Hello Everyone! In today’s’ article, we will go over the 10 Differences Between Wooden and Plastic Insulated Cat Houses.  A lot of people are split on choosing between the two.

Like how a human product is always in the spotlight, animal products are too.  Some people say that plastic is dangerous while others oppose by saying wood attracts termites.

To further your confusion, other people say that one looks better than the other.  In the end though, as long as a cat has a shelter to live in that is functional, safe to live in and does what its supposed to do, that is all that counts.

So let us get started with the 10 things you need to know about wooden and plastic insulated cat houses. And be sure to read all the way to the end to check out our top 5 recommendations for the best insulated outdoor cat houses.

1. When it comes to heat.

Plastic – During the summer, it can get very hot inside a plastic cat house.  Temperatures down here in NC in the summer can range from 80 Degree to 100 Degree.

The comfortable temp for a cat should be around 70-75 degrees.  Even if the house is insulated, if it is placed under the sun then most plastic will get reallllly hot!

If you prefer plastic cat houses, you might want to check out the Kitty Tube as a viable option. Click the button below to learn more.

Learn More About Kitty Tube!


Wood– Wood is a very good material that can take the heat extremely well.

Even if it is super hot outside, the temperature difference is huge when it comes to inside the cat house.  Wood also breaths better too when it comes to hot surfaces.

The only downside is, you just can not just use any wood.  You have to use treated wood so that it can handle outdoor elements like storms, rain, etc.

2. Cold!

Plastic – During the winter, it gets down to around freezing.  Cats can not handle the cold too well.  If a cats body drops below 100 degrees, it will experience hypothermia.

With plastic, you have to add a bunch more insulation to the house because plastic walls are not a good insulator.  Also during the winter, it becomes very brittle.

This can lead to it being cracked.  Some people place plastic cat shelters near a heat source like a dryer vent during the winter. When they dry their clothes the vent heats up the plastic for the cats. 

Wood – Wood keeps out the cold better.

Since wood itself is a very good insulator.  When you add the same amount of additional insulation. Then your Cat house becomes a cat fort! Protected from the cold.

3. One is more durable than the other.

Plastic and wood are like two polar opposites when it comes to durability.  Yes, there are hard plastics out there but when it comes to strength to protect the feline friends from predators wood is the best to go with.  One of the biggest dangers for cats outside that no one talks about are birds of prey, stray dogs, and of course coyotes!

A while back, we had a case of a ton of stray and residential cats missing from our area. I tried to inform people that cats are a good meal for the coyotes but they did not listen.

After a couple of weeks of more cases popping up, someone finally caught on camera a coyote sneaking into someone’s yard and attacking a cat on the porch before dragging it off into the woods behind their house.

You MUST take this seriously. Even in cities as woodlands and natural areas become more scarce, predators and prey alike are moving into urban areas where they were never seen before.

If coyotes will hunt a small dog, then cats are fear game too.  This is why I would choose wooden more so than plastic.

BUT as I mentioned earlier, if you’re looking for a good plastic outdoor cat shelter, the Kitty Tube Gen 3 is AWESOME!

4. You Can Find Plastic Everywhere!

When you go looking for Plastic. There are cheap alternatives you can use other than going to buy the good stuff at Lowes or home depot.

Sometimes you can find plastic designs around that almost looks like a house and you can modify it to be a full-fledged house. It only too a couple of dollars to do so!

5. They both have different smells

I love the smell of wood, especially cedar.  I noticed the difference between a wooden and plastic cat house when it comes to heat is that when the wood heats up, you smell more of a wood smell.

Plastic, on the other hand, had a nasty hot/melting plastic smell. That smell can also be a put off for some cats.

6. Sizes are everything!

When people look for outside cat houses, they normally either want to get a large one, a median, or a small one.

Some people go wayyyyyy extra and by a massive titanic huge one! It is all about preference.  When it comes to lugging around that massive structure if you bought that massive battleship one.

Plastic would be awesome since it is lighter.  Wood would defiantly kill the back.  But if you did buy a wooden one.  Once you sacrifice your back and a good nights sleep.  That baby ain’t going nowhere

7. Which one is easier to customize?

Even though you can customize both, sometimes it might be a little harder to customize one or the other.  It is all about blueprint layout.

But if I had to chose which one is easier to customize. I would say wooden. That would be due to the effect of wooden insulated cat houses are built from scratch.

So if you have to customize it. You can take it apart and then reconfigure it when the customization added in.  Also, you can just use a drill and screw on an addition to it.

With plastic, you have to find a tool that can cut plastic is it is too thick since it is prob prefab built.

Also since the walls are prob not thick, you have to be careful of not putting pointy screws poking out in the inside.  We do not wanna turn it into an Egyptian death tomb.

8. Which one do cats eat more often in?

I noticed when I would try different shelters in the past.  When I tried to feed the cats outside. Some would eat their food inside their wooden house.  They would not eat inside their plastic homes.  So I came to the conclusion that the heat difference inside the two was a key factor in the not eating.  The wooden one was much cooler than the plastic one.

9. Affordability

When it comes to affordable Insulated Cat Houses. If you are just looking for an entry level cat house to get started.  Hands down, plastic is for you.

The reason why plastic is appealing is that unlike wood, you can get a decent size structure for around 50-150 dollars.

That is bad compared to spending twice or triple the amount for wooden structures.  Wooden Cat houses can range from 100 to 600 dollars.  (You must really love cats for $600).

Either way, in the end, it all comes down to how much you love cats and wanna help and how much purchasing power your wallet has.

10. In the end, do what makes you comfy!

Yes, we wanna help out our feline friends.  But in the end, make sure not to neglect yourselves.  If you can not afford a wooden cat house.

That is fine, just buy a cheap plastic one and put some insulation in it to make up for not getting a wooden one.

Cats do not care, they just want something that will keep the rain off them and keep them cool or warm.

Any effort is better than no effort.  Even if you just put in a little effort to take care of the cat. You get respect from me! 😉

If you’re ready to move on to the next level and help out the furry kitties in your area, click the button below to see 5 best insulated cat houses and shelters that are perfect for really hot and really cold weather!


Thanks for reading and please leave a comment if you have any additional information to this topic!



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