The Best Outdoor Cat House

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The K&H Pet Products Original Outdoor Heated Kitty House is my top pick for an outdoor cat house after experience with my own indoor-outdoor cat.

Best Overall
K&H Pet Products Original Outdoor Heated Kitty House
  • Super easy assembly
  • Plush interior and included heated cat bed
  • Water resistant
  • Dual exit doors to protect against predators
  • Removable roof for quick views

I love that more and more kind-hearted people are installing outdoor houses to provide safe spots for outdoor cats, whether it’s their own or feral strays.

Based on my past experience, I recommend the K&H heated house as the best outdoor cat house for most people. But what worked for my cat may not work for yours. Maybe you want to feed stray cats, start a feral colony, or live in a snowy area.

Cat’s house” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by petrOlly

That’s why in this post, I review top outdoor cat houses in different categories, plus everything you need to know. My goal is to help you find the right one for your needs and climate. I cover different types, features to look for, placement tips, and more!

These are the products we review in this article (not all shown):

The Kitty Tube With Pillow Outdoor Insulated Cat House

The Kitty Tube With Pillow Outdoor Insulated Cat House

  • Insulated, Rain Protection Type
  • Recycled Plastic Construction
  • 24″ Diameter x 24″H
The Kitty Tube Double Insulation Option Add-On

The Kitty Tube Double Insulation Option Add-On

  • Optional Added Insulation Type
  • Recycled Plastic Construction
K&H Pet Products Outdoor Multi-Kitty House

K&H Pet Products Outdoor Multi-Kitty House

  • Heated, Multiple Exits Type
  • Polyester Construction
  • 21.5"L x 26.5"W x 15.5"H
ecoFLEX Albany Outdoor Feral Cat House

ecoFLEX Albany Outdoor Feral Cat House

  • Elevated, Multiple Exits, Heated Type
  • ECOFLEX Construction
  • 21.8"L x 19.1"W x 20.2"H
Petsfit Large Outdoor Waterproof Cat House

Petsfit Large Outdoor Waterproof Cat House

  • Elevated, Multiple Exits Type
  • Finnish Spruce Construction
  • 29.5" L X 19"W X 29"H
Petmate Barnhome III

Petmate Barnhome III

  • Elevated, Diverts Rain Type
  • Plastic Construction
  • 18"L x 26.5"W x 16.5"H

Overall Best Outdoor Cat House

K&H Pet Products Original Outdoor Heated Kitty House
  • Super easy assembly
  • Plush interior and included heated cat bed
  • Dual exit doors to protect against predators
  • Water resistant, removable roof for easy cleaning

For those taking care of one spoiled independent indoor-outdoor cat or friendly stray, the K&H Pet Products Original Outdoor Cat House is my pick for overall best.

K&H is along time trusted brand and it shows in this product, one of the best outdoor heated cat houses.

I feel it’s user friendly and great for most places you’d set up a cat house: common spots like a porch, garage, barns, and other covered spots. This would even be great in a sunroom.

To start, this product is so easy to build. You need zero construction expertise to put this together. My analysis show that others agree and say the end result is quite sturdy and well put together.

The design is really focused on comfort. I really like the 20-watt MET Safety Listed plush heated cat bed for the interior. K&H actually say the heated bed is efficient enough to keep the outdoor heated cat house toasty in subzero temperature!

The fleece cover of the heated pad creates a dream scenario for a chilly, lazy day indoors.

On the essential safety front, I love that it has two exit areas to keep your cat from getting cornered by a predator.

Maintaining this little cat house for me is so easy because the roof comes right off. So anyone can easily survey, clean and replenish the interior with one swift move instead of digging around.

Rating Breakdown

  • Safety & Protection 9/10
  • Durability 9/10
  • Ease of Assembly 10/10
  • Price 9/10
  • Overall 9.25/10

What We Like:

  • Assembles in a snap with no tools required
  • Plush interior
  • Included heated cat bed
  • Dual exit doors to protect against predators
  • Removable roof for quick views

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not meant for the elements
  • Only for 1 cat

Best Outdoor Cat House for Winter

The Kitty Tube Outdoor Insulated Cat House
  • Lifetime guarantee on the shell, genuinely weatherproof.
  • Floors, walls and roof have real insulation.
  • Elevated floor and foam layer keeps moisture away from interior

Our best outdoor cat house for winters is this durable, keg-style cat house. I’ve found that The Kitty Tube offers genuine protection against the elements.

The makers of this kitty house were not joking around when it came to creating a waterproof, ultra-insulated cat house that stands up to hard winters.

The eco-friendly plastic shell is so tough that Kitty Tube offers a lifetime guarantee of no chips, cracks, or fades. As cool as that is, this next detail is what I really love:

The floors, walls and roof on this little palace of warmth are insulated using an insulating material with a high R value.

R value is a measure of insulation’s ability to keep heat from entering or leaving a space, and metric is used in actual homes and construction. Basically, that material keeps this cat home toasty in the winter and cool in the summer!

If you’re in New England, Midwest, or somewhere with extreme winters, look into Kitty Tube’s double insulation add-on (which double the R value), and the heated bed options for extra protection, making it solidly one of the best outdoor heated cat houses.

The Kitty Tube floor insulation is designed to never come into contact with the cold ground. And there’s a drainage system to keep moisture out of the house.

A stylish, ultra-warm cat bed included. In addition, the handles on the sides can actually be configured to create some ventilation in the summer months.

I’ll admit that this isn’t the prettiest cat house on the block. In fact, it doesn’t resemble a house at all. More like a tank! All utility and practically is attractive in its own way, in my opinion.

You’ll notice a tiny awning that’s great for funneling precipitation away from the entry point. The tight entry earns this cat home points for making it difficult for predators to pounce in. The entry door has a clear, removable flap.

This house can comfortably fit two cats.

Rating Breakdown

  • Safety & Protection 10/10
  • Durability 10/10
  • Ease of Assembly 10/10
  • Price 7/10
  • Overall 9.25/10

What We Like:

  • Truly winter proof
  • Cat is very protected
  • Real insulation
  • Included cat bed
  • Vents for the summer months
  • Made in USA

What We Don’t Like:

  • Strictly utilitarian looking. Good as a discreet option!
  • Only one entry point. While the entry offers some protection against predators, a cat only has one way out in bad situations
  • Price

Best Outdoor Cat House for Multiple Cats

K&H Pet Products Outdoor Multi-Kitty Cat Shelter
  • The bigger sibling of my #1 pick
  • Well made, comfortable, heated outdoor space for multiple cats
  • Great for porches, barns and garages

My top outdoor cat house for multiple cats is just my best overall pick’s bigger sibling. Same trusted brand, same easy set up, and same included heated bed (just larger!)

Like the smaller K&H Pet Products, this one is best for porches, barns and garages instead of the great outdoors. I feel this cat house exterior is sturdy for sure, and water resistant, but not truly water-proof like the Kitty Tube.

I know many kind hearted folks are putting cat houses nearby, areas that already pretty sheltered, so this easy-to-set up model works wonderfully and in a flash.

This insulated cat shelter has a 20-watt MET-listed plush heated cat bed for keeping things warm and cozy in subzero temperatures.

And my favorite safety feature: the K&H Pet Products Outdoor Multi-Kitty Cat House has two doors to prevent a scenario where a cat is trapped inside with a predator.

This design offers a partially heated floor. I like this little touch because it gives a cat a choice to either stay in the heated or unheated part based on what they like.

The fleece-lined shelter also has a removable roof that makes your life easier as far as stocking, cleaning and maintaining your kitty chalet.

My analysis showed purchasers routinely express that the K&H Multi-Kitty outdoor cat house for multiple cats is well made, and our friends love spending time in it, warm and protected.

Rating Breakdown:

  • Safety & Protection 9/10
  • Durability 9/10
  • Ease of Assembly 10/10
  • Price 10/10
  • Overall 9.25/10

What We Like:

  • Roomy interior for multiple cats
  • Two exits to prevent trapping
  • Included heated pad
  • Quick set up
  • Removable roof for easy maintenance

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not a true “outdoor” house, it’s designed to be in a covered, protected area

Best Outdoor Feral Cat House

ecoFLEX Albany Outdoor Feral Cat House
  • Perfect and secure for strays or your indoor outdoor cat
  • Durable & attractive ecoFLEX material
  • Weatherproof and easy to clean

For those of you looking for the best outdoor cat house for stray neighborhood cats, you are a blessing!

The ecoFLEX Albany Outdoor Feral Cat House was a very close purchase as I was searching for a good option to use in my own neighborhood that is both durable and attractive.

First, I think this outdoor feral cat house is really a great bargain when you compare the price to other options. This design is made from a material called ecoFLEX that won’t fade, crack, warp, splinter or rot. It’ll stand up nicely to everything from freezing cold to bug infestations.

While this is a very substantial-looking cat house, it doesn’t actually require any tools for assembly. As one of the best feral cat shelters, I love that you can simply hose it down for a good washing.

A highlight for me of this outdoor cat houses for feral cats is the two exit points. In addition to protecting cats from being trapped with predators, this feature is just great for avoiding cat skirmishes.

The clear flaps on the doors makes this weatherproof outdoor cat shelter inviting to cats while keeping out moisture and wind.

Did I mention that this house is really attractive? It has a really modern, sleek look that is stylish enough to place anywhere. In my opinion, one of the best outdoor cat shelters for multiple cats or just one cat.

Rating Breakdown:

  • Safety & Protection 10/10
  • Durability 10/10
  • Ease of Assembly 8/10
  • Price 8/10
  • Overall 9/10

What We Like:

  • Easy to clean
  • Weatherproof and durable
  • Two exits to avoid trapping
  • Attractive design and sturdy construction
  • Easy assembly with no tools

What We Don’t Like:

  • Size

Wonderful Waterproof Outdoor Cat House

The Kitty Tube With Pillow - Outdoor Insulated Cat House
  • Truly weatherproof, holds up to water, snow and ice
  • Real insulation in floors, walls and roof 
  • Drainage channels water out of shelter area
  • Elevated floor, lifetime guarantee

The same features that make the Kitty Tube my pick for the best outdoor cat house for winter also make it my top pick (sans all the optional add-ons) if you need a waterproof outdoor cat house.

The fact of the matter is that very few kitty houses out there are actually waterproof. Many are made from softer, more permeable materials for placement in relatively sheltered areas. They simply won’t hold up to water, snow and ice.

So why is this tube-shaped cat house is the best waterproof cat house on the market to me? Look at it!

The shape is just perfect for hunkering down and keeping the inside dry. There’s real insulation with a high R value used throughout this cat house’s walls, floors and ceiling.

Included awnings and flap door also block rain from getting in. This fortress also performs in harsh weather due to its drainage system that channels water out of the shelter area.

The Kitty Tube’s sturdy plastic shell won’t crack, chip, or fade (guaranteed). This weatherproof outdoor cat shelter also sits on heavy-duty floor insulation to keep the spots where cats rest off the ground and dry.

Rating Breakdown:

  • Safety & Protection 10/10
  • Durability 10/10
  • Ease of Assembly 10/10
  • Price 7/10
  • Overall 9.25/10

What We Like:

  • All-weather proof with insulation
  • Fights rain with included awnings and a door flap
  • Intended for full-time outdoor use
  • Plastic shell won’t crack, peel or fade
  • Comes with a cozy pillow
  • Offers ventilation for warmer months

What We Don’t Like:

  • Only one exit
  • Price

Best Large Outdoor Cat House

Petsfit Large Outdoor Waterproof Cat House
  • Comfortably accommodates a family of adult cats or 4/5 kittens
  • Nice looking, real "house" style space
  • High quality material and finishes

The Petsfit Large Outdoor Waterproof Cat House is the first true cat “house” on this list, and one you’ll enjoy if you’ve been searching for an extra large cat house. My analysis found users praised how well made and good quality this house is.

At 29.5 x 21.6 x 29 inches, this model is larger than every other one on my list, and can comfortably accommodate a full family of adult cats or 4 or 5 kittens. Or, it’s perfect for 1 spoiled fluffer!

There’s even a deck that you push up against the Petsfit Outdoor Cat House. This is a great porch area where you can leave any food that you don’t want in the house.

Besides its size, I feel the design is super thoughtful too. The panels on this large outdoor cat house are made from 100 percent Finnish spruce. The house’s walls are also constructed to form a tight seal that keeps the interior dry.

I love how those are real shingles you see on the roof. The entire house is also raised off the ground to clear it from water, and add ventilation. One bonus touch is that the floor is actually removable for quick cleaning.

The smart floor plan includes an extra escape door. What I like about this secondary exit is that it only has an “out” flap. That means that no animals can use the secondary exit as an opportunistic entry point.

Unlike most of my other picks, the Petsfit Large Outdoor Waterproof Cat House does require assembly. The manufacturer makes it easy, though, by providing some predrilled holes where all of the pieces meet up.

My findings indicated that cat parents say how quick and painless assembly was. And those from colder climates also mentioned how easy it was to add their own insulation to this large outdoor cat house with foam boards or heated beds via predrilled holes for cords in the floor.

Rating Breakdown:

  • Safety & Protection 9/10
  • Durability 10/10
  • Ease of Assembly 8/10
  • Price 8/10
  • Overall 8.75/10

What We Like:

  • Large interior space
  • Finnish Spruce wood construction
  • Bonus deck
  • Really attractive
  • Sits off the ground on feet to prevent water/flood damage
  • Awning over the entrance
  • Price is great for the quality and size

What We Don’t Like:

  • No insulation

Top Budget Outdoor Cat House

Petmate Barnhome III
  • Most budget friendly pick on my list
  • Covered space for two cats, with an awning over the entrance to block the elements
  • Well-made and low maintenance water resistant heavy duty plastic

Our best budget pick, the Petmate Barnhome III is made from water resistant heavy duty plastic offers a simple way to provide shelter without fuss.

While not a totally waterproof outdoor cat house, I feel this is great overall for feral cats or outdoor cats in a location without extreme winters.

With this barn style house, you get enough covered space for two cats, an awning over the entrance to block rain, and (with a little modification) my favorite safety feature – a secondary escape door.

This home snaps together in seconds using just two pieces. My analysis found that if you install the top backwards, you’ll end up with two smaller and perfectly cat sized openings the ends!

While not an architectural masterpiece, it’s endearing to me because of its practicality. The home’s durable plastic design makes it resistant to mold and moisture and is easy to clean – just hose it down.

Easy modifications can be done to make this more water-proof and insulating. I found that cats and their parents are generally happy and talk about how well-made and low maintenance this cat house is.

Rating Breakdown:

  • Safety & Protection 8/10
  • Durability 8/10
  • Ease of Assembly 10/10
  • Price 10/10
  • Overall 9/10

What We Like:

  • Value
  • No assembly required
  • Easy to clean, essentially no maintenance
  • Extended roof line over the door provides some rain protection.
  • Made in USA

What We Don’t Like:

  • No real insulation or weather proofing

What Is the Purpose of an Outdoor Cat House?

New Cat House” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Michael Frank Franz

An outdoor cat home can serve as an oasis for a cat that prefers outdoor living. In my experience, cat houses provide:

  • Shelter from rain and cold
  • Shelter from sun
  • Comfort
  • A napping spot
  • A place where you can check up on your cat
  • A predictable feeding spot for your cat

If your indoor outdoor cat just has to be outside, consider setting up an invisible cat fence outdoors. This way they learn where not to go from the barrier and have a reliable, safe area to call their own on your property.

A cat house for the outdoors doesn’t necessarily have to be for a cat you own. Many cat lovers, like myself in the past, make the decision to erect cat houses on their properties to offer shelter to feral and stray cats.

This is a very kind thing to do that provides comforts to vulnerable cats.

You may also be interested in buying an outdoor cat home because you notice that many of your neighbors seem to let their cats roam the neighborhood during cold, rainy and generally inclement days.

You may feel compelled to at least provide a place where these cats can get some love in the form of warm bedding, fresh water and food.

Outdoor Cat Shelter Buying Guide

While some may look like little playhouses, cat houses are serious structures that needs to be durable. Of course, a house gets bonus points if it also happens to look cute in your yard! Here’s what I learned you need to keep in mind as you go shopping.


How big does cat house need to be? An easy rule to follow for an outside cat house is that your cat should at least have enough room to turn around inside the house.

A large outdoor cat house will take longer to warm up. Keeping things cozy and tight could be wiser if you’re purchasing a cat house for a cold climate. Or maybe look into an extra large outdoor cat house if multiple cats are staying over!

Go the space with a tape measure before you commit to a cat house. You can even consider spraying some paint to represent the dimensions before you bring one home. This will help you to visualize just how intrusive a specific design can be.


Let’s talk cat-house architecture. Please choose solid over cute. I recommend high-quality weatherproof outdoor cat houses that can stand up to some rain, wind, or snow weight.

First, you’re going to be frustrated if you have to constantly fix or replace your cat house. You also want to avoid the risk of a cat house collapsing on a cat because it is poorly made.

Plastic and wood constructions are the best for true outdoor houses. Cat houses kept on your porch (nearby but still outside) can be made of polyester. This was the case for me, in Hawaii.

Insulation and Heating

Look for houses with solid insulation. I’ve even included one of the best outdoor cat houses for winter with insulation with a high R value in my review list down below.

If you choose a house with gaps that let wind in, be prepared to add your own foam boards. One of my top picks for a fully insulated outdoor cat house have an optional insulating add-in for more winterizing and extreme weather – I like where their head is at!


Look for a house that guards against moisture and wind. Some houses have neat features like sloped roofs that shake off snow, drainage channels to stop moisture from pooling and seamless designs for warmth.

I also recommend finding a house that’s slightly raised off the ground to prevent moisture, mold, minor flooding, and so on.

Number of Cats

Most cat houses are roomy enough for one to two cats. I included some extra-large cat houses in my review list just in case you’re running one of the only hostels and shelters in town.

You can also consider using several homes in a row to make a cat alley if you’re worried about cats being territorial. And honestly, even if you think you are taking care of 1 cat, there may be cat roommates that start showing up!


The biggest safety feature to look for in cat houses is a secondary door. It’s what I always look for and recommend with this product.

Being cornered by a predator with no way to escape can be a harrowing ordeal for a cat. While a second door does reduce the insulating properties of a cat home, this sacrifice is very worth it!

Where Is the Best Place to Put Cat Houses Outdoors?

It’s wet out there” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by hehaden

Let’s talk about all of the considerations to keep in mind when choosing placement.

Near the House

I personally recommend placing a cat house in a spot that allows you to see all of the activity happening at the house from a door or window in your home. The cat house I set up for my indoor outdoor cat was simply outside on my covered front porch.

You don’t necessarily have to place the cat house right next to your home like me. But placing the house too far in the corner of your yard could make it cumbersome to get out there when it’s cold, windy, raining or snowy to check on food or warmth.

It’s great if the cat house is close enough to you that any unwanted predator can be spooked away when you turn on a porch light.

In Sunlight

It’s also smart to try to put the structure in a sunny spot, however, be sure it’ll can stand up to the elements and act as a true outdoor waterproof cat house.

Cats are attracted to sunny places. There’s also the benefit that sunshine will warm up the cat house during the day. A house with good insulation will retain some of the natural heat after sundown.

Garage or Barn

Finally, some people actually get cat houses that they intend to place inside barns or garages.

The K&H, Petmate, or Petsfit models chosen above are good candidates for this, as they’re not protected against truly inclement weather (without modifications).

A barn or garage is great as long as there’s no risk of a cat accidentally getting trapped inside somewhere they shouldn’t be. A front porch or verandah is also a great spot for one one of the best outdoor heated cat houses above.

Can You Do a DIY Outside Cat House?

Of course! Some handy folks choose to make DIY cat houses out of materials they have lying around. Check out this huge list of plans and ideas, there’s one guaranteed to strike your fancy (and skill level)!

The instructions are easy to follow, inexpensive, and effective for building something I would actually trust for my neighborhood cats!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best outdoor shelter for feral cats?

First, any shelter is better than no shelter. The best cat house whatever you can to provide a warm, dry place for cats. A shelter made of plastic is ideal because it’s easy to clean, durable and weatherproof.

How do I keep my outside cat warm?

It’s important to bring cats inside during extreme cold. Kittens, older cats and sick cats should never be kept outdoors when the temperature is below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. 

All cats can be susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite once temperatures dip to 32 degrees Fahrenheit (freezing). However, an outdoor shelter can provide warmth and comfort during times when it’s safe for your cat to be outside.

The best cat houses can be made of wood, plastic and polyester and all provides some degree of warmth and weather protection.

Should an outdoor cat house have two doors?

Yes, having two doors ideal. The reason is that a cat can be cornered by a predator in a cat house with only one exit point.

Some cat houses have doors with flaps that will only move outward. This is a great safety feature for ensuring that cats can get out in an emergency without letting predators exploit the second exit point as a way to get inside.

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