Finding the Perfect House for Your Outdoor Cat

Pet Care


May 11, 2020

When most people think about cats, they often think about curious animals that almost exclusively remain house pets. However, many people do not keep their cats inside entirely. There are plenty of people out there who believe that cats, much like dogs, deserve to get some time outside where they can explore to their heart’s content.

Of course, with cats, it can be much more difficult as cats are rarely obedient animals who can obey commands. Most people who allow their cats to roam outside either allow their cats to roam completely free, only keeping a collar on the cat in case it strays too far, or they allow the cat to stay outside within a fenced yard. No matter how much time your cat spends outside, it might be a good idea for you to consider building a house where your cat can spend time, especially if it is sleeping outside.

There are many reasons why you should consider building an outdoor cat house for your feline friend. For one, it can provide a comfortable place to rest that isn’t on the muddy ground. Cats are fervent groomers, and they do not enjoy needing to dirtying themselves any more than they have to.

A good house for your cat can also shelter it from harsh temperatures and weather, which is important to consider if you live in an area that is more prone to these things. It is also important for cats as it provides the cat with some protection from other animals, ranging from birds of prey to the neighborhood dog bullies. An outdoor house for cats can provide a safe space for your cat to relax when it is not inside your home.

However, before you invest in something such as this, you should consider whether or not you should allow your cat outside in the first place.

Deciding Between an Outdoor Cat and an Indoor Cat

Among people who own cats, there is generally a wide divide between the people who keep their cats exclusively indoors and the people who allow their cats to roam free. There are a handful of people who exist in between, such as the people who take their cats on walks outside on a leash.

However, when you are looking into adopting a cat, it is important to consider whether or not the cat is going to be an outdoor or an indoor cat. Outdoor cats typically require more vaccinations, as they will be exposed to more danger outside of the safe home environment that an indoor cat gets. Outdoor cats have the whole world to explore, allowing them to hone their natural hunting talents and to sate their curiosity about what lies outside the walls of your home.

For cats that have no other animal companions, it can also provide a degree of socialization. For cats that haven’t been spayed or neutered yet, it can also provide the potential to find a mate. These are just a few of the benefits that come from letting your cat roam free, or even just hang out inside a fenced-in yard.

On the other hand, there are many dangers that come with letting your cat outside. Even if your yard is securely fenced in, cats are well-known to be crafty creatures, finding their way out of just about any situation, including this one. This is a possibility that you will have to weigh the cons of when you keep your cat outside, even part of the time.

There is also the threat of other animals, whether those are wild animals, unfriendly dogs or cats, or even aggressive birds of prey. There is the danger of your cat eating something it shouldn’t, such as plants sprayed with pesticides. If your cat is allowed to roam completely free, there is the danger of it wandering too far away, of it getting hit by an oncoming car, or even someone else taking the cat in as their own.

Determining whether or not your cat should be primarily indoors or outdoors is an important decision you will have to make when you are planning to adopt a cat, as there are heavy benefits and cons to each side.

What Is Important in an Outdoor Cat House?

What is important in a house for your cat is going to depend a lot on your circumstances and what your priorities are. For instance, in a place that frequently gets rainstorms and cold temperatures, it will be more important to consider an insulated shelter for your cat, rather than one that looks cute in appearance. You will need to think about what your location might entail for a cat who lives outdoors. What is the temperature? How windy does it get? Does it rain a lot? How cold does it get during the nights? These are all things you need to consider when looking for, or building, a home for your cat.

You will also need to think about things that your cat is going to need from the house. Is your cat going to be allowed to come inside your home at all, or will it be able to switch back and forth between being inside your home and living outdoors? This would make a massive difference on how inclusive the cat house would need to be.

If your cat is living entirely outdoors, you would need to provide food and water for the cat, as well as make sure that the water doesn’t freeze during the winter season. If your cat can come inside your home as it pleases, you can consider keeping the food inside to ensure that it returns at night, or at the least, has a good reason to come back home. You will also need to think about how big of a cat house you will need, whether or not it would allow room for strays and ferals, and if the home should have anything inside of it for playing.

Knowing Your Priorities

You know your own cat’s attitude, likes, and needs better than anyone else. Because of this, it will be up to you to determine the most important priorities in your cat’s new house. For instance, some cats feel more secure having at least two exits in their cat house, and some may not even enter a cat house knowing that there is only one entrance and exit. If you know that your cat is like this, then it will be a big priority to consider a cat house that has at least two entrances/exits.

If you live in an area that has large temperature changes between seasons, has heavy rain seasons, and has other forms of inclement weather, then you may need to consider prioritizing the durability of the cat’s house. After all, trying to replace and repair a cat house is a time-consuming process that nobody wants to go through. Similarly, if you live in a colder area that experiences harsh winters, insulation and even heating will be a priority for your cat.

These are all aspects that you need to consider, as well as the size of the house, how easy it will be to install or build, and how easy it will be to clean over time. Knowing what is most important for your cat and your environment will steer you in the right direction of which cat house will be most suitable for your cats.

Choosing the Best House for Your Cat

Finally, it will come down to choosing which house will be best for your cat. There are many, many options out there for you to choose from, not even considering the possibility of custom-designing your own cat house.

Some cat houses are designed to be cute and appealing, sometimes even mimicking real houses. Other cat houses focus on portability and do not leave much in terms of design or appearance. Some cat houses have one big “room” where all the cats exist, while others can have three stories to them. Some cat houses have designated areas for food and water, while others have improved insulation compared to others. You will surely be able to find an outdoor cat house that suits both your own and your cat’s needs.