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What Should My Outdoor Cat House Be Made Of?

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There is a reason you live in a house and not in a tent. Shouldn’t your cat have the same consideration? With chilly temperatures nearly upon us, many pet parents begin the search for their ideal outdoor cat shelter. There are many different styles to choose from ranging from cat houses designed purely for their functionality and others that can be constructed to perfectly complement the exterior of the house they will accompany. 

But the primary role of a cat house is to keep outdoor cats warm and dry when the weather turns damp and cold. While many cat shelters offer insulation and heating pads to block the chill and increase the coziness, the materials used for construction do play a vital role in keeping cats toasty and dry in the winter months. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect cat house for your fave furry feline, what should it be made of?

Most Popular Materials for Outdoor Cat Houses

Manufacturers choose many different materials for their cat house construction. Some shelters are made of fabric and are intended to provide refuge from the sun rather than protection against rain, sleet, or snow. Other cat houses are equipped with insulated walls to prevent heat from escaping thus increasing the comfort for any cats inhabiting the space.

When it comes to choosing an outdoor cat house, the weather conditions where you live should factor considerably into your decision. Some materials are more weatherproof then others, making them a better choice for pet owners who live in areas of the country that experience a lot of wet, cold weather.

Here are leading materials used in cat house construction today:

1. Wood

A variety of different woods are used to create high-quality outdoor cat houses to keep today’s kitties comfortable and warm when the snow begins to fly. Wooden cat houses are an excellent choice for outdoor cats that live in areas of the world that experience all four seasons or that receive a large amount of rain.

Wood is a strong material which ensures any cat house constructed from it can easily withstand whatever the weather throws its way. In addition to this structural integrity, wood is a material that resists moisture, rot, damage from use, abuse, and insects.

Cat houses constructed from wood are not prone to common cat shelter problems such as cracking or warping. Most manufacturers use a high quality, pet-friendly sealant to add an additional layer of water protection while still remaining non-toxic for cats. While the sealant does provide weatherproofing, it is also keeps the cat house looking pristine, ensuring it is not only functional but also attractive for many years to come.

Outdoor cat houses that are comprised of wood also provide greater retention of warmth, ensuring your cats have a place of refuge that retains heat for their comfort.

2. Plastic

Many outdoor cat shelters are built of plastic, a material that is known for its durability. Plastic cat houses are available in a broad range of designs and colors and can be quite beautiful as well as functional.

However, outdoor cat houses made of plastic have a lot of disadvantages when it comes to cat use. Plastic is prone to fading under the light of the sun, and inclement weather can cause the dwelling to crack over time. As a result, these homes need to be replaced more frequently than their wooden counterparts as they decline in both functionality and attractiveness.

But perhaps an even more compelling reason to avoid plastic cat shelters is the fact that these homes can emit what are known as volatile organic chemicals particularly during seasons of extremely hot weather. These VOCs are harmful for cats to breathe in on a regular basis.

3. Fabric

Fabric cat houses are often treated to a protective weatherproof coating to help provide some shelter from cold, wet weather. While this an effective solution short-term, the coating wears off after being subjected to the heat, cold, and wet weather conditions each year.

Most fabric houses provide very little warmth and are not rated to be weatherproof in spite of the sealants applied in an attempt to keep water out. Though available in many different colors and patterns, these fade underneath the strength of the sun’s UV rays.

One of the biggest disadvantages to fabric cat houses is the fact that they tear easily and do not repel moisture, making them an easy target for the accumulation of mold and mildew. Insects are also easily able to damage the surface of the fabric.

Looking for the ideal outdoor cat house for the feline in your life? We highly recommend purchasing a wooden one for the best protection against the cold, wet weather of winter. Contact UnderCover Pet Houses to learn more about the right outdoor shelter for your cat. 

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