- This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.
Do you have an outdoor cat or an indoor-outdoor cat that needs some protection from the weather? I’ve taken in quite a few strays and ferals, and outdoor cat houses have been essential in the process of transitioning those little guys from life on the streets to the life of a happy house cat.
In the past, I’ve rigged up several shelters using plastic containers; but then I came across some great commercial products for a variety of outdoor situations. With outdoor cat houses that are affordable and easy to assemble, there’s no need for your outdoor kitty to suffer.
Choosing an Outdoor Cat House
When it comes to an outdoor cat house, you want one that will hold up to the elements. Check for these features:
- Durability: Read the product specifications and reviews. You want to match the cat house with the location—some houses need to be placed in a dry or sheltered area, while others can be right out there in the wind and rain.
- Insulation: If this house is truly going to be a cozy hideaway for your kitty, it needs plenty of insulation (I’ve placed cat houses inside other structures, and insulated the walls between).
- Heating: Some of the durable shelters are available with and without a heating pad. Keep in mind that if you are housing multiple cats in a relatively temperate climate, they can probably keep each other warm, given good insulation and blankets. If you opt for heat, be prepared to deal responsibly with electrical cords—any extension cords must be outdoor-rated. The heating pad should also be a good deal smaller than the floor of the house, so your cat can choose to be on the pad or off—too much heat could be bad for a cat. K&H Pet Products has a good article on outdoor heating pad safety.
- Type of Assembly: How much time are you willing to spend putting together an outdoor shelter? Read the reviews carefully. Some outdoor houses pop up and plug in quickly. Others require assembly or special electrical connections—but they may be worth it for extra features, such as stability and heat.
- Safety/Security: Ideally, your outdoor cat house will have both a front and a back door. This gives your cat a chance to escape if it is cornered by another cat or a larger predator.
The Best Outdoor Houses for Cats
We’ve gathered together a list of some good outdoor cat house options. Note that some of them are weather-resistant, and are best used on a porch or in a carport. Others are completely weather-proof and can stand up to heavy winds.
Shopping Tip: Don’t panic if you see the label “Out of Stock” on the house you want for your kitty. That just means a particular color or size is temporarily out of stock. If you need a house to ship immediately, select another color or size.
I’m a big fan of K&H Pet Products—the company started out making items for farm animals, and their domestic pet business has grown out of that. They know how to take care of animals living outdoors. This A-frame house is cozy, sturdy, and waterproof. The heated bed inside ensures that kitties are comfortable even in freezing temperatures—you can also get an unheated version. This house can comfortably fit two to three cats (depending on their size) and has two exits so they won’t feel trapped inside.Shop on Amazon
This sturdy, weatherproof shelter has double-wall panels to help regulate the temperature inside. It’s made of Ecoflex, a non-toxic recycled wood and plastic polymer composite that resists cracking and rot, and it’s raised off the ground to allow ventilation. Two entry/exit points mean that cats feel secure coming in, knowing that they’ll be able to make a quick exit if necessary. Assembly is simple and tool-free.Shop on Chewy Find on Amazon
This K&H house is my top choice for outdoor cats, provided you can place the house in an area where it’s safe from the wind. Made from 600-denier polyester, it’s water- and weather-resistant—and portable, in case you want to reconfigure your cat shelter arrangement. It has two entrance/exit doors with removable clear door flaps and is easy to assemble (with hook-and-loop fastener strips). The heated models have a well-protected cord. Both versions come in several cute color combinations and patterns.Shop on Chewy
The ultimate in weather-proof, this cat igloo is a cinch to put together (just snap two pieces together). It’s pretty cute to boot. The shape ensures that rain and snow simply run off the sides, and the durable, non-porous plastic surface keeps things free of bugs and mold. There’s even a carpeted floor inside. But be aware that this house has only one door, which could put your cat at risk of being cornered by another animal.Shop on Amazon
This spacious shelter is environmentally friendly and made in the U.S. from post-consumer recycled content. It features built-in lifting handles that allow ventilation in the summer and has fully insulated walls, roof, and floor to keep kitties warm in the winter. It can fit up to three cats. Also—it’s guaranteed for life, so if you do have any issues, don’t be shy about bringing them up. While the narrow entrance is designed to discourage dogs, note that it lacks a back door to enable cats to make an escape. Note that you can also get a “feral” model, designed with a straw floor (it comes with enough for two fresh layers) rather than a cushion, as well as models with double-insulated walls.Find on Amazon
This cedar outdoor cat house comes in two sizes, and the larger size gets enthusiastic reviews from buyers. It’s made of weather-resistant western red cedar, with half-inch-thick thermal-ply construction. The large size has an 18-by-19-inch interior and can be equipped with your own outdoor heating pad. The raised design will help protect your kitty from snow and rain. If you’re concerned about predators, you can ask to have a second door (with optional plastic flap) added to the house your order. This house ships unassembled, so get out your tools.Find on Amazon
This cheerful and cute shelter gets rave reviews. It needs some shelter from the elements, so it fits well on covered balconies, porches, or even tucked away in a garage. It has two doors (both with removable flaps) and fits cats up to 25 pounds. This shelter also comes equipped with a heated mat (with a chew-proof cord) and an extension cord with a timer to keep your cat extra cozy.Find on Amazon
This sweet-looking cat house is weatherproof and made of sturdy, painted cedar. The elevation protects it from flooding, and two doors mean that kitties feel safer with an escape route available—the back door has a plastic flap, the front door has an overhang to keep out the weather. Large enough to fit up to three medium-sized cats, this house may look complex but is really a cinch to assemble. It’s not insulated, so likely a better choice for sheltering outdoor cats from rain and wind than for use in extremely cold climates.Buy Now on Amazon
This natural cedar structure is an attractive addition to your yard and a comfortable shelter for outdoor pets (including dogs, as you can see). A removable roof makes the house easy to clean, and it’s raised to protect it from flooding. Buyers report that assembly is easy, and their outdoor cats take to the house (with a generous 26-by-29-inch interior) immediately—you could shelter an entire family of cats in this one.Shop on Chewy
This simple, zip-together compact mod pod with a removable heating pad is ideal for keeping an outdoor cat warm and sheltered on a porch or in a garage or carport. The heating pad fills half the pod, giving the cat a choice of temperatures. Note that it is fairly small (21.5 inches long and 13 inches wide) and that it does not have a rear escape door (the front door has a removable plastic flap). Reviews are generally favorable, though not as enthusiastic as reports on the larger K&H houses.Shop on Chewy
More About Feral and “Neighborhood” Cats
Want to know more about taking care of stray and feral kitties? This article from Alley Cat Allies has helpful tips on sheltering outdoor cats.
Need Pet Sitting?
When you can’t keep an eye on your indoor/outdoor kitty, Rover’s pet-sitting services are ready to pitch in to help keep your cat safe.