Buying The Best Outdoor Cat House – Top 5 Reviews
With the winter weather now upon us, we need to take care of our furry friends when they are out of the house.
If you have a cat that likes to spend a good amount of time outside, an outdoor cat house could well be a worthwhile purchase.
But what is the best outdoor cat house you can buy this season? Well I have attempted to answer that very question in this top 5 review round up.
For my findings at a glance, see the table below. For in depth reviews and a dedicated buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
Best Outdoor Cat House
|TOP PICK: The Kitty TubeGen 3 -OutdoorInsulatedCat House+ Pet Pillow|
|Trixie PetProducts2 StoryCat Cottage|
|K&H Outdoor Kitty House Heated|
|Petsfit OutdoorCat HouseWeatherproofShelter|
|Cedar WoodCat Housewith Loft|
- 1 Best Outdoor Cat House
- 2 Why your cat needs an outdoor shelter
- 3 Outdoor Cat House Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Best outdoor cat house reviews
- 5 TOP PICK: Kitty Tube Gen. 3 – Outdoor Cat House with Custom Pillow
- 6 Trixie Pet Products 2 Story Cat Cottage
- 7 K&H Manufacturing Outdoor Kitty House (Heated)
- 8 Petsfit 30″x22″x29″Outdoor cat house,Ideal cat condo,Weatherproof Cat Shelter
- 9 Large Cat House with Loft, Cedar Pet House
- 10 Outdoor cat shelter tips
Why your cat needs an outdoor shelter
The answer is simply to keep warm while giving your cat the choice to be outside during the winter. (A well insulated shelter will also shade your cat and keep them cooler in the summer).
If your cat prefers the outdoors or you prefer not to have him in the house 24/7, a good quality outdoor house will help ensure they are comfortable while not in your home.
Your cat can feel all cosy and warm and they will have a safe place to sleep. It will also keep them dry.
Your cat must be able to avoid being caught in the wind, rain and snow. If they are not properly protected and their coat gets wet for extended periods, they lose all the natural insulation from their hair and really will suffer.
No one wants that for their beloved pet.
Outdoor Cat House Buyer’s Guide
When you are looking to buy the best outdoor cat house there are a few factors you should consider.
Choosing the right one for your cat is very important. You will want them to be as comfortable as possible and of course you will want the cat shelter to be robust enough to last.
The following list should help you buy wisely:
What’s the weather like?
The first and most important question you should ask yourself is the nature of the weather in your area.
If you have mild winters then a highly insulated cat shelter designed for sub-zero temperatures will be overkill.
Alternatively, if your home is in a place that is subjected to months of heavy snow each winter, you will need the warmest, most well built outdoor cat house you can afford.
As you will see from our reviews below, there really is a wide range of styles to accommodate the different weather conditions and temperatures.
How much will your cat be using the shelter?
Is your cat outside 24/7 or only occasionally pops out and you would like to give them a place to shelter if they choose?
The honest truth being, if your cat spends most of the time sat in front of the fireplace during winter, you will not want to go to the trouble of spending large sums on an intricately designed outdoor cat house.
If your cat is only likely to use the house more as a novelty while they are outside to pee or play, a non insulated shelter could even be suitable.
The bottom line is, the longer you expect your cat to use the outdoor house, the warmer, more durable and well insulated it needs to be.
How much space do you have?
Outdoor cat houses come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
How much room you have available and where you plan to place the shelter will have a very big impact on the type you buy.
If space isn’t an issue and you have an area in mind which allows the cat house to be a permanent fixture, you will have the freedom to go all out and buy a multiple story, large wooden cat house.
If on the other hand you only have limited space, or would prefer to have the cat house tucked away out of sight, a small shelter will be the way to go.
More than one cat?
This too has an impact on the size shelter you need to buy.
You will want to make sure that your chosen outdoor cat house has sufficient dimensions to accommodate all of your cats, (at the same time).
In the rain or snow you would not like the idea of one of your cats shivering in the wet because they were not able to squeeze in with the others.
Your personal tastes
It is worth considering the fact that a larger cat house will become part of your garden decor.
You will want a design that compliments the rest of your outside space. This could mean opting for a cat house that is actually built to look like a small house.
Or you might prefer a more contemporary dome shaped shelter? Maybe long and thin is your thing; or tall or wide. Whatever your tastes there will no doubt be a style available that suits your needs.
Colour is another variable to think about. You might want natural, muted colours to blend in with the grass or wooden decking.
Conversely, you might want bold, brash colours with an outdoor cat house that makes a statement.
The choice is yours.
How are you with tools?
Finally you should consider how the shelter is built and whether you have the skills to put it together if required.
Some outdoor cat houses will arrive completely assembled. Others might be modular and require a screw driver. Others may come in kit form and will a cat owner (or friend) with building skills and a tool box.
Your skill set with such matters will have an impact on the type of house you buy.
Best outdoor cat house reviews
Our top pick cat house is the Kitty Tube. This ingenious insulated outdoor cat shelter is ideal for those that do not want a large cat house taking up space, but still need somewhere warm and cosy for their cats to rest while outside.
Let’s take a closer look.
The Kitty Tube has been around for a while. In fact this latest incarnation for 2016 is the 3rd generation of this popular shelter.
Improvements include a redesigned gasketed awning and a removable clear flap door. The door is also designed so that your cats can get in, but unwanted animals can’t.
Unless it happens to be the neighbours cat that is; the dimensions now allow the tube to accommodate up to 3 cats at the same time.
The important issue is the level of insulation of course. This is where the Kitty Tube really excels. The floor, walls, and roof are all lined with a high quality, high R value insulation.
In laymen’s terms the inside of the tube warms up from your cat’s body heat and is able to keep kitty warm for as long as they are inside.
This level of insulation will also ensure that they stay nice and cool in the hot summer months too.
Other excellent features include a specifically designed vent cap that helps release moisture laden air, (thus reducing condensation from forming inside the shelter.)
The bottom of the tube is also slightly elevated to allow stop cold from leeching up from the ground.
The one piece construction has a geometric shape (it’s called a tube after all) that is designed to resist wind and quickly allow rain to roll off the surface.
The overall structure is strong too. So confident are the manufacturers of their superior construction and design, the Kitty Tube shell is guaranteed for life to never chip, crack, or fade.
To keep the interior clean you only need to give it a quick spray with the garden hose, (ensuring that your cat is safely out of the way).
The shelter also has convenient lifting handles for easy transportation. These double up as extra ventilation slots that can be adjusted to supply air flow in the summer and be fully closed for the winter.
Another bonus of the American made Kitty Tube is the fact it is made from post consumer recycled content.
And if all that isn’t enough, they even throw in a custom, machine washable pet bed to place on the kitty tube floor.
Pros of the The Kitty Tube Outdoor Insulated Cat House
- Improved awning and cat flap
- Easy clean insulated interior
- Durable dome shape – increased wind and rain resistance
- One piece construction (no need for tools) – guaranteed against cracks and fading
- Made in the USA from recycled materials
- A cat bed thrown in with every purchase
- If you are looking for a cat house that can double up as an ornamental piece for your garden, you’ll be disappointed. The Kitty Tube is very utilitarian in design.
The Kitty Tube is an excellent solution for those that want to keep their outside cat warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The entire design is focused on that outcome. Highly recommended.
Trixie Pet Products 2 Story Cat Cottage
Although the Kitty Tube grabs our top spot, some of our readers may want something a little more decorative.
If that’s the case, the Trixie Pet Products 2 Story Cat Cottage may very well be the outdoor cat house for you.
Trixie have opted for a 2-Story construction here, and the materials used to build this rather delightful Cat Cottage are definitely appealing.
The main unit is made from weather-treated non-toxic fir wood. Durable composite shingles and solid components have been pieced together to create an outdoor cat house that will stand the test of time.
And just look at the pictures, the design includes a lounging porch and perch, hinged shutters and a character window complete with plastic pane.
Using the front door (with optional plastic flaps) your outdoor venturing feline friend will be able to come and go as they please.
Play is a priority here. Once inside your cat will be able to jump and explore between the different levels of the cottage.
A convenient to open hinged roof is also in place. This is ideal for quick access and easy cleaning and maintenance when the time comes.
Other great design features (of a more practical bent) are the elevated foundation. Complete with removable floor, the raised profile helps promote air circulation, while stopping any ground chill from seeping into the house.
On the down side, you will need to use some tools to get this cat house built.
The manufacturers state that it is an easy 20-minute assembly mind you, and the hardware required is all included.
A one year warranty is also provided.
Pros of the Trixie Pet Products 2 Story Cat Cottage
- The house looks fantastic
- Fun 2 story design to give your cat multiple areas to play
- Raised profile for increased airflow and protection
- Made from weather treated fir wood
- The hinged roof makes cleaning and access nice and easy
- Takes up more space than the likes of the Kitty Tube (there’s no hiding this particular house in the yard)
- 20 minute construction time using tools.
The Trixie Pet Products 2 Story Cat Cottage really is a lovely cat house. It looks the part and will be a talking point when friends come over.
It also has some nice design features and is well built. Your cat should love it too. There is no hiding a house of this size however, so keep that in mind before you buy.
K&H Manufacturing Outdoor Kitty House (Heated)
The outdoor kitty house from K&H Manufacturing is a cute little item. Affordable and functional, the heated option will appeal to those that want to keep their cat warm in a simple yet effective manner.
The manufacturers actually have a MET Safety Listed and Patented design on this cat house. It features a 20 watt Lectro-Soft Heated Bed that is able to keep your kitty snug, no matter the temperature outside.
The Lectro-Soft utilises an internal preset thermostat to ensure that the bed retains a safe and appropriate level of heat while in use.
So that’s the heating side of things out of the way, what about the actual insulation and build quality?
This too is impressive considering the budget price of the K&H Outdoor Kitty House. The surface is made from 600-denier water resistant polyester, while the double exit design includes removable clear door flaps that hold in the warmth. For added protection and insulation, the roof hangs past each of the doors.
With all that said about the design, this cat house is ideal for use in barns, garages and porches (enclosed areas where your cat could do with additional heat in other words).
If you are planning on putting the house fully exposed in the middle of your garden, it will not be as effective by any means.
The simple construction is easy to put together however. The walls hook & loop fast together and the roof quickly zippers into place. What more could you need? Well maybe the one year warranty that is also included.
Pros of the K&H Manufacturing Outdoor Kitty House (Heated & Unheated)
- Affordable and easy to assemble
- 20 watt heated bed with internal preset thermostat – you’ll have one warm and content kitty on your hands
- Double exit design – your cat won’t be trapped should an intruder come sniffing
- Water resistant design with flaps on the doors for added protection
- The outdoor kitty house is actually better suited to enclosed outdoor spaces, (barns, garages etc) rather than outside in face of the elements.
- Like the kitty tube it isn’t particularly exciting to look at.
- Not designed for multiple cats
Overall the K&H Manufacturing outdoor kitty house is an ideal choice if you want to keep your cat warm in places such as the porch or in a cold conservatory. A simple and effective solution all the same.
Petsfit 30″x22″x29″Outdoor cat house,Ideal cat condo,Weatherproof Cat Shelter
Now we have another classic looking cat house that is designed to dominate the garden with its decorative prowess.
A slightly hyperbolic appraisal you might think. In that case I should allow the pictures of the Petsfit to do most of the talking. (You have to admit, it does look pretty. Just think of the fun your cat could have with this!)
Featuring a complete wood construction made from kiln dried cedar wood, the intricate build features a multi story design, complete with fun ladder and upper platform above the enclosed house.
It is all waterproof of course, with a roof that hangs over the walls of both the main unit and the escape door. An ideal shelter in wet conditions.
The Petsfit can accommodate a number of kittens all at the same time, whether they are in the main house for warmth, or enjoying the other areas for play.
However, note that we said kittens there. If you have a large cat, they may struggle as the house is actually quite a bit smaller than it looks. (The inner dimensions of the lower box come in at 19 inches long, by 19 inches wide and 11 inches high.). This should definitely be a consideration before you buy.
And while you may be looking at the images here and thinking, I hope that comes fully assembled; that’s not exactly the case. Pre-drilled holes make putting the house together easier, however depending on your skill set, you may need a helping hand putting this one together.
Pros of the Petsfit 30″x22″x29″Outdoor cat house,Ideal cat condo,Weatherproof Cat Shelter
- Beautiful kiln dried cedar wood construction
- Lots of fun for your cat with upper platform, ladder and enclosed main house for shelter
- The legs mean that the main house is raised from the ground thus eliminating creeping ground chill
- The paint and wood are on the thin side. The elements will take their toll
- A tad on the small side for large adult cats.
- The instructions on how to put it together are not great, If you lack confidence with DIY you may find yourself having some assembly problems.
Beautiful, yet marred with being a little on the small and flimsy side the Petsfit is a fun looking cat house that will suit some, but may not be up to the task for others.
This is one where you need to know your requirements before you buy.
Large Cat House with Loft, Cedar Pet House
The final outdoor cat house to make our top 5 selection is this large custom made Cedar pet house complete with its very own loft.
With each house being crafted to order the price tag is more than your average mass manufactured offering, however, you do get what you pay for.
Firstly, the choice of cedar wood is intended to give the house long life in outdoor conditions. The house is completely waterproof, and is fully lined with Thermal-Ply insulation within the floor, walls and ceiling.
In short this is a cat house that will look after your pet in both cold and wet environments, as well as the hot summer months – the insulation works to keep the house cool inside when the outside temperature is warm.
The lounging deck doubles up as a porch roof designed to stop any rain or melting snow from dripping into the doorway.
And of course, should your cat enjoy basking in the warm glow of sunshine, the deck acts as a great area for him to sleep and relax, (or just survey the surrounding area as king of his own castle).
The unit is made in Canada, however it is shipped unassembled. Instructions for piecing the house together are provided. A power screwdriver is recommended.
Total dimensions come in at the following:
- House Exterior: 24″ x 23″ x 20″ (D x W x H).
- House Interior: 19″ x 18″ (L x W).
- Door Opening: 7″ x 9″ (W x H) .
- Lower Deck: 16″ off the ground with a 22″ x 9″ lounging deck .
- Upper Lounging Deck: 34″ from the ground with a 34″ x 22″ (D x W) lounging deck
Pros of the Large Cat House with Loft, Cedar Pet House
- Robust custom made to order design
- Cedar wood is used throughout for increased longevity and water resistance
- Thermal ply insulation
- Keeps cats warm in winter, cool in summer
- A very attractive looking cat house
- It is the most expensive cat house in our top 5 list
- Assembly required upon arrival
If you wish to have a cat house that will look great in your garden, and is built to last than this is money well spent. The custom made nature is very evident in the build quality. A top notch cat house that will not disappoint.
Outdoor cat shelter tips
Raise it off the ground
If the cat house you buy does not incorporate this into the design, you should raise it off the ground.
For a small outdoor cat house this could mean simply placing it on a wood pallet or some other material.
This will help prevent the shelter from leeching the cold from the ground or cold cement depending on where you have placed it.
What to put inside
A nice layer of straw (not hay) will do wonders for keeping your cat warm. An old pillow case stuffed with shredded paper is another good way of creating a surface your cat can burrow in.
Whatever you choose it is important to keep the shelter lining clean and dry. Check on the cat house regularly and replace the straw and newspaper if moist or dirty.
What not to put inside
A single folded blanket or towel, or newspaper that isn’t shredded is not a good idea as they only end up absorbing the cat’s body heat.
Your furry friend will feel even colder as a result.
Stopping food and water from freezing
There are a few ways in which you can prevent your cat’s food and water from freezing while left outside.
The containers you use can actually make a difference.
For the water bowl you should opt for a large plastic container that is deep and wide. The water will take longer to freeze then if placed in a small thin plastic or ceramic dish.
There is also an option of purchasing a solar-heated container to prevent your cat’s water and food from freezing.
For the food bowl, if your chosen shelter is large and well insulated enough you can simple place this inside the cat house.
Away from the doorway the food will stay warm enough to avoid freezing over.
Never put the water bowl inside the area of the shelter where your cat lays. Your cat is likely to knock the bowl causing spillage.
If the inside of the cat house is damp your cat will have big problems staying warm.