This morning when I took my daughter to work, the car’s thermometer read a bone-chilling (at least to me[and cats], haha!) 50 degrees F!! Even my cold-blooded daughter was searching for her jacket.
Now its crunch time. The weather has FINALLY caught the memo that winter is coming which means it’s getting colder. And THIS is the beginning of the most dangerous time period for outside cats.
First of all, I want to give you a big THANK YOU for stopping to care for the outdoor cats in your area. THANK YOU for using this wonderful resource called the internet to figure out what in the world you can do to help these poor souls.
Of course, you’ve figured out that they need some sort of housing. Now you’re in the process of figuring out where to look for Cat Houses For Outside Cats, right?!!
Well, there are a couple of cool ways to get your hands on some nice outdoor cat houses, so let’s talk about them now, shall we? 🙂
Where To Look For Cat Houses For Outside Cats
There are three main ways that you can get your hands on one or more outside houses for cats.
- Buy them
- Make them
- Or a combination of both
Depending on the size of the cat population in your area and the amount of resources you have, by the end of our discussion, you will be able to better decide the option that is best for you.
1. Buying Cat Houses For Outside Cats
Let’s face it. We aren’t all gifted with the ability to fix things or if you are, there are always times where we’re just too busy to put in all those hours to assemble them.
Buying cat houses for outside cats is a good option because it is convenient, saves time and you don’t have to stress over all the details of building your own cat house. If you do want to buy an outdoor cat house, you might have already checked your local pet store just to find out that they don’t have a good selection or don’t carry them at all!
That’s because stores tend to cater to domestic pets of which tend to use cat trees instead. Most homes are warm and cozy in the wintertime so there’s no need for any extra heating for your cat.
For this reason, you will likely need to search online for the best heated and insulated outdoor cat houses. As of the time of this writing, there’s not a whole lot of options out there which is why we’ve taken the initiative to present this information to you.
One of our favorite places to look is good old Amazon.com. Amazon has a really good selection in designs. You can find:
- soft and hard-walled houses
- heated, insulation or both outdoor cat houses
- designs or ones that you can design yourself.
- and more!
Another reason I like Amazon is because they are more popular for selling so their prices are more controlled and reasonable. They also carry our #1 recommendation for outdoor cat houses, the Kitty Tube Gen 3 and accessories that go with it.
Here are some other resources that you can use to find good quality, affordable outdoor cat houses:
2. Make Your Own Outdoor Cat House
Building your own cat house can be so rewarding for you and the cats. This year, my daughter and I will be making some of our own and we encourage you to do the same with your family.
It is the PERFECT way to connect as a family and it also teaches our kids responsibility as well as caring for others even when there seems to be no apparent or direct benefit to themselves. My dad always taught me to help someone because you want to because there’s not always going to be a reward or even gratitude.
The awesome thing with cats is that they are very appreciative once they learn what it is. Just remember and realize that if they don’t go into the cat house right away, its because they don’t know what it is.
Once you’ve built it, you will need to teach them and show them that it is safe. Some cats will be more trusting than others. Some are more feral than others. Preferences have a roll in it and more.
The hardest part about building an outdoor cat house is finding good plans. You either have to be a visionary, an experimenter or a bit of both.
The best outdoor cat shelters have a hard shell so they are typically made of wood or plastic. For most builders, I think wood is a good option.
There are some really cool things you can do with coolers too. I’m also currently looking into building cat houses with tires. There’s a really cool artist in Brazil who makes cat and animal shelters from used tires.
This is also something that I am going to look into since we got a couple of questions about it as well.
Once you have the shell figured out, you want to be sure that it will be insulated. The insulation needs to be able to withstand scratching. You can either put it behind another board sort of like our homes are made or you can use something that is more sturdy.
Whatever the case, just make sure that it is cat-safe.
We recently did a neat guide sharing the best cat house plans on the internet. You can check that out by clicking here.
3. Doing A Bit of Both
Whenever you decide to choose both options, you need to do a little bit of planning in order to stay on top of your activities and spending. You should at least consider the following:
- The size of the cat population that you want to house
- How much money do you have to spend
- How much time do you have to commit to building
- What resources do you already have that can be turned into a cat house such as
- plastic storage containers
- scraps of wood
- boxes (not ideal for long term use but for a quick fix during mild weather, is ok)
- and anything else that you might think might be helpful in creating your own cat shelters
You will find that this option can be the most rewarding because you get the best of both worlds.
You get to spend time putting things together to benefit the cats but you will also be able to save yourself some stress by buying an outdoor cat house. In addition, you’ll be able to provide several options for your cats and free spaces for mothers to seek refuge with their kittens without having to fuss over living space.
Doing both will definitely allow you to provide more houses for your cats because it is flexible and more cost-effective.
What We Recommend You Do
Since you are probably new to providing cat shelters to your outside cats, we recommend that you buy a couple of good cat houses. That’s because the cat house is only the first step in providing a good home for them.
You will need to help them get acclimated to their new dwelling place. This will help you understand what they like and what their needs are for their area.
When purchasing your first cat house, make sure that it is one that can be used all year round like the Kitty Tube which keeps the cat house cabin warm in the winter and cool in the summer. You’ll also be able to add extra insulation if need be and you can easily install a heating pad although cat body heat is a good heater in itself.
This way you can gain experience with your population of cats. Just like people’s needs, preferences, habits and even language change depending on the area we live in, so do cats.
Try not to approach it with a ‘know it all’ attitude because you WILL miss things about your cats that are important to know.
After you are familiar with your cats and you’re up for it, then you can start to think about building or repurposing containers to make your own outdoor cat houses. When you do it like this, you’ll be able to decide which designs your cats might like better and choose those rather than trying a whole bunch that doesn’t appeal to them in the least.
If you’re ready to get started, use the button below to learn more about the Kitty Tube Gen 3. Your cats are gonna love it!
Click Here To Learn More About The Kitty Tube Gen 3!
If you know your population of cats and feel up to try your hand and making your own outdoor cat house, click the button below to see our list of good outdoor cat house plans.
Click Here To Learn More About DIY Outdoor Cat House Plans!
If you have any questions or advice/experience of your own to add, please feel free to share in the comments below. It takes a nation to help these precious animals and we can always learn from each other!
See you next time and thanks for reading,
This is a very good idea! I am always nervous when it first gets cold because cats are known to crawl into car engines or curl up with the tire trying to get warm.
This would remedy that giving the cats a safe place to go when it gets cold.
I am not very handy when it comes to building things, but maybe I could buy one and then I and the kids could decorate it.
Thank you for the great idea!