, it reaches a warm temperature of around 102 degrees F.
According to the company, the K&H A-Frame house is waterproof and weather resistant and can be used anywhere outdoors. That said, some customers said that the house can’t handle heavy rain and should be covered with a tarp or placed underneath a porch or eave. The house has two exits to ensure that your cat isn’t trapped inside.
It’s covered by a one year warranty.
- Has a heated bed
- Water resistant
- Comfortable design that cats enjoy
- Most reviewers say that the house can’t handle serious precipitation
Petsfit 2-Story Outdoor Weatherproof Cat House Cat Condo Review
If you’re not extremely concerned with keeping cats warm in cold weather but want an attractive, decorative little house, this weatherproof house might be a good choice. While it doesn’t earn many points for warmth or protection, it’s one of the nicest-looking outdoor cat houses on the market. Some reviewers said that they even painted the house to match their own—how adorable is that?
It has two doors, both of which are covered with flaps. The front door has a protective overhang, which helps to keep rain out of the house and discourages the entryway from being snowed in.
The house comes with either a scratching ramp or a little set of stairs for your cat to climb up and down. The ramp or steps provide access to the covered roof area, which is a nice spot for cats to lounge during good weather.
According to the company, the wood siding will last at least 3 years outdoors.
- Adorable wood-sided house for cats
- Two doorways
- Protective awning on the front doorway
- Scratching ramp for freshening up claws
- Covered roof area for lounging
- Not the warmest cat house
- Relatively expensive at $129.99
PawHut Wooden Outdoor Cat Enclosure Review
This house is a bit different from the others on this list. Instead of being a small, protective shelter for ferals and other outdoor cats, it’s a large enclosure designed to give indoor cats a safe way to experience the outdoors.
This enclosed playpen measures 76.75″ L x 37.25″ W x 68.75″ H and weighs 100.5 lbs. It includes both a house and yard. It has a multi-tier main house and a yard enclosed with wire fencing. The main house has two stories for multiple cats and is complete with a paned window, sliding door, small hinged door, and ramp for easy access.
In addition to small doors in the main house, the enclosure has a large, fully functional front door that allows you to easily access your cats.
The roof is coated with asphalt, protecting it from rain and other precipitation. The main body is constructed from weather-resistant fir.
- Great for indoor cats who need a safe way to experience the outdoors
- High-quality construction
- Made for multiple cats
- The most expensive item on this list at $389.99
How to Build an Outdoor Cat House
There are many different ways to construct an outdoor cat house. If you’re skilled with woodworking, you can make one out of wood and other materials. If you don’t want to spend much time constructing a cat house, a simpler alternative is making one from a plastic tote. This is perhaps the most popular method and, once you’ve gathered your supplies, only takes about 30 minutes. These shelters range in complexity, but you don’t need to do a lot of work to make a shelter that keeps outdoor cats warm and dry in the winter.
How to Keep an Outdoor Cat House Warm
It’s almost universally agreed that straw is a good form of bedding for an outdoor cat house. You can find straw at stores after Halloween, source it from local farmers, or purchase it online. Straw is dried out and is less inclined to become moldy and wet than other types of bedding. It doesn’t draw body heat away from the house occupant, either.
If you can route a power cord from the cat house to an outdoor electrical outlet, an electrically powered heated cat bed or cushion is a good option. If you’d rather not connect it with electricity, use reflective Mylar material or a cat bed that reflects body heat in the same fashion.
Where to Put Your Outdoor Cat House
Most outdoor cat houses aren’t made for direct exposure to rain and other precipitation. You should put them on your porch or in another sheltered area. Make sure that the outdoor cat house is positioned in a place where your cats feel comfortable and already go frequently.
About the author
Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.