The Best Cat Houses in 2020
- 1 Our Top Pick
- 2 The 5 Top-Rated Cat Houses
- 3 What You Need in a Cat House
- 4 The Top 5 Cat Houses – Individual Reviews
- 5 Best Overall Cat House
- 6 Convincing Ferals, Strays, and Barn Cats to Take Shelter
- 7 Cat House FAQ
- 8 Keep Your Cat Housed
Cat houses are great for our feline friends, providing them with an excellent place to shelter from the business of the day. Of course, not all of them are created equally, and in the end, it has to work for both you and your cat to be among the best. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to do an in-depth review of these helpful caves, to bring you the best cat houses around.
We’ll start with our favorite, but there’s a ton of them out there, so let’s dive in, and we’ll show you how to get a great cat house for any purpose.
Our Top Pick
Of all of the cat houses we took a look at, this one is the most versatile. We feel that it’s the right fit for a vast majority of people looking for an outdoor cat house, and while it’s a bit expensive, the ease of cleaning, warming options, and easy assembly make it a standout option.
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Houses
|Best Overall Cat House||K&H Pet Products Outdoor Kitty House||4.9|
|Best Outdoor Cat House for Winter||PETYELLA Outdoor Cat House||4.7|
|Best Outdoor Shelter for Multiple Cats||Petsfit Outdoor Cat House with Escape Door and Stairs||4.6|
|Best Indoor Cat House||Internet’s Best Decorative Cat House & Side Table||4.4|
|Budget Cat House||AmazonBasics Collapsible Cat House with Bed||4.1|
What You Need in a Cat House
Cat houses are used for a wide variety of different purposes, and choosing one is a very personal matter rather than something where we can just point to one and say, “that’s the best.
Quality of construction should be foremost on your mind, but the final use is what will determine exactly which cat house you’ll be adding to your home or yard.
Indoor or Outdoor?
Indoor cat houses generally require a smaller footprint, but they can also be quite decorative. Indoor houses are generally made of softer materials. In our opinion, the best are made with plastic supports with fabric and cushioning spread over the outside.
This combination forms a durable framework underneath a comfortable exterior. Look for extra padding anywhere your cat may sit, they’ll appreciate it. If you’re stuck on a house that you don’t think has sufficient padding, then you can use a fleece throw blanket to provide a lot of cushion and warmth for your cat to burrow into.
Outdoor houses vary more in their construction. Some are primarily just shelters from the weather with the bare minimum of cover. Others are heated and allow for the inclusion of pads to make a truly comfortable outdoor enclosure for cats that want to get out of the rain.
Depending on your local climate, you may want to find a heated cat house.
The majority of these work similarly to heated blankets. It’s just a low voltage heating element attached to a cord. Self-heating cat houses can also be found, but these are better for a mildly cold night than for a truly frigid climate and work by reflecting the cat’s heat back at them with something like the Mylar found in space blankets.
For outdoor cat houses, insulation is important, regardless of whether or not there are any electrical elements involved. Perhaps especially since most of the elements have a rheostat that shuts down at a certain temperature and keeps the house at a stable temperature.
Indoor houses can also be heated, which allows you to set the thermostat down while you’re gone while making sure that your cat is nice and comfortable.
Size and Accommodations
Indoor houses may be restricted in size, so make sure that you measure out the footprint of wherever you’re planning on putting it. Just make sure that you have space and you’ll be fine.
The best part is that some cat houses for multiple cats still have a small footprint since the beds are stacked on top of each other. Even a simple indoor cat cube can accommodate two cats when they’re designed properly.
Outdoor houses can be harder to find in multi-cat arrangements, but it’s not impossible.
In either case, just match off to the number of cats you have for the best results. That may mean purchasing multiple houses in homes that are extremely feline-friendly, but it keeps competition for bed space to a minimum.
Safety Features for Outdoor Shelters
There are some safety considerations you’ll want to note when you’re looking at outdoor cat houses.
The most important? Multiple doors. These allow your cat to exit the cat house from a different direction if you’re in an area where predators are a concern. Even in the suburbs, a loose dog can pose a serious threat to your pet, so you’ll want to make sure that there’s at least one extra exit.
Outdoor shelters also need to be sturdy enough to withstand attacks in the event that your animal is chased.
Ease of Cleaning
A clean cat house is a happy cat house. Those indoor houses with removable liners are great for ensuring that they can be cleaned easily.
Outdoor houses can be a little bit more complicated, but most of them are made of a hard material and can be sprayed out with a hose and then dried.
It’s not a common problem for them to be hard to clean, just look for non-removable covers or overly ridged hard spots, and you’ll be fine.
The Top 5 Cat Houses – Individual Reviews
Best Overall Cat House
K&H Pet Products Outdoor Kitty House
Most people are looking for a sturdy outdoor cat house, whether it’s to house a local stray or just to make sure that their indoor/outdoor cat has somewhere to go when they’re outdoors. This was our favorite of the houses, combining some options and pretty much all of the good stuff we think is essential for the perfect cat house.
The outer portion of the cat house is made of a water-resistant material as well. It will perform fine during light showers and mist, but you’ll want it under an overhang in any area where there’s a serious threat of rain.
Depending on your climate, this cat house comes in both heated and unheated variants. The interior is quite warm and cozy, and there are two exits to prevent your cat from getting cornered by any errant predators that might be roaming the area.
Are there some flaws? Sure, it’s not windproof by any means, so you need shelter for it in bad weather, and the heated mat gets dirty pretty easily.
Best Outdoor Cat House for Winter
PETYELLA Outdoor Cat House
When it comes wintertime, even the fluffiest outdoor cat is in a bit of trouble. In colder climates, the risk is more than just comfort… cats can die of exposure. For that reason, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have an optimal house for winter. While our favorite will do, this one serves better when the cold season comes rolling in.
It’s also cheap and remarkably easy to assemble, making it a favorite for those supporting their local feral population since you can put a couple of them together. The construction quality isn’t quite up to par with our favorite, but it’s not exactly a slouch, either.
This one also comes with a timer, which is great in those places where you might not need the heating pad throughout the day. All-in-all this is a great looking, cozy way for your cat to escape the winter chill.
The doors are a bit awkward, unfortunately, which makes them a bit less secure than we’d like. It’s also a bit harder to assemble than many others. The assembly issue is mostly the roof, and we think most people will figure it out quickly enough, however.
Best Outdoor Shelter for Multiple Cats
Petsfit Outdoor Cat House with Escape Door and Stairs
While it’s not suitable for all climates, this beautiful cat house is suitable for multiple cats as well as looking great in the landscaping of your yard. It’s also quite secure, making it great for areas where your cats may end up in a tight spot.
This one may be best for warmer climates. The top is shaded well, and the actual indoor area is nice and spacious, but most cats aren’t exactly going to snuggle up to others, so it may end up only housing two cats.
It’s a well-engineered piece of work overall and looks great no matter where you put it. That alone makes it worth the higher cost of entry.
Unfortunately, the other drawback is that there seem to be some quality control issues. While ours was great, even that one was a bit flimsier than it looks. For cats, it will be fine, however, but you may need to teach your kids to steer clear of it.
Best Indoor Cat House
Internet’s Best Decorative Cat House & Side Table
Indoor cat houses don’t have to be ugly, although many are. This one doubles as a functional nightstand and looks great. The best part, to us, is that it can fit in with the decor of most rooms without sticking out like a sore thumb.
It doesn’t come with any padding, unfortunately, so keep in mind that you’ll also need to purchase a separate pet bed in order to make the most of it. That said, it’s easy to access and clean, which is a bonus.
It comes in a couple of different colors to suit your home as well. Once assembled, it’s a sturdy piece of furniture and something which will look great in your bed or living room without needing any sort of camouflage.
Unfortunately, it’s harder to assemble than the majority of cat houses as well. Combined with the lack of anything really functional other than a cat door, you can either look at it as bare or ready for customization. Your choice and we went with the latter.
Budget Cat House
AmazonBasics Collapsible Cat House with Bed
If all you need is a basic cat house for the living room, then you’ll be well served with this basic indoor cat house. It’s soft, plushy, and has a small footprint while still allowing two cats to sleep on it. It’s even collapsible in case you want to take it down when you have company.
The exterior is made of a micro-suede material that is smooth to the touch and even attractive to the eye despite the low cost. The micro-fiber material can also be swept easily with a cloth making this an excellent option for neat freaks.
The quality is frankly impressive for the low price as well. It even has a bit of a storage area for toys. You’re getting the best bang for your buck if an indoor cat house is your bag.
The only real downside is that it’s obviously a cat house. The cushioning in the bottom is also a bit sparse, so you may want to invest in another cat bed to keep older cats comfortable throughout the day.
Convincing Ferals, Strays, and Barn Cats to Take Shelter
While our beloved pets will usually take to their new cat house readily, many of us invest in these to protect cats that aren’t exactly pets. It’s a noble goal, but convincing a stray, feral, or even a barn cat to use a cat house is a little bit more difficult than it appears at first glance.
If you’re having trouble convincing them, then you should try the following:
- Make sure that the shelter or cat house is placed appropriately. In addition to protection from the elements, the cat needs to feel secure, so place it away from prying eyes and wind.
- Try to keep the entrances protected if possible, there’s a lot to be said for an escape hatch, but ideally, the cat shouldn’t need it. For that reason, you may want to add some camouflage of sorts.
- Don’t place food inside; it can attract cats, but it will definitely attract fauna like raccoons that will find a free meal irresistible.
- Elevate the cat house if possible. This makes it both more attractive to cats, warmer, and also less likely to be invaded by unwanted animals.
- Catnip, without food, can work to attract cats who are particularly stubborn about using the house. Just be careful to use it sparingly.
Once the cold season hits, most cats will get the hint. As long as they’re convinced it’s not a trap, they’ll quickly take to pretty much any shelter, but a warmed, cozy cat house is an ideal way for them to live through the season comfortably.
Cat House FAQ
Do you still have some questions? We’ve hopefully got the answers. If your question isn’t answered below, then drop us a line in the comments, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Does my outdoor cat need a cat house?
While your cat may not necessarily require a cat house, it doesn’t hurt. They’re also extremely handy for those animals which don’t have 24/7 access to the interior of the home. Barn cats and the like will greatly benefit from having a secure shelter to hide from predators and otherwise keep safe and warm.
Can I build my own shelter for feral cats?
Yes, many people who want to help out stray animals build their own shelters. If you’re willing to put in the time and have some carpentry skills, then you’ll find that they’re easy to put together. Heating pads are also readily available to make them heated.
My cat won’t use my indoor cat house; what can I do?
Many people buy cat houses to keep their felines from romping all over their furniture. It works well in some cases, but when a cat is stubborn about using them, there may be something amiss. Cleaning a new cat house can sometimes wash out scents that bother cats, or you can incentivize them with catnip or treats to begin using the house. Too many people give up on training their cats too early; it just takes more effort than it would to train a dog.
What about cat cages and tents?
Cat cages and outdoor cat tents are used for different reasons than cat houses. As a general rule, they’re essentially covered playpens to use for cats, which are normally indoors. They protect them from predators and keep them confined. Cat houses, much like a dog house, are an area that the animal can enter and leave at their leisure.
Keep Your Cat Housed
Cat houses with real quality can be hard to find, especially since most of us aren’t used to looking for them. Thankfully, with some forethought, you can get the best cat house for your purposes without any real issues.
If you think that you’re ready, what are you waiting for? Pick up the right one today and keep your cats cozy and warm no matter what’s going on outside.