Why do you need an outdoor cat house? Any cat lover will tell you that felines are amazing pets. And, I know that my cats have been some of my dearest friends over the years. Some people say that they are not as loyal or as friendly as dogs. But, I would beg to differ. Cats are wonderful friends and companions with a huge capacity for love and affection.
But, they can also cause problems inside of your home. Their litter may cause unpleasant smells, they may claw at the furniture or climb on the bookcases and knock things over. Cats are sometimes messy and can be prone to throw up or spit up hair balls.
The bottom line is that though cats are wonderful pets, it can be a bit of a pain to keep them indoors with you at all times. Let’s just say that they aren’t the best roommates. But, any good pet owner knows that animals need shelter and comfort. This sometimes leads us to feel that we can’t leave our pets outdoors for very long. But, they are animals and they do enjoy outdoor play. There is nothing wrong at all with giving them their own space outdoors in which they can play, rest and grow. A compromise must be found in order for everyone to be happy and safe, but you shouldn’t have to live in a stinky house or clean up cat vomit 5 times a day.
Does this make it sound like I hate cats? Well, I most certainly do not. I adore cats and I love having them as pets. They are some of my very favorite animals in the world. I am just honest and forthright about some of the pitfalls of living with them.
When the time came for me to move them out of the house, I worried that they wouldn’t feel safe or that they wouldn’t be able to find shelter if they needed it. I have always loved having cats but needed to find a solution that would allow me to let them in and out of the house without worry. I wanted them to have a safe place to get warm, cool off, take or just hide out. It was important to me that they had their own little home so that they didn’t feel abandoned and banished to the yard like secondary citizens.
Indoor cat houses, as far as I am concerned are a waste of money as cats can just as easily go curl up in the recliner or bury himself in the couch pillows. They are also unattractive, bulky and take up a ton of room. I have had a few but never found them very useful. So, when I decided to start looking around for outdoor houses I wasn’t sure that I wanted one. I was worried it would be as useless as the indoor cat houses that I have spent hundreds of dollars on over the years.
I knew that outdoor dog houses were pretty common but I wasn’t sure about what was out there for cats. So, I researched and found an outdoor cat shelter that suited our family, and our needs. I was still unsure about the idea because I had never had one before but I was excited to see how this new adventure went for my kitties. I was pleasantly surprised at how much they loved, and still love, their house.
Now, I want to share all of the knowledge that I gained during my research to help you make the very best choice for your furry friend!
I will begin by giving you a quick rundown of 5 of the best outdoor cat houses out there to purchase. I will outline their pros and cons and give you the information that you need to feel like you are an informed consumer.
PS: If you’re bunny lover, you might also love to see the best cheap indoor & outdoor rabbit hutch.
Outdoor Cat House Reviews
1. Kitty Tube Generation 2 Outdoor Insulated Cat House with Custom Pet Pillow
This outdoor cat house is ideal for people who want their pet house to blend right in. It is a neutral color and can easily pass for a small outdoor storage box or even a planter. Though you may fail to consider it until it is too late, you should keep in mind that whatever house your purchase for your cat is also going to be a fixture in your outdoor area. This one will tuck away relatively easy and is not likely to create an eyesore. Those are definitely selling points!
It is also great for people with more than one cat because it can accommodate up to 3. Inside, it has a soft pet pillow for naps and the small window allows them to keep an eye on what’s happening in the yard. It is insulated and will keep weather out. In addition, the top can be loosened to vent in the summer and sealed tight in the winter to trap heat. If you live in a seasonal climate, then this house is probably a great choice.
2. Petmate Kitty Kat Condo
This house is carpeted and the entryway is deigned to divert rain. It can hold up to 2 cats but would probably be better for a single-cat home as they might become a bit cramped attempting to share the space. If you have 2 cats who love to cuddle and snuggle while they sleep then this might be just fine. However, if your felines crave person space, you will not want this little house.
It is not insulated, and does not vent. This is a good house for people who live in climates that are mild to moderate year round. It would not be ideal for areas that get snow or where temperatures soar in the summer. The color is perfect for blending into a concrete or cement area, or near sand. But, will stand out if you are planning on putting it in amongst plants. However, the simple design is not obtrusive and will not ruin the look of your yard.
3. Trixie Pet Products Wooden Outdoor Cat Shelter
If design and looks are a high priority then this cat house has your name written all over it. Its design is long and cats can climb up and down the “tower.” It also has windows that can be opened and closed depending on the weather. This is a great house for multi-cat families and for cats who are climbers and clawers or who love to squeeze into small spaces. (Pretty much all cats love those things, right?)
But, the thing that really makes this house stand out is how absolutely adorable and stylish it is. It is more of a cat cottage, than an outdoor cat house. Made of wood, it is durable and structurally sound. Flapped cat doors allow for easy in and out but keep rain or other precipitation out. There are 2 kitty doors and one large back door with a hinge, for human use, when it is time to clean.
This is not an inexpensive option, mind you. This tower is the lakeside mansion of cat accommodations. It is 3 stories of kitty cat heaven. Your cats will be the envy of the neighborhood.
4. Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Cat House
This can be best described as a kitty clubhouse. With a ramp, multiple doors, windows and all sorts of adorable design details, this house is something special. It is large enough for a home with a few cats as it has multiple levels, decks and “rooms” for the animals to roam and enjoy.
Are you a pet owner who worries and feels guilty about leaving your pets out? You won’t feel one bit guilt-ridden leaving your cat outside when you know that he is living in these amazing new digs. The truth is, you may just get jealous of this house yourself. Like the 3-story wooden outdoor cat shelter, it is very cute and will add charm to your yard or deck.
5. K&H (Heated & Unheated) Outdoor Cat House
This house is inexpensive cute and designed simply. It requires no assembly and comes right from the box ready to use. This would be the perfect option for a household with only one cat. It is not large and luxurious like some of the others but it comes with an electric heating element so that you can plug it in and keep your cat toasty in the winter. It is certainly the perfect spot for a quick cat nap and your cat will enjoy having their own little space to call their own.
It is not as attractive as some of the other outdoor cat houses that have been mentioned so far, but will blend in with your backyard, deck or porch quite nicely. You can also pick from 3 colors so choose the one that will look best in your outdoor area. That is not the case with a lot of cat houses. So, that is definitely a big selling point for this little shelter.
Making the Right Choice for your Cat, and You.
When choosing an outdoor cat shelter, there are many things to keep in mind. But, 7 things in particular are very important to check off of your list. Your cat’s house will be around for years and years to come so choosing one that will look great and still function for many years is very important.
It is important to consider your specific needs because what might make for the perfect cat house for one person may not work at all for you and your cat. Here are the 7 key things to consider when purchasing your cat house:
1. Weather & climate
Weather is, of course, a huge factor. If you get cold, snowy and icy winters than an insulated box is going to be very important. If you live in a hot climate then a house with a rug, carpet or bed may not be the best choice, as they will just make your cat hotter. You may also be the type of owner who would keep your pets in during extreme types of weather. So, that’s yet another thing to consider. Your cat house will have to suit your needs and no one else’s. So, remember, all of the advice shared in this article is merely a guide to an easy and fun shopping experience. I cannot tell you which is best for you.
All of the houses discussed in this article have different designs. They come in a wide array of shapes, sizes, etc. You should consider where you will be putting it, how much room that you will have and how much space you wish for it to take up. You may want a multiple story, large house or you may just want a small shelter that you can slide into the bushes beside your deck. Larger houses will take up more room but they will also stand out and can (if you choose the right one) add appeal and attractiveness to your yard. We’ll talk more about design and aesthetics in a bit.
3. Number of cats
This may sound like a “duh” piece of advice, but when we get excited while shopping, we may see something that we love and forget to check out some important details. One of those very important details is whether the house will fit all of your feline buddies. If not, you may need to keep looking. If you have more than one cat then you need to be sure to choose a house that can accommodate your animals. They should be able to get in all at once. After all, if it is raining outside, or they are seeking warmth, they will likely all be trying to squeeze in. If you only have one cat, some of the larger outdoor cat houses may just be too much and overkill.
Does your cat stay out all of the time or does he/she only go out every now and then? That is a big question to ask when deciding what type of outdoor cat shelter you will need. The truth is, if your cat spends a great deal of their time inside with you and only goes out to use the bathroom or play then you may not want to invest in something large, or high design. You may not even be worried about it being insulated. However, if your feline friend spends a great deal of time in the house then you probably want to get something that will stand the test of time and that will keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Are you looking for something that will blend in with the grass and bushes? Or, do you want a cat house that really looks like a house? Are you interested in a dome shaped outdoor cat shelter or is a tall, rectangular house more so your style? In addition, consider the color of the house and how it will look in your yard or on your deck. This may sound trivial, but a white cat house will look like an eyesore in a sea of grassy landscaping. On the flipside, a shelter that is designed to look like an actual house might look tacky with a modern, simple backyard design. So, no one can tell you how to choose the best design for you. Just keep in mind that your cat’s house will, ultimately, become a part of your outdoor décor.
Some outdoor cat houses will come completely assembled. Others will require that you have some tools, and moderate building skills. If you are handy then you may not mind building and assembling a house that comes in pieces. But, if you are less than skilled with tools, a house that comes put together (or close to it) may be your preference. Be sure to check out the assembly details before making a purchase.
7. Personality of your pet
It is vital that you keep in mind that all cats have their very own likes, dislikes and preferences. Some love to climb, jump and play. Others are more interested in lounging and relaxing. So, a 3 story cat house will make sense for some felines and be an absolute waste for others. Some cats will spend a great deal of their day lounging in their house. Others will only head in for sleep or if the weather is not great. This is something to keep in mind when going over your options. Don’t buy something that you think is cool or that you love but that your cat will likely never use.
This article has thrown a lot of information at you so feel free to digest it all before making any decisions. As a matter of fact, I recommend it. Think through your needs and wants. Find a space for the house that will be agreeable to everyone. Make sure that what you pick is the best choice for your lifestyle, your pet, your home and your outdoor space. Enjoy shopping. Your cat will thank you!