Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > 14 Weatherproof DIY Outdoor Cat Houses (With Pictures)

14 Weatherproof DIY Outdoor Cat Houses (With Pictures)

Outdoor cat house_vubaz_Shutterstock

Vet approved

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg  Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

The outdoors can be a harsh place depending on the weather, so it is easy to worry about outdoor cats that are subject to extreme weather conditions with no known shelter. Whether you have outdoor cats that simply don’t like to live indoors all the time, or you are trying to help out stray or feral cats, we have some ideas for some great weatherproof cat houses that you can make yourself.

DIY projects can range from simple and easy to downright difficult. We cover a range of difficulty levels in this article so whether you are an experienced craftsman, or you are just getting started, we’ve got something that will work for you.


The 14 Weatherproof DIY Outdoor Cat Houses

1. DIY Cost-Friendly Outside Cat House by patch

DIY Cost-Friendly Outside Cat House
Image Credit: patch
Materials: 28-gallon tote, 18-gallon plastic tub, straw, a sheet of Styrofoam, blankets
Tools: Scissors, duct tape
Difficulty Level: Easy

This outdoor cat shelter is not only weatherproof, but it is also simple and cost-friendly to create. You don’t even need a lot of supplies for this DIY, it can be thrown together with a plastic tote, a plastic tub, Styrofoam, straw, and some blankets.

You will need a pair of strong scissors or some other sharp tool to cut into the tote and plastic tub but by the time you are finished, you will have a sturdy, insulated cat house that will offer up a cozy shelter during harsh or rainy weather.

2. DIY Styrofoam Cat House by petprojectblog

DIY Styrofoam Cat House
Image Credit: petprojectblog
Materials: Styrofoam cooler, straw
Tools: Knife or boxcutter
Difficulty Level: Easy

Here we have another super cheap idea that will protect cats from a variety of weather conditions and give them a warm, secure place to sleep. Now, it is made of Styrofoam so it’s not exactly indestructible if they decide to get their claws out, but if it works, it works.

This DIY is about as simple as it’s going to get. Just grab yourself a Styrofoam cooler, use a knife or box cutter to cut the necessary openings, and place some straw in there. Straw doesn’t retain moisture, so it’s a great option for wintertime.

3. DIY Winterized Cat House by Instructables

DIY Winterized Cat House
Image Credit: instructables
Materials: 1/2-inch plywood (6X4),3 pieces of 2X2X8, nails, screws, ½ inch insulation board, 2 reclaimed cat doors, weather stripping, glue, 2 hinges, 2 latches, solar lights, outdoor paint, straw
Tools: Measuring tape, marker, sander, saw, drill, hammer, paintbrush
Difficulty Level: Moderate

If you are wanting to get a bit more detailed with your DIY but not go too far overboard with construction, check out this winterized cat house. You will be starting from scratch, so you’ll need to grab all the necessary components to make this work. You will definitely need to make a trip into the garage, or the local home improvement store, or give a family member a call to borrow some tools.

What we love about this cat house is that it is super sturdy and insulated to help out during any type of weather conditions, especially the harsh winter weather. You even place two different entries with cat doors on this project. Once you get it built, you have plenty of room for creativity, if you choose.

4. Waterproof Insulated DIY Cat House by What We Made

Materials: 2 x tubs, 6” PVC pipe, fabric for insulation, Foam insulation
Tools: Jigsaw, knife
Difficulty Level: Easy

These waterproof and insulated cat houses are made out of rubber tubs and foam insulation. You don’t need too much to get this project completed and once it’s finished, it makes for a great cozy cat house that will leave them with the protection you are aiming for.

You just need your tubs, some PVC pipe, foam insulation, and some fabric for lining the inside. The instructions are simple and easy to follow, and this is something that can be thrown together quickly and is easily portable. Does it look fancy? Absolutely not, but it works.

5. DIY Weather Resistant Cat House with a Window by Instructables

DIY Weather Resistant Cat House with a Window
Image Credit: instructables
Materials: Lumber, nails, hinges, plexiglass, paint, material for roof
Tools: Drill, jigsaw, adhesive, measuring tool, paintbrush
Difficulty Level: Difficult

If you are up for a bigger challenge, check out this weatherproof cat house that features a window for the cats to keep an eye out for what’s going on around them. It also comes complete with weather-resistant roofing. This project will take you at least a couple of days, depending on how much time you have, but it’s well worth it in the end.

This is another project that will leave you with a lot of room for creativity, so if you want to exercise your decorative side, you can paint and add décor as needed. You don’t have to use the paint colors in the instructions, so pick out what you like and work toward your masterpiece. Your outdoor cats are sure to love it.

6. Old Tire DIY Outdoor Cat House by Goods Home Design

DIY Old Tire Outdoor Cat House
Image Credit: goodshomedesign
Materials: 2 tires, plywood, blankets
Tools: Dremel grinder, Craft knife, Hacksaw
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you have a couple of old tires laying around, you can easily repurpose them and use them as a cat shelter. This is an easy project, though you won’t want to go out and buy brand new tires to do it, since you can get much fancier with other DIYs for a lot less. So, old tires it is.

This is a great way to be environmentally friendly since you are upcycling but we do recommend cleaning up all the debris from the project well because rubber tires can pose a toxic threat if ingested.

7. Outdoor Cat Shelter for All Weather DIY by Woodworking Barcelona

Materials: Lumber, plywood, paint, nails
Tools: Saw, drill, pencil, measuring tool, paint sprayer, paintbrush
Difficulty Level: Difficult

You will definitely want to check out this DIY cat house, it comes complete with a covered porch. This project will yield you an insulated, waterproof cat house that any outdoor cat is sure to love. It even sits up high, which we know cats prefer.

You just grab some simple material and get to work. The instructional video will be very helpful along the way. Once you get this all set up, you’ll have yourself some wonderful neighbors that won’t gossip about you. You may have to worry about them going to the bathroom in your yard, though.

8. Cooler to Cat House DIY by Walton’s Rookie Ranch

Materials: Ice chest, wooden pallet, glue, bedding
Tools: Drill, nail gun, nails, saw
Difficulty Level: Difficult

This DIY is another cooler, or ice chest turned cat house. This one goes a step further and gets fancier than the other one on the list when it comes to the outside aesthetic. You will need to gather up a wooden pallet, a cooler, some bedding, and the rest of the gear you need to get the job done and you will end up with a very convenient and weatherproof house for your outdoor cats.

9. Super Luxury DIY Outdoor Cat House by Zach The Maker

Materials: Plywood, heating pad, Traffic master mat, twine, rocks, paint
Tools: Wood glue, construction adhesive, palm sander, impact driver kit, jigsaw, table saw, nail gun, painters’ tape, paintbrushes
Difficulty Level: Difficult

If you are looking to get fancy and wish for your outdoor cats to live in the lap of luxury, check this DIY out. Thankfully, the instructional video will walk you through the process very well. We absolutely love the look of this one, especially the stone chimney, which really gives it character. This one will take a lot of work and detail, but it sure will be worth it in the long run.

10. DIY Outdoor Cat Shelter by Cats and Pats

Materials: Tote, foam board, duct tape, straw
Tools: Box cutters, sharpie, measuring tape, blow dryer
Difficulty Level: Easy

Cats and Pats DIY Outdoor Cat Shelter is a straightforward, easy-to-throw-together outdoor enclosure. We have one that’s very similar on our list, but this has a couple of minor differences. This is best for inexperienced DIYers trying to make it as easy as possible.

Keep in mind that you will need to be careful. You’re going to be cutting very hard plastic which can be a little dangerous. However, you just follow the visual instructions this creator gives you to assemble a well-insulated cat house that works for colder temperatures.

11. Feral Cat Shelter by Ifiok Obot

Materials: Cutoffs, pallets
Tools: Drill, wood glue, staples, saw, mallet
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Ifiok Obot Feral Cat Shelter is crafted with leftover materials, although you might have to buy a few if you don’t have them on hand. This DIY would be best for someone who is at least slightly familiar with woodworking.

The creator shows their step-by-step process to craft this very well-made, comfy cat house. When you’re finished, you will have a rustic-looking outdoor home for your kitty. If you want a more modern vibe, you can always paint it whatever color or add your own creativity.

12. DIY Pet Condo by Maker Break

Materials: Stain, wood, paint, foam board, caulking, shingles
Tools: Miter saw, drill, level, measuring stick, speed square, nail gun, wood glue, router
Difficulty Level: Difficult

Maker Break DIY Pet Condo is a very well-made, spacious addition to the list. This is exceptionally fantastic for strictly outdoor cats as it is very well-insulated and able to withstand very cold temperatures.

We recommend this particular design for advanced woodworkers. There are a lot of different tools and materials you will need to complete the design efficiently. The creator goes through each step of the process, so it is easy to follow along, but you will need the skills to back it up.

13. DIY Catio by Bon & Pom the Twin Fluff

Materials: Wood, screws
Tools: Drill
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Bon & Pom the Twin Fluff DIY Catio is a real paradise. This creator makes it all by herself, but she recommends having a helper for certain parts of it as they prove difficult. This particular design is incredible if you have a window that your felines can access straight from the house.

In this tutorial, she has been helped by her trusty canine companions to build this cat sanctuary. All you need is a few boards, a saw, and a drill  to create your very own impressive cat condo.

14. Feral Cat Shelter for Winter by Grandma Feral

Materials: Heated pad, wood, screws
Tools: Drill, measuring tape, jigsaw, square
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Grandma Feral Feral Cat Shelter for Winter creates a design we think your cat will love. This is a very simple wooden box with easy access for your cat to get in and out. There are no fancy bells or whistles, though tossing together will require some intermediate skills.

This particular creator used this to build a shelter for feral cats. However, if you have house cats that like to frequent the outdoors, it will be just as suitable for domestic pets. The creator recommends getting a warming pet pad to add heat in colder months.



It’s very important for outdoor cats to stay warm, dry, and safe. If you don’t want to go out and buy a cat house for your outdoor cat, why not give one of these DIY cat houses a try? Hopefully these plans will give you an affordable option to keep your outdoor cat safe.

Featured Image Credit: vubaz, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets