Many cats love being outdoors but it can be a struggle for them to find safe and appropriate shelter from rain, snow, storms and even intense sunshine.
You may be concerned knowing your cat (or a local stray) is outside in all weathers, fortunately an outdoor cat house is an affordable, low maintenance way to provide them the shelter and protection they need.
The table below contains a quick breakdown of our favourite outdoor cat houses:
Many outdoor cats are very resistant to coming inside so a stand-alone shelter will provide vital safety and warmth without making them uncomfortable.
These hideaways can be used as a shelter for pet cats or they can be used to help feral and stray cats stay comfortable and dry during the colder weather. There are lots of sizes and types of cat house available so there are options to suit every situation. The one you choose can be small, large, insulated, heated, minimalistic or extravagant, the choice is yours!
When selecting an outdoor cat house make sure you pick one that is durable, will keep the elements out and will keep your cat safe. The house should provide a safe retreat that your cat can enjoy at their leisure. There are lots of cat houses available so you will be able to choose one based on your cat, the common weather conditions in your area and the specific situation.
The reviews below take a closer look at some of the best outdoor cat houses available and the buyer’s guide will help you decide which features are essential for your cat.
1. Petsfit 2 Storey Outdoor Weatherproof Cat House
If you’re looking for an outside cat house that is fun, cute and attractive, the Petsfit 2 Storey House is worth a look. This option stands out for its design and it will look great in any garden.
The 2 storey house is made from hard cedar wood which is durable and sturdy. The wood is rot proof and the paint coating is water-based so it will not peel off ensuring the house continues to look great as time goes on.
Although the outdoor house does not come assembled it does have pre-drilled holes to make putting it together as quick and easy as possible.
The house is split into two sections; the lower section is enclosed to provide shelter and protection from the weather and the upper area is an open terrace that allows your cat to enjoy being outside and on look-out while still being protected from the weather by the asphalt roof.
The large size of this house makes it perfect for use by multiple cats.
The wooden design features slatted floors that are great for quick cleaning and improved ventilation and the added stairs not only look great but they also make sure all cats can easily climb up and down the two stories as well as giving extra spots to sit, lay down and stretch.
There are two entrance points for the lower enclosed area ensuring the cats do not feel trapped inside and always have an available escape route.
The front door is open and the side hatch is protected by a cat flap which helps keep the warmth in. The outer dimensions of this house are 76.2 x 55.9 x 73.7cm with lower inside area offering 48 x 48 x 27cm.
What We Love:
- Looks great
- Sturdy cedar wood construction
What Could Be Better:
- Requires assembly
2. The Hutch Company Self Heating Outdoor Cat House
This hand-built outdoor cat house from The Hutch Company is a solid wooden house that would make a great base for strays and outdoor cats. This hutch is designed and built in the UK using FSC timber, it is high-quality, weather-resistant and looks a lot like a big rabbit hutch.
The cat house is 70cm x 51.5cm x 40cm and is already assembled aside from the legs which can be easily attached if you want the unit to be held off the ground.
Attaching the legs helps to prevent the bottom of the shelter becoming damp and will increase the height from 40cm to 60cm.
As well as keeping the bottom of the house dry, cats often prefer a higher shelter as it gives them a better lookout spot to enjoy. The hutch features a one-way window so your cat can watch the world go by while in the comfort and warmth of the shelter.
There is one entrance and it has a catflap attached which helps keep the home protected from the weather and helps give your cat security and privacy. Some cats may not be sure about the catflap if they have never experienced one before so it may take some getting used to. Some cat owners have removed the catflap in order to give their cat a chance to get settle in the house first.
If your cat has used cat flaps before they shouldn’t have a problem with this style of entrance, once they know how warm and cosy it is inside many cats don’t hesitate to go through the catflap. To help encourage your kitty to use the home and settle into the new space the pack also comes with a catnip stick.
For warmth and comfort, the roof and base of the outdoor house is lined with Airtech 1500 insulation. This helps regulate your cat’s body temperature and will warm up the house while your cat is inside thanks to the reflection of your cat’s body heat.
This makes the cat house very comfortable even when it’s freezing outside.
For easy cleaning and maintenance, the lid can be lifted and propped open. This gives you full access to the inside of the house so you can easily clean the inside, change food, water, bedding etc. with minimal effort. For airflow and to prevent overheating, the house has vents positioned at the rear of the unit.
What We Love
- Insulated roof and base
- Cat flap which helps keep heat in and bad weather out
- Lift up roof for easy cleaning
What Could Be Better
- A second point of entry/ exit would be a great addition to this model
3. K&H Outdoor Heated Cat House
The K&H Outdoor Heated Cat House is designed to be easy to assemble and comfortable for outdoor cats whatever the weather. This product has had almost 5,000 reviews on Amazon and scores an impressive 4.5 stars giving a great indication of how popular this cat house is.
This K&H house is heated and includes a 20-watt heated bed that keeps your cat warm as they snuggle up and sleep. The bed is safety tested and is thermostatically controlled by an internal preset thermostat so you can be sure it won’t be too hot for your pet.
The outside of the house is made from water-resistant polyester and the roof and walls are solid, insulated and durable. Although this design is weather-proof, it is more effective if you place it in a sheltered spot as this helps to ensure your cat is comfortable, protected and can enjoy this home for years to come.
For ease of use and safety, there are 2 entry doors and each is protected by a clear door flap to help hold in warmth and prevent the elements from getting inside. Having 2 doors is an important safety feature as it allows your cat to be able to escape the house if they find themselves at risk of predators or other cats.
The door flaps are removable so if your cat isn’t used to them or you’d prefer the doorways to be open you can simply take them off.
The heated bed needs to be plugged into the mains power and is tested and certified by MET Laboratories to exceed USA and Canadian electrical safety standards. The heated pad is removable and it has a washable cover so you can easily keep the bedding clean and dry.
The bed is plush so is soft and super comfortable for your cat, add in the warmth and it’s no surprise cats will happily spend all their time in the shelter.
This outdoor house is perfect for being placed in garages, porches, barns etc. As it is lightweight it is best positioned in a spot that is sheltered from strong winds. The K&H Outdoor Heated Cat House is easy to assemble and attached together using strong Velcro meaning no tools are required. It is also easy to put away when not in use as it can simply be folded flat like a cardboard box.
The large size of this cat house (55.9cm x 45.7cm x 43.2cm) makes it perfect for even larger cats to enjoy. This heated house is best placed in a sheltered area where you can plug in the heat pad.
What We Love:
- Easy assembly
- Heat pad
- Removable door flaps
What Could Be Better:
- Needs to be placed in a sheltered area
*being made of Polyester is it very lightweight meaning it is liable to be blown around, it is best positioned in a sheltered spot.
4. Mr Snugs Outdoor Cat House
The Mr Snugs Outdoor Cat House is a one-piece house that is sturdy, waterproof and windproof.
This is a low maintenance option that is made from durable plastic so it is easy to keep clean.
As this house is constructed from one piece of hard plastic there are no joints so there are no weak spots or open areas meaning it will not rot or harbor parasites or bugs which can be a risk with wooden houses.
This cat house is ready to use right out of the box which is convenient and time-saving. This house can be left outside all year around as it can handle rain or shine. The plastic housing is UV resistant and the front roof overhangs to provide extra protection from the elements.
To help the inside stay dry and to prevent flooding the floor panel is raised so your cat will be warm, cosy and sheltered whatever the weather. Another helpful feature is the sloping roof that stops rain and snow from accumulating during bad weather.
It measures 41 x 55 x 40cm, which is large enough for one cat.
The smaller size is good for keeping heat in but it does mean most cats will need to curl up and sleep as there is not enough space to comfortably stretch out.
There is only one door which has an opening of 15 x 15cm and the door has no kind of flap or covering so may be a good idea to position this unit in a slightly sheltered or protected space.
This is a great option if you want a shelter for a stray or outside cat that is well protected and easy to maintain. As the shelter is hard plastic, a blanket or cat bed placed inside will make it even more appealing for the cat and will help keep the cat warm.
What We Love:
- No assembly
- Sturdy and durable
- Minimal maintenance
What Could Be Better:
- The house is not insulated
5. Kitty City Outdoor Stackable Cat House
The Kitty City Outdoor House is an affordable outdoor house that is perfect for being placed in sheltered areas such as a porch, garage or barn.
These sturdy fabric houses are designed to be stackable so you can easily place one on top of the other to extend the shelter and give your cat more space.
The sturdy fabric construction looks great and is water-resistant and double-insulated to help keep the shelter warm.
The small size helps to make sure a single cat can be kept warm with the insulation helping to hold the heat in even when it’s cold outside. The set comes with 2 removable exit panels which can be placed at the doors as needed to help keep warmth in and weather out.
It is a big plus that this shelter has two entrance doors. Having two points of entry and exit ensures your cat can easily access the house but also makes sure they can leave safely from either exit if needed (for example if another animal approaches the shelter).
As the shelter is small it is not suitable for more than one cat and if another cat tries to enter while your cat is inside it is important they have another way out if necessary.
The grey colour of this house looks smart and discreet so you can position it anywhere in the garden without it looking out of place. This simple house is suitable for cats in all life stages as it is low to the ground and doesn’t require any jumping to get inside.
The roof is slanted to ensure rain rolls down instead of collecting and weighing on the top of the shelter.
One of these shelters is 19.5 x 22.5 x 21.5 cm. They are easily assembled and come with step by step instructions to walk you through the process. For additional options and flexibility, these outdoor shelters are designed to be seamlessly stacked in sets of two (although each one is sold separately).
Stacking one of top of the other can provide a great lookout for your cat as it will give them a better vantage point while still protecting them from the elements.
Cats are bound to feel secure in this outdoor house and its insulated walls help to make sure it is warm and cosy. This is a durable design, the outside can be wiped clean when needed but it is more difficult to clean and maintain the interior.
Unlike other options, the floor and roof are not removable so cleaning has to be carried out through the entranceways which makes it a bit more awkward.
What We Love:
- Easy to assemble
- Has 2 entrances
What Could Be Better:
- Not easy to clean
Outdoor Cat House Buyers Guide
With so many different outdoor cat houses to choose from it can be difficult to know which features are most important.
As you can see from the above products, each one offers something slightly different. If you’re not sure what you are really looking for, use this section to help make sense of the options.
This buyer’s guide highlights the key factors every cat house should include so you can buy the safest, warmest and most effective shelter for your furry feline.
Protection from Weather
When choosing an outside cat house, it is very important to be aware of the weather conditions the house will be up against.
The shelter will need to protect your feline friend from the elements all year round and the available options vary in their durability, the materials used and the weatherproof features they offer.
The house should be water-resistant, UV resistant and be sturdy enough to withstand wind and storms.
The extent the house needs to be weatherproof will mostly depend on where you will be positioning it and the common weather conditions and temperatures experienced where you live.
If you will be putting the house in a sheltered area such as a garage or porch then the garage/ porch structure will play a role in keeping the house protected from wind and rain but if you will be placing the house out in the open it will need to be strong, sturdy and fully waterproof.
It is important that the outdoor house will not flood or become damp or mouldy inside. Having the shelter lifted off the ground is a good way to prevent this from happening.
A raised platform will not only be better for protecting the unit from the wet ground and keeping the inside of the shelter dry but will also create a better lookout spot for your cat.
If you live in an area where the winters are very cold, consider additional features that can help keep the cats warm and comfortable even during bad weather.
Also read: How cold is too cold for cats?
Finding a well-insulated outdoor house or one that offers heating are good options if the cat is going to be outside during harsher winters.
A good heated pad combined with a weatherproof, well-insulated house should be able to keep your cat warm during the colder days but without these features the house may not provide enough warmth for low temperatures.
One of the key reasons to invest in an outdoor cat house is to keep your cat safe while they are outside.
With this in mind, the house should be predator-proof to reduce the risk of your cat being attacked. While the risk of predators such as foxes may be small, your cat is at risk from other animals such as dogs, aggressive cats and even snakes so it is best to take precautions.
A simple way to ensure the safety of your cat is by choosing an outdoor house with at least 2 entrance points.
This makes sure your cat always has a way out and never feels trapped. This simple consideration can protect them from run-ins with other cats and predators.
While it is unlikely for a fox to go into the cat house, they may sniff around the house and show interest which could make your cat very uncomfortable if they don’t have a way out of the house.
A more likely scenario that could put your cat at risk is fighting with other cats in the local area.
If another cat comes to the house while your cat is inside and they don’t have a way out it could lead to an aggressive and dangerous fight that could’ve been avoided.
The capacity of the house is a crucial factor when choosing the best-suited option. If you are looking for a house that can accommodate more than one cat it will need to be larger and more spacious.
A multi-cat house may also need less insulation as the cats will be snuggled together and you don’t want them to overheat. If you are caring for multiple outdoor cats but they do not get along well or they might not go into the cat house at the same time, getting a few smaller houses might be a better option than choosing one large house.
If you need the outdoor house for just one cat, you do not want it to be too big as this will make it difficult for the shelter to warm up and stay warm (even with insulation). A small shelter will provide a nice hideaway that will be cosy for your cat.
Ease of Assembly
Each of the houses has different assembly requirements. You don’t want the one you choose to be a nightmare to assemble so take a look at the assembly instructions and user reviews to get an idea of how easy it is to get the house ready to be used.
Some products are already ready to be used and require no assembly so all you need to do is place it outside while others require drilling and screwing pieces together.
If the house you choose needs to be assembled, make sure you have the necessary tools and expertise to do it otherwise you may find yourself in a world of frustration.
The products we have reviewed above vary from needing absolutely no assembly at all, to needing to be screwed together.
Houses that do need assembly should come with easy to understand instructions and should only require the use of basic tools. Some options come with pre-drilled holes to make the assembly as easy as possible.
Also read: Can cats live outdoors in a shed?
Cleaning & Maintenance
The outdoor cat house will need to be cleaned every now and then to ensure it remains comfortable and hygienic.
Regular cleaning will help the house last longer and will reduce the risk of diseases, parasites and bugs.
Some houses have features such as a hinged roof or a removable floor panel to make cleaning as quick and easy as possible.
If the house has fabric elements they should be machine washable and any included bedding should have machine washable covers.
You can also help maintain the exterior of the house by applying a coat of paint the wooden and metal houses to prevent mould, damp or rust from setting in.
Overall, outdoor cat houses do not require a lot of maintenance but a basic cleaning routine can help ensure a safe and dry environment for your cat.
Providing a cat house for your outdoor cat is one of the easiest and safest ways to offer them comfort and protection without actually bringing them inside.
The cat house can act as a base for your cat, it is a place they can go to rest, a place they can shelter from the rain and a place they know is safe. A cat house can make the world of difference to an outdoor cat.
When choosing a shelter think about how many cats the house will be for and how weather-proof it needs to be. There are lots of strong, sturdy and well-made outdoor houses available so you are bound to find one to suit your needs.
There are cat houses available for all budgets and there are options made from a range of materials including fabric, plastic and wood.
Whatever house you choose for your outdoor cat, you can make it more comfortable by putting a blanket or some straw inside.
A weatherproof house for your outdoor cat can give you peace of mind and will help you care for them from a distance.
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