Cats are well-fitted to spending their time outdoors, however, they still need shelter and protection from bad weather elements.
If you have an outdoor-loving cat or you want to give shelter to a stray cat, you should consider an outdoor cat house that will give a safe and protected place for a cat to shelter in.
With an overwhelming number of products on the market, it’s difficult to choose the best outdoor cat house for your cat.
To save you time, we have reviewed dozens of different shelters to provide you with a ready selection of the best outdoor cat houses.
The Top 5 Best Outdoor Cat Houses & Shelters in 2021
Before we start reviewing the best outdoor cat houses, have a look at the table below. It shows the most important features you should look for when choosing the best outdoor cat house for your feline:
Best Outdoor Cat House – Comparison Table
Although we’re reviewing only the best products on the market, you can quickly see from the table above, that none of them is perfect.
But, as there are always two sides to every coin, it’s important that you know and understand what you should be looking for to make an informed and educated buying decision when choosing the best outdoor cat shelter.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into the full reviews of the various outdoor cat houses to see which product will fit best your and your cat’s requirements.
Best Outdoor Cat House – Reviews
1. Best Outdoor Cat House Overall – K&H Outdoor Kitty House (Heated & Unheated)
With almost 4,000 reviews, the K&H Outdoor Kitty House is the most popular outdoor cat house on the market. It comes in a heated and unheated version. You can choose one of the three following colors: olive, barn red and grey.
The house has two exits (a front door and a back door), which is very important for a cat to be able to escape. We often don’t realize it, but there are various animal predators who pose a risk to outdoor cats. To name a few: other cats, dogs, coyotes, raccoons, snakes, squirrels. Without a second exit, the house might become a death trap for your feline.
The manufacturer states quite prominently that the house is water-resistant, thanks to its material – 600 denier nylon with a vinyl backing. However, (which is not stated that prominently on the website), the product is intended for use in a covered area only (like barns, garages, porches). Many customers reported that whenever they exposed the product to rain or snow in the open space, the house became soaked with water.
A good thing about this cat house is that it has insulated walls and a roof. It prevents cold and wind quite well. Also worth stating is, that the assembly doesn’t require any tools.
The majority of people said that putting this house together was very easy. Another thing that you should mind, is that the house is quite lightweight. The strong wind might blow this house away quite easily. Customers who bought this product reported that the house has a capacity for two medium cats.
In conclusion, this outdoor cat house is well made, cozy and thanks to the two exits, it’s also safe for your cat. Proper insulation will guard your cat against cold. You only have to remember to put it in a covered space as it’s not really waterproof.
2. Best Outdoor Cat Shelter – Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Cat Shelter
The Petsfit Weatherproof Outdoor Cat Shelter is made of natural cedar wood with an asphalt roof, which is meant to be waterproof. It comes in two colors: grey and wine red. The house is painted with water-based paint, which is harmless and will not affect the cat’s health. There is no warranty on this house, nevertheless, you can return it within 30 days, from a buying date.
The dimensions of this wooden cat shelter are unfortunately misleading, as the manufacturer states in one place that the outer dimensions are 27.5″L x 17.5″W x 20″H, and in the other place he states the exact same dimensions as the inner ones. Therefore please, ask the manufacturer for the correct dimensions before buying. Nevertheless, the customers who bought this product said that the house can comfortably fit in 2 adult cats.
The house has two exits, so a cat can easily escape in case of being attacked by predators. The back escape door comes with a plastic flap.
A great feature of that outdoor cat house is that its floor is raised off of the ground, therefore the house doesn’t stand flat on the ground, preventing it from getting damp and too cold.
Many customers reported that the house is very well made and of very good quality, made of good materials, very sturdy and a lot of them praised the look of the house as ‘cute’. Indeed, the shelter comes with a flower box, so you can decorate it with some flowers if you want to make it even more adorable (I’m sure your cat will love that too:) ).
Although the construction of the product is quite complex, all the customers said that it was super easy to assemble. The instructions are very clear and there was no problem with any of the parts of the house. It took them on average from 1 to 1.5 hours to assemble.
The three things that the customers complained the most about is that this wooden cat house is not insulated, it’s not really waterproof and that it’s not varnished.
Although the manufacturer says that the house is waterproof, customers said that the product tends to get vet during raining. It’s best then to keep it in a covered or at least a partially covered place.
Because the wood is very porous, the house should also be varnished, otherwise it may not survive in a good state for long.
3. Best Insulated Outdoor Cat House – CozyCatFurniture Waterproof Insulated Cedar Outdoor Cat House
The CozyCatFurniture Waterproof Insulated Cedar Outdoor Cat House is the only outdoor cat house that we have come across to be truly waterproof!
This wooden cat shelter is made out of cedarwood, which is, as the manufacturer says: “the wood of choice for long-lasting outdoor use”, this product is extremely durable and resembles a minified human house.
The wooden cat house is insulated with Thermal-Ply insulation, which not only keeps the warmth in winter, but also provides a cool place during the hot summer days. Therefore it’s a perfect outdoor cat house for winter as well as for the summer.
All customers who bought this product, prised it to be truly waterproof, isolated, sturdy, durable, and very well made.
Although this wooden outdoor cat house needs to be assembled, all people who reviewed the product said that the assembly was very easy and straightforward. It took them around half an hour on average to assemble this outdoor cat shelter.
You can also customize this cat house. For example, you can ask for a second back door (so that your cat can escape if the predators attack), or you can ask for the elevation to be taller.
From the downsides, customers reported that the house is rather small, it will only fit one average cat. Some people were also disappointed that the lounging deck, where the cats tend to rest, is too small for them to lie down comfortably.
The manufacturer provides the following dimensions of the product: House Exterior: 18” x 17” x 18” (D x W x H). House Floor Inside: 14” x 13” (L x W). Door opening: 6” x 8” (W x H). Door opening: 6” x 8” (W x H). Deck Platform: 29″ x 17″ x 16” (D x W x H). Deck Area: 9” x 17” (D x W).
So far so good. The only downside of this cat house is its price – it’s expensive and not many can afford it. However, if you are looking for a really good quality cat house, which is truly waterproof and you can place it in a completely uncovered area, you will not regret this purchase. The durability of this product is superb, with some customers saying it lasted for years.
This wooden cat shelter is a truly great investment. If you can afford this product, you and your cat will be undoubtedly satisfied and it will last you for a long long time.
4. Best Large Outdoor Cat House – The Kitty Tube Gen 3 Outdoor Insulated Cat House
This quite distinctive in look outdoor cat house comes in three versions – with a straw, pillow or a heater (we’re reviewing only the shell there).
The best thing we find about this house is that thanks to a removable top lid, it’s very easy to inspect and clean inside. The house is also very spacious – it can contain three medium or two large cats.
The house has only one small exit, and we know that with one exit only, a cat can be trapped inside by a predator with no way to run away. However, the manufacturer insists quite prominently, that “the unique one door design provides easy passage for your cat but will not allow predators like dogs or coyotes to get to your cat” and says that it’s even a perfect place for a cat to give birth.
The product seems to have a well-insulated floor, walls and roof in order to keep the warmth and prevent wind. The manufacturer says that the house shell is environmentally friendly – made from post-consumer recycled content and is “guaranteed for life to never chip, crack, or fade”.
Regarding the water resistance, the manufacturer claims that it will keep the water out, however some customers reported that the water would get in even with the awnings on and the handle-holes closed.
5. Best Outdoor Cat House for Easy Assemble – K&H Pet Products Outdoor Multi-Kitty A-Frame (Heated & Unheated)
The house has two exits, which is very important because a cat can escape when some other animal attacks her (it could be a dog, a raccoon, a coyote, a snake, etc). Without a second exit, the house might become a death trap for your feline.
Customers who bought this product said that the house is super easy to assemble and doesn’t require any tools (perfect, as you don’t need to spend any additional money).
It was also reported that the product is quite sturdy, so it shouldn’t be easy to be blown away by the wind.
Customers also reported that the house can contain inside up to two adult (big) cats, more than that would be a struggle.
From the negative aspects of this outdoor cat hose, the manufacturer affirms that the house is waterproof: “Waterproof, weather-resistant design for use anywhere outdoors”, however, many customers reported that the house is only water-resistant and would become soaked with water if placed in an uncovered area. A couple of customers said “if it actually rains, the bottom and outside will get wet and the water will drain into the inside”; “it does soak up the rain, especially underneath where it doesn’t dry”. If you don’t have a covered space, like a covered porch or a shed, you would need to cover this cat house with waterproof plastic covers, like a tarp, or you could try spraying it with a waterproof spray.
6. Best Looking Outdoor Cat House – Petsfit Triangle Wooden Cat House
The Petsfit Triangle Wooden Cat House comes in three colors: light grey, no paint (natural) and wine red.
The house is made of cedar wood, which the manufacturer claims to be anti-rotting and to last up to three years. The roof is covered with asphalt in order to make it water-resistant.
It has two escapes which make it possible for a cat to escape in case he’s attacked by predators.
Customers reported that the assembly of the house is quite easy and that the construction itself is quite sturdy.
On the flip side, the house is not insulated and you would need to unscrew the top from the bottom to get it cleaned inside.
The capacity of a house is for one medium cat. A large cat may have difficulty staying inside for longer periods.
The substantial downside to this house is that it sits completely flat on the ground. To prevent it sitting in the water and getting rotten you will need to put something underneath it, in order to lift it up from the ground.
7. Best Outdoor Cat House for Easy Cleaning – ecoFLEX Albany Outdoor Feral Cat House
The ecoFLEX Albany Outdoor Feral Cat House is made out of a non-toxic recycled plastic-wood polymer composite material that, as the manufacturer says, “will never fade, warp, splinter, crack, rot, or succumb to bugs. It’s “all-proof”: weather-proof, bug-proof, and rot-proof.”. This outdoor cat house has indeed a 10 years warranty. By many people who bought the product, the house was reported as indeed sturdy and of good quality.
This house comes with two exits, which leaves a safety net for a cat in case it’s attacked by predators.
Another bonus point to this house is that the floor is elevated off the ground, so that it doesn’t become damp from water when it rains.
The house has also been reported to be very easy to assemble, with no tools required, which is great, as there is no hidden extra cost to cover. A few customers stated that it took them barely 10-15 minutes to put together. It was also reported that the product is easy to disassemble for cleaning.
Although the house is durable and protects well from the elements, it should rather be kept in a covered, or at least a partially covered place.
The house was reported to be rather small, perfect for one medium cat. A larger cat would rather struggle to feel comfortable inside, let alone a few cats. The advertised product dimensions are: 21.8 x 19.1 x 20.2 inches.
8. Best Outdoor Cat Shelter for Medium Cats – Petsfit 2-Story Outdoor Weatherproof Cat House
The Petsfit 2-Story Outdoor Weatherproof Cat House comes in two versions – with stairs or a scratching pad.
It consists of two areas for a cat to reside – a covered space in the bottom and an uncovered patio with the roof.
The house is made from cedar wood, which the manufacturer claims to be anti-rotting and to last up to three years. The roof is covered with asphalt in order to make it water-resistant.
The house has two exits so it makes it safe for a cat to escape in case of predators.
The capacity of the house is not that great, being able to contain only one medium cat, as customers report.
In terms of water resistance, the rain can still get in when it rains heavily. Unfortunately, the house is not insulated.
Some customers reported that the house is hard to assemble. On the other hand, being made of wood, it gives you flexibility to paint it to match, for example, the color of your house.
9. Best Outdoor Cat House for Multiple Cats – Petmate Kitty Kat Condo
The Petmate Kitty Kat Condo is an igloo type of a cat house. It’s made of non-porous plastic which seems to be great for cleaning and also discourages fleas and other pests from nesting, at least from the outside.
When it comes to the inside of that house, it has a carpeted floor that insulates the house and provides extra warmth and coziness and even encourages scratching. It seems like a great feature, but the downside to it is that it is permanently fixed to the floor, which will make it impossible for you to clean it or take it out if it gets wet.
The house has only one, quite large exit and some customers reported that raccoons could get into the house. If you know that your area is roamed by potential predators, we would suggest giving this house a second thought, since your cat might get cornered inside with no escape.
In terms of water resistance, the manufacturer says that a rain-diverting hood directs runoff away from the entry. Nonetheless, customers are reporting that water from the heavy rain is still getting in despite the special hood design. We think that common sense needs to be kept here. The material of the house itself is waterproof so that you can put the house in the open space, but of course, in the instances of heavy rain some water may get in.
When it comes to the spaciousness, customers state that the house is very roomy and will fit even large and multiple cat. Cat has some space to breathe and doesn’t feel trapped or confined in a too small space.
10. Best Outdoor Cat House on a Budget – K&H Thermo-Kitty Wooden Home (Heated & Unheated)
The K&H Thermo-Kitty Wooden Home is made of birchwood and has two exits for an easy escape in case a cat is attacked by a predator. This outdoor cat house comes in the heated and unheated version. The unheated version comes with a plush pad.
The house can contain one medium cat. Customers reported that the house would not stand up to the bad weather conditions like rain or snow. The house is also not insulated. The house sits flat on the ground, if you put it in an open space, it can easily get wet and rotten.
To clean it inside you would need to remove the screws which makes it quite difficult for an easy clean.
Customers reported the assembly of this house to be quite easy.
COVID-19 Update / Coronavirus Impact on Cat’s Health
According to scientific studies, there is currently no evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be passed from cats to people (source). Therefore, there is no need to abandon your cat or give her away to a shelter even if your cat is diagnosed with the virus.
Cats do seem to be susceptible to COVID-19, albeit not to a high degree. So far, there haven’t been enough cases of cats infected with COVID-19 to be possible to say how severe this infection for cats can be. The cats infected so far experienced some respiratory problems, but all fully recovered.
If a cat owner happens to be infected with coronavirus, it’s advised that they quarantine from both humans and animals. The cat should be under the care of another individual in the household. If a cat owner lives alone, they should limit contact with a cat to a bare minimum. They should also wash their hands frequently and carefully.
Best Outdoor Cat House – Buyer’s Guide
Important considerations about outdoor cat houses before you buy one:
1. Is the outdoor cat house predator-proof?
With only one door, an outdoor cat house can act as a trap in case a predator attacks a cat inside. If you live in an area that you think may be dangerous for your kitty, you should consider a house with a minimum of 2 exits (a front door and a back door).
Some of the animal predators who pose risk to the outdoor cats are: other cats, dogs, coyotes, raccoons, snakes, squirrels, rats.
If you consider a cat’s safety a priority, you can choose one of the following cat houses with 2 exits:
2. Do you want to place an outdoor cat house in an uncovered or partially covered area?
Most of the outdoor cat houses on the market, unfortunately, don’t pass a waterproofness test. If a product is made with fabric, most probably, it’s not waterproof and it will become soaked with water in case of heavy rain.
The only outdoor cat house that we’ve found truly waterproof and properly insulated is the CozyCatFurniture Waterproof Insulated Cedar Outdoor Cat House for Winter and Summer.
If you decide on any other cat house, you will have to place it in at least a partially covered area, like under the porch, in the garage or a barn.
3. Is the outdoor cat house elevated off the ground?
Another important indicator to look out for is the elevation of the house. It’s better if the product is elevated (even a little bit) off the ground. The elevation will act as an insulation and prevent the shelter from becoming damp and cold.
You can choose between the following elevated outdoor cat houses:
4. Is the outdoor cat house easy to assemble?
Another important factor to look out for is how easy it is to put the house together.
The following houses came out to be the easiest to assemble:
5. Is the outdoor cat house easy to clean?
When you get an outdoor cat house, you will probably have to clean it from time to time. Therefore it’s important to know if the product you want to buy is easy to clean or not. No one likes to clean difficult spaces.
The following outdoor cat houses came out to be easy to clean:
6. What’s the capacity of the outdoor cat house?
If you are looking for an outdoor cat house for multiple cats then you need to make sure the product will fit all your cats. Sometimes the product pictures give an impression of the house to be more spacious than it’s in reality.
The outdoor cat houses for multiple cats include the following:
7. Would you like a heated or unheated version of an outdoor cat house?
Some of the shelters come in two versions – heated and unheated. The heated version is the one where the product comes with an additional electrical heating pad. It’s a great way to provide your kitty with some extra heat.
If you choose a heated outdoor cat house you need to make sure to place it in a covered and safe place. The electrical device cannot come into contact with water!
The outdoor cat houses in a heated version include:
Best Outdoor Cat House – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best outdoor cat house?
There are various outdoor cat houses and shelters on the market, but the best ones are typically those that have good insulation. A good outside cat house should keep a cat warm, draft- and rain-free.
How do you keep an outdoor cat house warm?
If you want to make sure the outdoor cat house is warm, make sure it’s properly insulated. Strong insulation will trap the cat’s body heat, almost use it as a radiator. The best insulation material is straw.
Another aspect to look at when making sure the outdoor cat house is warm is how much air space is there inside the house. The smaller the interior area is, the less heat is needed to keep the inside of the house warm.
Last but not least, to make sure the outdoor cat house stays warm, don’t place the shelter directly on the ground. Place the house either on the straw or build some other type of elevation so that the floor does not get cold and damp from the ground.
How can I keep outdoor cats warm in winter?
Stray and feral cats can survive in cold winter weather, however, you can help them to make their life more comfortable by providing them with an insulated and safe place to hide. Although cats can survive in cold weather, they often seek warm places to hide in the winter and many times end up hiding under the hood of the car or inside the engine. The easiest solution is to buy or build an outdoor cat house or shelter.
Will a cat freeze to death outside?
Cat’s normal body temperature is approximately 100°F (38°C). Cat will die if her body temperature falls below 60°F (16°C). Shorthair cats, older cats and unhealthy cats are more susceptible to the cold weather than longhair and healthy cats.
What diseases can my cat catch outside?
If your cat comes in contact with feral or stray cats that are infected with diseases, those diseases may be passed on to your cat. Examples of serious or potentially fatal diseases that are commonly passed on from feral or stray cats to indoor cats are feline leukemia (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), feline distemper (panleukopenia), and upper respiratory infections (or URI).
When wondering outside, your cat can also pick up several common parasites such as fleas, ticks, ear mites, intestinal worms, ringworm (a fungal infection). Those are usually not life-threatening, but if left untreated can cause serious health issues (for example fleas may cause anemia or even death in kittens).
Where should I put my outdoor cat house?
You should put an outdoor cat house in a calm area, away from the noise and anything that could disturb a cat, such as other animals or cars.
If the house is not waterproof, place the house in a covered area, for example, in a garage, a barn, a porch.