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Does your adopted cat love to go outside? Whether your domesticated kitty spends time both indoors and out, or you have a feral feline friend who likes to visit, it's important to provide cats with a secure place to seek shelter in your backyard or other outdoor space. Choose one of the best outdoor cat houses to help keep cats safe and comfortable when eating, sleeping, and playing outside. If your cat is trying to escape a predator and needs a hiding spot or if your area is experiencing extreme weather, a protective cat house can be their saving grace. Or, if you have a feral cat colony outside tugging at your heartstrings, you may be in the market for a cat enclosure to help them survive.
Not familiar with an outdoor cat house? It's similar to a dog house for the outside, made to withstand rain, snow, and everything in between. It will typically have two openings so the cat won't ever be trapped inside. Cats always need a good escape route in order to feel safe.
In addition to being weatherproof, many outdoor cat houses also come with some really cool features, from heating to multiple levels. These are some of our favorites on the market right now.
The best outdoor cat houses to buy in 2023:
For more of the best products for cats, browse our top guides:
What to look for when shopping for an outdoor cat house
Consider the following criteria to find the best shelter for your cat.
✔️ Location: Where are you putting this outdoor cat house? (Don't forget to measure the space!)
✔️ Size: Will the cat house need to accommodate just one cat or multiple? Make sure the outdoor cat house is large enough to accommodate your cat or cats (and perhaps your cat’s friends).
✔️ Insulation: Does your cat need protection from cold weather?
✔️ Weatherproofing: Will the cat house need to be weatherproof through all four seasons? If an outdoor cat house needs to be plugged into an outlet, for instance, make sure it will stay dry. Confirm that rain or melting snow will not be a factor.
✔️ Price point: How much do you want to spend?
How we chose the best outdoor cat houses
These are the most important things to consider before you buy an outdoor cat house.
- Multiple exit points: So a cat never gets trapped inside by a predator. That means, look for a cat house that has a front opening and a back opening, giving them the opportunity to walk in one side and out the other.
- Materials: Will they actually withstand the elements? Are they durable? PVC and wood are good options. If it’s a fabric, it likely won’t last.
- Safety: The outdoor cat house should not look or feel like a cage. It will need to be inviting to a cat, and they won’t want to feel trapped. No matter what, always consider safety.
- Positive reviews: Buying things online is not always easy, and the buyers who have been there and done that are your best source of info. We looked for reviews with thoughtful comments that considered use case.
Ysolt Usigan is a lifestyle writer and editor with 15+ years of experience working in digital media. She has created share-worthy content for publishers Shape, What To Expect, Cafe Mom, TODAY, CBS News, HuffPo, The Bump, Health, Ask Men, and Best Gifts. A working mom of two, her editorial expertise in parenting, shopping, and home are rooted in her everyday life.
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