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What to Look for in a New Outdoor Cat House

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When the winter winds start blowing, many families hit the stores in search of the ideal outdoor cat house to keep their favourite furry felines warm against the chill. There are many different options available on the market today, making it difficult to select the right choice. The best cat houses are most often not the cheapest ones. To help aid in the decision-making process, it is always a good idea to have in mind the features that are common to all high-quality cat houses. The ideal outdoor cat house should easily keep the outdoor elements from affecting the inside of the shelter, provide protection against predators and inclement weather, and be easy to clean and maintain.

What are the Key Elements an Outdoor Cat House Should Have?

There are several important components a good outdoor cat house should have. Here is our list of the top features to keep in mind when shopping for a new outdoor dwelling place for your cat:

1. The size of the cat house

The measurements of a cat house are extremely important to ensure the cat can fit inside of the space comfortably. Some cat houses are built to house multiple cats, so you will need to make sure that there is ample room if you hope to provide a safe shelter for several of your outdoor pets to enjoy.

It is important to note that larger cat houses are harder to keep warm; therefore, you should take care to choose an outdoor cat shelter that offers your cat sufficient room to move around but not so much space that cold air can get inside and prevent the accumulation of warmth.

2. What the cat house is made of

The ideal outdoor cat house will largely depend on its final resting place in your yard. If you intend to put the cat shelter directly on grass in an open space, you will want to search for a dwelling that is made of sturdy wood construction and which contains a roof that is made of plastic or asphalt to repel both water and to withstand heavy winds.

Some cat houses are constructed of fabric. These are best suited to indoor areas or sections of the yard that are covered and do not sit directly on the grass such as a deck or patio.

3. The number of doors installed

Since predators look for opportunities to trap cats in outdoor cat shelters, the best cat houses have two doors to allow for multiple avenues to enter and exit the shelter. Many cats prefer a house that has a built-in way of escape for them should they be followed into their safe space by a creature out on the hunt.

There are a few cat houses on the market today which have been specifically designed with only one entrance, but that are also equipped with the ability to keep dangerous animals outside.

4. The weatherproofing features

Keeping moisture and water out of a cat house is an important component to maintaining a shelter that is warm and dry. When shopping for the ideal outdoor cat house, you will want to pay attention to any external features designed to move water from rain or snow away from the entrance of the cat shelter.

The materials the house is constructed with are also to be considered as cat shelters made from fabric are most often not waterproof, and thus, are not suited to being placed in open areas that have no shelter from the elements.

5. The insulation

Some cat houses contain insulated walls to ensure heat is trapped inside the dwelling to keep your cat toasty and warm when the temperatures start to drop. However, if you are considering an outdoor cat house that is not insulated, it is possible that you could add a heating pad to the unit to provide an added layer of heat and comfort.

6. The ease of assembly

If you’re not a DIY type person, you will want to factor into your cat house purchase how much assembly is required. Some cat shelters can be put together using a few zippers and pieces of Velcro while others required tools to reach their final construction.

7. The cleaning requirements

All cat houses will require regular cleaning to keep them tidy and free from debris, mold, and odours. When considering a cat house, you will want to find out if the shelter comes apart for easy cleaning and whether or not any included accessories such as pillows, blankets, heating pad covers, and more can be removed for cleaning in the washing machine.

Ready to purchase an outdoor cat house for the feline in your life? Consider our list of must have features before heading out to the store. 

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