Whether you’re looking to provide a shelter for your pets when they’re outdoors, or somewhere cozy for regular stray visitors, a cat house provides sanctuary. Like our own properties, cat houses can range from simple, single-room boxes, to extravagant, labyrinthine designs with multiple rooms, insulation, and even heaters. There are even indoor cat houses, which are just cat beds or cat caves.
To help you find the best cat house, we have put together reviews of ten of the best feline escapes and kitty condos, as well as a guide on choosing one that is safe and desirable.
A Quick Glance at Our Winners in 2023
|Best Overall||K&H Wooden Cat House||
|Best Value||Petique Bungalow Eco Cat House||
|Premium Choice||Trixie Natura Insulated Cat House||
|Best for Kittens||K&H Outdoor Kitty House||
|K&H Wide Outdoor Kitty House||
The 10 Best Cat Houses
1. K&H Pet Products Birchwood Wooden Cat House – Best Overall
|Dimensions:||18” x 16” x 15”|
The K&H Pet Products Birchwood Manor Outdoor Wooden Cat House is a single-story, solid wood house. Its sloped roof ensures that water runs off and onto the ground. Entrances at the front and rear allow for easy access and discreet exit, and both have a plastic flap that keeps some of the cold out and prevents driving rain from getting in.
The house is easy to construct, using just a screwdriver, thanks to predrilled holes, and is made from solid wood. It can be left plain, or you can paint or stain it according to your own designs. The house has been coated in a UV-resistant layer, so it won’t fade or become damaged in summer or winter. There’s also a removable cushioned pad that provides comfort but is easy to remove for cleaning and replacement. All in all, this is the overall best cat house based on our review.
Reasonably priced and well-constructed, the house is a little basic and the height (18 inches) takes into account the domed roof, so it may not be suitable for very large cats and won’t house multiple cats.
2. Petique Bungalow Eco Cat House – Best Value
|Dimensions:||21.26” x 13.78” x 16.15”|
The Petique Bungloaw Eco Cat House is an indoor cat house that gives your feline friend somewhere comfortable and private to hide. It is made from reinforced cardboard with two scratchboards that have a scratch post surface on both sides, giving a total of four scratch surfaces. The cardboard is completely compostable and recyclable, which is beneficial for the environment, but if you have a particularly energetic or scratchy cat, it is likely to become damaged and need replacement. The carboard construction also means that it is easily put together without the need for any tools.
The house is a good size, and most large cats should fit through the doorway and enjoy the space inside. Because it is made from cardboard, rather than more expensive wood or other materials, it is a cheap house, but it isn’t suitable for outdoor use because it will get sodden with water and is liable to blow away.
The cost, ease of construction, decent dimensions, and inclusion of scratch post surfaces make this our selection as the best cat house for the money. Because it can only be used indoors, and the potential that lively cats could destroy it, keep it off the top spot.
3. Trixie Natura Insulated Cat House – Premium Choice
|Dimensions:||30.7” x 21.7” x 29.5”|
If you’ve got plenty of free outdoor space and want to provide some additional luxury, the premium Trixie Natura Insulated Cat House offers a good amount of room and has some nice details and additions. It is made from solid wood and does need some assembly when you receive it.
The fir wood frame has been treated to protect it from the rain and cold weather, and it has been filled with foam insulation for extra warmth inside. There is a ramp, although you don’t have to use it, and the main door is essentially a cat flap that prevents cold draughts from lowering the temperature. There’s also an emergency rear exit for quick getaways.
While the elevated foundation helps ensure a warm and dry environment within, it also adds to the size and the difficulty of assembly: you will benefit from having an extra person to lend a helping hand, and you may need to add your own drill holes because there are some problems with predrilled holes not lining up perfectly. As a premium product, the Trixie Natura Insulated Cat House is expensive, especially considering there is some extra work required to ensure a durable and long-lasting cat house.
4. K&H Pet Products Outdoor Unheated Kitty House – Best for Kittens
|Dimensions:||22” x 17” x 18”|
When your young cat takes its first tentative steps outdoors, it is a good idea to offer them somewhat warm and safe to relax. If they already recognize the house as being their own, even better. The K&H Pet Products Outdoor Unheated Kitty House can be used indoors or outdoors, and it can be easily moved: it doesn’t require any assembly or reassembly. Leave the house indoors for a few weeks until your kitten regularly spends time within, and then move it outdoors when the kitten embarks on its first foray into the outside world.
The cat house is made from waterproof nylon and has two doors, which is ideal for emergency exits and to prevent your little one from getting stuck in the cat house if they feel threatened. The doors have removable flaps, so you can set the house up to fit your kitten’s requirements and the area it’s being located.
The K&H Pet Products Kitty House is inexpensive and easy to put together, but while it is suitable for outdoor use, its nylon construction means that it is better suited to being placed in a barn, garage, or other outdoor building to prevent it from blowing away. Also, while the nylon is waterproof, a serious downpour means that the sloped roof will pool water and can lead to the inside getting wet.
5. K&H Pet Products Wide Outdoor Unheated Kitty House
|Dimensions:||26.5” x 21.5” x 15.5”|
The K&H Pet Products Extra-Wide Outdoor Unheated Kitty House is a reasonably priced, large outdoor cat house made from nylon. It uses hooks and Velcro to secure the components, which means that it is easily constructed without the need for any tools or other parts. The extra-wide design means that there is more than enough room for large cats or for multiple kitties to rest inside. It has two exits enabling a quick escape if one is required and giving your cat reassurance. It also has a Berber pad that is warm and comfortable, and which can be removed and put in the washing machine to keep it clean.
The nylon design does mean that this house is better suited to a shaded or protected area, and it is ideal for use in barns and garages. Nylon also lets in some wind and water does get in if it is left in heavy rain.
6. K&H Pet Products Extra-Wide Outdoor Heated Kitty House
|Dimensions:||26.5” x 21.5” x 15.5”|
The K&H Pet Products Extra-Wide Outdoor Heated Kitty House is the same house as the unheated version but, rather than having a basic cushion pad, it has a thermostatically regulated, fleece-coated heat pad. This means that when your cat sits or lays on the heat pad, it recognizes the cat’s presence and generates warmth. The pad covers part of the floor of the house, which means that cats can choose whether to sit on the warm section or avoid it.
Even more so than the unheated version, this heated kitty house is best suited to being used in a barn or other covered building because the nylon is lightweight and will not prevent heavy rain or winds from getting in and creating a cold and wet environment. Construction is easy, thanks to the nylon design, however, and it is reasonably priced for a large cat house that includes a warming pad.
7. K&H Pet Products Outdoor Multi-Kitty A-Frame House
|Dimensions:||35” x 20” x 20”|
The K&H Pet Products Outdoor Unheated Multi-Kitty A-Frame House is another outdoor house from K&H Pet Products. This one is an A-frame design, which means that you don’t get the benefit of the full dimensions, but the shape does help ensure stability, prevents cats from sitting on a potentially collapsible roof, and it means that some rain and wind will be deflected. The nylon construction means that assembly is really quick and easy, and it features two doors so that your cat can escape from any potential predators that might want to use the house. It is a good size and a reasonable price. It will hold two or three medium-sized cats comfortably.
However, the A-Frame House is made of nylon which can withstand very mild rain but is likely to leak in moderate to heavy rain and does allow some wind to get through the fabric. For extra comfort, you will likely want to add some kind of cushioned floor or nesting material, and the gap between the floor and the bottom of the door does allow for this, but it means an extra cost on top of the house itself.
8. Trixie Natura Shaded Balcony Cat House
|Dimensions:||25.4” x 22” x 29.9”|
The Trixie Natura Shaded Balcony Cat House is a multi-story, wooden cat house. Steps lead to a covered top perch, while on the ground level there is a condo type area. The design looks attractive and is made from eco-friendly fir wood that has been treated to better withstand the rain and sun. The elevated foundation allows for improved airflow, and it also means that the base of the condo is not sat on a potentially cold and damp floor.
Although the Trixie Natura Shaded Balcony Cat House does look good and benefits from the shaded top perch and elevated foundation, it is difficult to put together and will require two people. It only has a single door, so there is no escape route in case of predators. And, while the inside does stay dry, thanks to the felted roof, the entrance is just a hole: the small porch covering does little to prevent driving rain and wind from getting inside.
9. Frisco Indoor Heated Cat House
|Dimensions:||18.5” x 14.5” x 16.5”|
The Frisco Indoor Heated Cat House is a nylon indoor cat house that includes a powered heating pad. The design is quite basic, although attractive enough and available in a choice of colors. The house is easily assembled, and the heating pad has a fleece cover that can be removed and put in the washing machine to get rid of cat hairs and cat smells. Frisco also says that the heater can be removed from the heating pad, on warm days, to provide a cooling mat.
The house is only designed for indoor use so no outdoor heated area for stray cats and, while the manufacturer states that it is suitable for cats up to 10 pounds, it is better for kittens and small adult cats, as there isn’t a lot of room for larger felines.
10. Trixie 2-Story Cottage Outdoor Wooden Cat House
|Dimensions:||30.7” x 22.8” x 35.4”|
The Trixie 2-Story Cottage Outdoor Wooden Cat House is a sizeable wooden cat house made from solid wood. It has an elevated foundation, which means that the bottom layer of the house is not sat on cold and damp earth. It is made from treated fir wood and has a shingled roof, so it does a good job of keeping the rain out. Because this is so large and has a somewhat complex design, it will take two people to erect, and there are problems with drilled holes and other elements not lining up properly.
The interior of the house has two levels, so your cat can climb and really hide from the cold when inside. The top floor, however, doesn’t have an easy means of exit to the outside, which means that it could lead to a cat being trapped by aggressive visitors. The hinged roof and large side door provide easy access for cleaning and if you do need to let any stuck cats in and out. There’s also a porch, that is ideal for lounging and sitting on, as well as an additional lounging perch.
The Trixie 2-Story Cottage is expensive and difficult to assemble, and while it does a good job of protecting from the rain, it lacks an easy exit from the top floor and large doors do not offer protection against the wind.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Cat House
Owning, or even caring for stray and feral cats, can be a very rewarding experience, but it does come with certain responsibilities. You need to provide your feline friends with food, water, and a warm and safe environment. While many owners keep their cats as indoor cats, others choose to give them the run of the outside world. If you do let your cat out, offering it a safe and secure spot of its own can greatly improve its outdoor living experience. Let’s see what makes up the best cat house.
Benefits Of an Outdoor Cat House
Having an outdoor cat house offers several benefits to your cat:
Cats can come under threat from wild animals and other cats. Giving them their own outdoor space gives them a spot to retreat to if they do feel threatened. It isn’t just anxious cats that benefit from this. Cat houses with multiple entry points offer greater security than those with a single door because it gives your cat a means of escaping out of the back if a predator approaches the front door.
Protection From the Elements
Cats are well equipped to deal with moderate temperatures and weather conditions, and they can handle some rain. However, they would rather have somewhere that is dry and away from freezing temperatures when they are outside and a cat house protects from extreme conditions. Wooden houses tend to offer greater protection, but they should be treated. Shingled rooves further prevent rain, while cat flap style doors can stop wind whipping into and around the shelter. Elevated foundations also mean that the floor of the house is raised off the ground, stopping running rainwater from soaking the base.
A Home for Any Cat
Cat houses aren’t just useful for your own cats. If you feed the local ferals, or you know that they hang around in your garden, a cat house will not only give them somewhere comfortable and safe to relax but can also act as a house for food and water.
Indoor Cat Houses
We have included some indoor cat houses in our reviews. These can be a lot more basic than outdoor houses. They don’t have to withstand wind and rain which means that they can be made from materials like cardboard. They can also be combined with scratching posts and may include heat mats to further ensure a comfortable environment for your feline friend. They do offer somewhere for a private cat to hide and can become a favorite spot in your home. They are especially useful if your cat wants somewhere to get away from marauding toddlers and playful puppies.
Outdoor Cat House Features
When looking for the best outdoor cat house, there are several features you need to consider:
Multiple Entry Points
A cat house obviously requires a point of entry and exit. This allows your cat to get in and out without any struggle. If the door is difficult to use, your cat will likely ignore the house altogether. It is also worth looking for houses that have a second entry/exit point. Whether it is aggressive local cats, feral cats, or other predators, there are some occasions when a cat needs to make a quick getaway. If yours gets stuck in a wooden box with only a single door that is blocked by an aggressive cat, it won’t have anywhere to turn. As well as the potential injuries and stress caused by the incident, it will affect your cat’s use of the house in the future. Your feline buddy will prefer to spend its time outdoors where it can better survey its surroundings to make a quick exit.
One of the benefits of a cat house is that it offers protection from the elements. It can prevent your cat from getting rained on and offer shelter from the wind. To provide this protection, the shelter needs to be weatherproof. If wooden, ensure that it is treated with a weatherproof finish. If it is nylon or another material, make sure that the material itself is weatherproof or weather resistant. If you live in a particularly sunny area, you should also look for those that have UV protection.
Nylon cat houses are easier to assemble than wooden ones. They do not usually require any tools and rely on hooks and zips. They can be assembled, disassembled, and reassembled easily. Wooden houses are sturdier and offer greater protection, but they can be more of a challenge to construct and will usually require additional tools like screwdrivers and drills. Even the most complex of constructions should still be easy to assemble, thanks to predrilled holes and clear instructions.
Insulation is rare in cat houses, but it does exist. This is similar to the insulation used in our homes and usually takes the form of foam that is added inside the wall cavities. This foam prevents warmth from escaping the house and stops cold from getting in. If you live in a very cold area and are primarily looking to offer a means of protection against chilly conditions, insulation should be a priority.
An elevated foundation means that the cat house has legs or elongated sidewalls that keep the base of the bottom floor off the ground. This prevents the dampness and cold from soil and other surfaces from getting through the base and into the cat house itself. It tends to provide a warmer and more comfortable environment for the cats inside. Elevated foundations are not normally found on nylon cat houses but are common on those with a wooden construction.
The best cat house provides protection, security, and comfort for cats. Whether you’re shopping for your own cat or regular garden visitors that you want to protect, there are many options and designs available, including single-story and multiple-story houses, those made from nylon and wooden constructions. Hopefully, using our reviews and guide to buying a cat house, you have been able to find the one that best fits your needs and the requirements of your cat: they can be a demanding animal, after all.
The wooden construction and the flapped doors of the K&H Pet Products Birchwood Manor Outdoor Wooden Cat House, as well as its decent price point, make it our choice as the overall best cat house, although it is only really suitable for a single cat. The Petique Bungalow Eco Cat House is a low-cost alternative that includes scratchboards and really is cheap, but it is only suitable for indoor use thanks to its cardboard construction.
Featured Image Credit: Chewy