Top 8 Best Outdoor Cat Houses 2020
- Our Top 8 List
- 1. Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Cat House
- 2. K&H Pet Products Outdoor Insulated Cat Shelter
- 3. Kitty Tube The Outdoor Insulated Cat House
- 4. K&H Pet Products Outdoor Kitty House
- 5. PETYELLA Heated Outdoor Cat House Weatherproof
- 6. ROCKEVER Outdoor Cat Shelter with Escape Door
- 7. MidWest Curious Cat Cube
- 8. Outdoor Cat House with Lounging Deck & Extended Roof
- Top 8 Verdict
- Petsfit Outdoor Cat House
- Buying Guide
Most cats love the outdoors, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need shelter. Many house cats and feral cats alike need a warm and dry place to stay when the weather takes a turn for the worse.
What makes a good outdoor cat house? We all know cats can be fickle and turn their noses up at the best of the best, but sometimes that’s because they know what they want, even if you don’t. However, though we are merely lesser human beings, we know what makes a good shelter for a cat outside.
One of the most important factors to consider is where you’re going to put the house and what kind of weather it needs to protect your kitty from. Will you be putting it in the garage? Do your cats like to spend time on the covered porch? Or is the house going to be out in the backyard, where it’s fully exposed to the elements?
We will address these questions and more as we check out 8 of the top outdoor pet houses on the market.
Our Top 8 List
Last update on 2020-02-26 at 09:22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Cat House
The Petsfit house has all the bells and whistles you want in an outdoor cat house. It features front and rear door entryways, with the back door covered by a flexible plastic flap to keep out the elements. The front door has an awning to help keep the inside protected from the rain.
The house is raised off of the ground to prevent the elements from getting in underneath. A movable step that is separate from the house to allow for easier entry into the front, and to create a lovely little porch for your cats.
It also features an optional flower box on the side that you can install, which would be perfect for growing catnip or cat grass to nibble on. It is large enough to accommodate two adult cats comfortably, or perhaps a new mother with her kittens.
This cat house is made with long-wearing cedarwood and cat-friendly water-based paint. It is relatively easy to assemble, although some buyers have noted that some of the hardware is mislabeled. With a little extra troubleshooting, you shouldn’t have too much of an issue. It also features a removable bottom for easier cleaning.
It does not come with insulation, so if you experience frigid winters in your area, you may need to consider adding your own.
- Weatherproof roof and awning to help keep out the rain
- Two accessible entryways
- Raised to keep out flooding and water on the ground
- May need to add your own insulation
2. K&H Pet Products Outdoor Insulated Cat Shelter
The K&H Cat Shelter is a soft-sided shelter that comes in two varieties—heated or unheated. Both feature a comfortable exterior that keeps your kitty warm. The heated option includes a 20-watt heated bed for additional warmth when the temperature drops low.
It’s not a waterproof variety, though, so be careful about this house if you don’t have an additional shelter to put it in. The K&H shelter is best for sheds, barns, garages, and the like.
This shelter is easy to assemble out of the box. You basically zip the roof to the side, Velcro the sides to each other, tuck the whole lot into the roof, and presto! You’re done. If you went with the heated model, just pop the heating pad in and plug it in. Super easy.
The bed is easy to store flat, too, when not in use. Just disassemble and reassemble as needed.
- Heated or unheated options
- Flat storage when not in use
- Not fully waterproof—best to use inside an additional shelter
3. Kitty Tube The Outdoor Insulated Cat House
This insulated Cat House by Kitty Tube is so unique! It looks like a giant dutch oven or cooking pot. This unique-looking house is fully insulated and “guaranteed to keep the weather out.” The floor, roof, and walls are all insulated with a high-quality high R-value insulation, keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It comes with a cozy pillow to lay on, or a “feral” option in a separate listing on Amazon.
Its small ventilation windows and tube-like door are designed to keep rain from pouring in. Cats everywhere will thank you for that. The door is a small opening that helps keep predators and other animals away. But beware—if the predator DOES get in, the small opening may make it hard for your pet to get away from it.
It claims to be able to house three cats—but I can’t even imagine my three cats piled in there together. The manufacturers clearly tested it with cats that like each other.
- Small vent holes keep out rain and keep in heat
- Made environmentally friendly with post-consumer recycled material
- Small door may make it unsafe if invaded by predators
4. K&H Pet Products Outdoor Kitty House
Another great K&H Pet Products house! This one is an A-frame style abode that’s bigger than the Insulated model we looked at earlier. It is more spacious, accommodating up to 4 average-sized cats. The design has hook-and-loop fasteners rather than Velcro, but it’s still super easy to set up and can be stored flat.
It has a similar heated/unheated buying option, with a heated pad to keep your kitties warm when the temperatures drop. The heating pad has a removable, machine-washable cover, easy to keep clean. Don’t machine wash the bed, however. Just wipe it down with a wet cloth.
This house has two entry portals with optional clear plastic door flaps to keep out the rain but allow for easy entry and exit. Although K&H says the house is waterproof, the softer, lighter-weight material isn’t the best option if you’re not putting it into a covered space.
- Front and rear entry and exit
- Heated or unheated options
- Fits multiple cats
- Not fully waterproof—best to use inside an additional shelter
5. PETYELLA Heated Outdoor Cat House Weatherproof
This heated cat house is similar in shape to the #2 on our list, except it has a few more bells and whistles. First of all, it comes in three different styles that resemble different types of houses—cute. It doesn’t have a more subtle model, though, which some people might consider to be a shame.
The heating options are a little more in-depth. The PETYELLA house comes with a heating pad featuring a chew-proof cord (yes, please!), an extra padded bottom liner, a 4-foot extension cord. It also has an on-off timer for the heating pad, which is excellent for spring and fall when you only need it on for short times to keep the chill off.
PETYELLA says this house is water-resistant, so this is another bed ideally suited for use with an additional shelter, like a garage or carport. Some dissatisfied customers also report that the heating pad did not warm up very much and even stopped working completely within two weeks of receiving the product. PETYELLA, unfortunately, does not offer a separate replacement model to purchase.
- Heating pad comes with extension cord and timer
- Easy to set up and use
- Potentially faulty/weak heating pad with no manufacturer’s option to replace
6. ROCKEVER Outdoor Cat Shelter with Escape Door
The ROCKEVER Outdoor Cat Shelter is basically a separate house for your cat. This beauty comes with a shingled roof and awning over the upper front door and a flexible flap over the lower emergency exit. There’s also a solid acrylic side window with a vent hole that can be removed in the warmer seasons for more airflow.
It’s made with high-quality cedar and painted with water-based, pet-friendly paint. It does not come with insulation, but you could potentially add pet-safe insulation if you’re handy with construction.
It comes in two distinctly different varieties: the two-story townhouse has an upper and lower exit and a middle platform (that can be removed. The slant-roofed single story has a planter box on the side and a movable platform for easy entry. Assembly is relatively easy—ROCKOVER states you only need a Phillips screwdriver.
Both varieties have a removable floor that makes it much easier to access for cleaning. Additionally, the single-story roof opens to make it even easier to clean.
ROCKEVER also recommends this house for small dogs, rabbits, ducks, and chickens. Too cute.
- Eye-catching design
- Shingled roof
- One- and two-story options
- Some buyers report it’s not entirely waterproof
7. MidWest Curious Cat Cube
The Curious Cat Cube isn’t really an outside house, per se. It’s definitely more along the lines of the kind you’d need to put in an additional inside shelter like the garage or a mudroom. The cube itself is more like a little hidey-box that would help keep off the chill, but should not be used out in the elements as it has no extra insulation.
The Cat Cube comes in a variety of colors for the one-story option, and also has a cool two-story as well. The one-story version has comfy, fluffy beds inside and on top with peek holes on the side to encourage play. It can be easily folded down to a very compact bed for travel and storage.
The two-story has an entry on the bottom and middle levels, with a plush pad on top like its single-story counterpart. It also features a scratching pad on the side. Weighing in at almost 15 lbs, it’s possible your cat won’t knock it over when scratching—but watch for that.
Critical note: several customers with small kittens reported that their cats’ heads got stuck in the side peek holes and had to be cut out—literally, like with scissors, near their struggling kittens’ necks. Be VERY careful about this if you have kittens or cats with smaller heads.
- One- and two-story options
- Extra-plush bolstered top makes a cozy, snuggly spot
- Potentially dangerous for kittens or smaller cats
8. Outdoor Cat House with Lounging Deck & Extended Roof
Unlike other solid-construction houses, this rustic house comes with 1/2″ thick thermal insulation, keeping your kitty warm in winter and cool in the hotter months. Some cats don’t even bother with it in winter but love to hang out in their shady condo during the dog days of summer. You can buy an optional vinyl flap for the door to help keep out the rain.
It seems to be reasonably easy to set up. The house comes to you deconstructed, but you only need a power screwdriver to put it together, which is pretty standard with high-quality wood furniture.
The house itself is 16″ off the ground, which may make it difficult for some older or injured cats to access. Consider getting or making your own smaller step to help with that. On the flip side, though, this will definitely help with the weather, and can potentially keep some predators from getting inside the house. Keeping that in mind, there is no second “escape” door on this model. The product description on Amazon claims you can get one custom-installed, but I don’t see where or how to go about this.
- Fully insulated for all seasons
- Easy to assemble with just a power screwdriver
- Quality cedar wood construction
- Inside is not lined with additional wood to protect insulation from scratching
While all of these houses have different benefits and drawbacks, we think the best overall outdoor cat house is the Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Cat House. It is raised off the ground, keeping your cats drier and warmer, and its covered roof and awning and backdoor flap keep out the elements nicely.
The side planter box is a cute addition, allowing you to grow plants for your princes and princesses or to brighten up the house with some lovely cat-friendly flowers. The separate step is a great help for allowing older or alternately abled cats to get inside with ease. Its quality construction and cedar wood make it a long-lasting addition to any porch or yard.
While it isn’t insulated, for many cats who just need a little extra protection from wind and rain, it will do very nicely. You can also add your own insulation if you are handy with that kind of thing. All things considered, we think the Petsfit cat house has the best bang for the buck and will keep your cats cozy on those chilly nights.
There are so many different outdoor cat houses available, and sometimes it’s hard to know what you need. The best way to narrow it down is to ask yourself a few questions about what you want for your cats’ outdoor home.
Where am I going to put the outdoor cat house?
The first thing you’ll want to ask yourself is where the cat house will be located. If you’re putting it in an additional enclosed shelter, like a garage, shed, or mudroom, you won’t need the same waterproofing and element protection features that some houses provide. There are many excellent options for non-waterproof dwellings that can be heated or unheated, depending on the temperature outside.
If you are putting it outside, you will need a house that can stand up to the elements. Even if you put the house on a porch, wind and rain will likely find its way there during a harsh winter storm. If you’re putting it in an uncovered area, you will definitely need a weatherproof house, preferably one that is raised off the ground.
Do I need it to be waterproof?
Going back to the last question, this decision is often made by where the cat house will be located. There are additional reasons you might need a waterproof house, however. If you live in an area that doesn’t get ANY rain, but can be reasonably cold, you may not need a waterproof house, but one that does a better job keeping away the nipping wind.
Will it keep my cats safe from predators?
This is critical. A lot of the houses we featured in our review have a front and back door available for a quick escape if necessary. We absolutely recommend a double door variety if there is ANY chance of predators making their way in.
Wild animals are highly intelligent. They will watch your cat enter the house and wait for an opportunity to attack. If your cat has no means of escape, this can be super dangerous. Consider where you are putting the house and what kind of animals can get into your yard before choosing between a single door or a double door model.
How much space do my cats need to be comfortable?
This really depends on your cats specifically–some cats really like to cuddle. Others do not. If you are getting an outdoor shelter for your own indoor/outdoor house cats, they may be okay with just one house to snuggle in.
If you’re considering an outdoor house for a feral cat colony that hangs around your home, you may need more than one shelter for them to feel comfortable. Similarly, if you have house cats that aren’t always on the best of terms with each other, they may fight over the house and make the living situation even worse.
When in doubt, it’s always best to have too many shelters than too few.
How cold is it going to be in my area?
If you live somewhere where the temperatures drop below freezing or you get a lot of snow, you’re going to want a house that is weatherproof and can stand up to the elements. A shelter with sturdy construction and wood that’s designed to stand up to the elements is a must for harsher conditions. Additionally, you’re going to want a house that comes with insulation or one in which you can stall your own after you get it. Insulation makes a huge difference when the temperature drops significantly.
If it’s not necessarily cold, but you get a lot of rain in your area, you’re going to need an outdoor cat house that is raised up off the ground. Rainwater can seep into anything, and a sudden downpour can create flooding that will wash right into the house, soaking everything and making your cats miserable.
Choosing a raised house can help with the cold, too. Keeping the house elevated off the ground helps insulate it if the ground is frozen.
On the flip side, some owners report that their cats choose to sleep in an insulated house in the summer. Insulation works not only against the harsh cold of winter but helps to keep out the summer heat, as well. If you experience hot, hot summers with little to no cloud cover, temperatures outside can climb dangerously high. Having an insulated, cool, shady shelter can help protect your kitty from becoming dangerously overheated outside.
How easy is it to clean and maintain?
Many of the houses on our list feature a removable bottom or a roof that opens to facilitate easier cleaning. Keeping your cat house well-maintained is essential to its continued use. As always, cats are fickle. Some wouldn’t care one bit if the house is continuously coated in fur. Others may not appreciate the mess and may eventually stop using the house altogether.
Additionally, if multiple cats are using the house, some may become upset by others’ scents. This is especially true if feral cats in the area use the house in addition to your own pets. Cats can be messy, and some do not have the same housebroken manners as others.
Potential diseases are an issue, too. While most pets are vaccinated against some of the more dangerous illnesses, feral cats may not be. Keeping the house well cleaned is essential for the health and happiness of your cat house residents.
If you have a tough time stooping or kneeling, consider a house with a roof that opens up. This can save you a lot of hassle when it’s time for “spring cleaning.”
How easy is it to set up initially?
Many of the houses we featured are super simple to set up, especially those that are designed to be used inside a weatherproof shelter like a garage or shed. Just pop it open, clip it together, and presto! Instant cat house.
Some of the more sturdy houses do not come assembled and do require some additional effort on your part. Consider your own savvy with tools when you’re choosing a house to put together. Some only require a standard Phillips screwdriver, while others require minor power tools to get the job done.
If you don’t own power tools and don’t have anyone that can help you build it, you may be better off choosing one that you know you can assemble. If you don’t put it together correctly, it may not stand up to the test of the elements and may put your cats at risk.
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