Factors to Consider when buying an Outdoor Cat House
Over the decades, it is no wonder why cat houses have grown and are growing in popularity. If you want your pet to get the security and comfort they deserve and are considering establishing independence in your cat, it is a great idea to purchase an outdoor cat house. Here are factors to consider when you are buying one:
The Immediate Environment
You would want to choose an outdoor cat house that fits perfectly with the possibly unique environment you are in. It is an important factor to remember that the cat house is suited for the climate, weather, and environment around you. Overall, what you would want to make sure is that the outdoor cat house is made waterproof, made to withstand and not allow rainwater through. This is to make sure that it won’t get too cold during cold seasons or weather.
While the type of cat house may be affected by the environment you are in, your cat’s safety should always come at a top priority. Even if you find a house that is well-made and sturdy, it would not be a good idea to invest in it if its materials include poisonous coatings. Make sure you go for a cat house that is made out of non-poisonous coatings.
The Size Of Your Pet Cat
An important factor to be considered is the overall size of your pet cat. The cat house mustn’t be too small nor too big for your pet in order for it to feel comfortable and cozy. You would want to get an outdoor cat house which is spacious if your cat is really big. Do also keep in mind that, of course, your pet cat is growing. With this said, you must find a house made to accommodate such needs and designed for growing cats.
Wood would be a good material which would be great material for insulation. One thing that you have to remember with cat houses is that it has to withstand weather and pressure that may be present in the environment. When it comes to durability, consider as well the outdoor cat house’s flooring. Wood floorings are much better than the plastic ones. Depending on the type of outdoor cat house that you are thinking of buying, you may add heating pads, straws, and other materials to your liking.
Overall, when you are shopping for an outdoor cat house, go for the one with thicker insulation. Well-insulated houses are better and will be staying for a longer time. Thicker insulations mean it is more effective for retaining and withstanding both cool and hot air. It would help you in making sure that your cat stays warm during cold weather and cool even if it’s a hot, sunny day.
Ease of Maintenance and Cleaning
When you buy an outdoor cat house, of course, you will have to refresh straws and other bedding materials, maintain it, and clean up messes from time to time. With this said, it will save time and lessen your efforts if the outdoor cat house you are buying allows easier access to its interior. A lift-off top with the outdoor cat house is an option that must be considered, which could help with easier cleaning.
5 Popular Types of Outdoor Cat Houses
If you are thinking of buying an outdoor/outside cat house, aside from having many brands to choose from, you should be aware that there are as well different types of it. With this said, before anything else, you must first determine which type of outdoor cat house is suited for you.
There are a lot of types, but here are 5 popular types of outdoor cat houses that you can choose from.
Outdoor Cat House with extended roof
At most times, outdoor cat houses like these are insulated along with thermal-ply insulations installed on all its 4 sides. Commonly these are built using high-quality materials, like cedar. Outdoor cat houses with an extended roof are available in sizes, both small and large.
Some common features include:
- A porch roof which is made for helping shield the cat house’s doorway is opening from any possible elements.
- Good for keeping your pet cat off wet or cold grounds as it features elevated flooring.
The Feeding Station
This type of outdoor cat house is good for keeping multiple cats. If you aim to provide shelter, along with dry and clean food for stray cats in the neighborhood, this type of cat house will work best for that. The feeding station, as its name suggests, can hold the cats’ food. This outdoor cat house comes in small, medium, and large.
- With a 9-inch overhang, the feeding station can possibly have an extended roof.
- To make sure it is raised off the ground, on each corner, it has a 2-inch leg fastened.
The DIY Outdoor Cat House
Maybe some are creative and want to express through building a DIY Outdoor Cat House. There are a lot of instructions and videos on the intern showing how to make a DIY Outdoor cat house and are all very easy to follow. If you think you can handle the job, you might want to consider this one.
Insulated Outdoor Cat House
For an outdoor cat house, an insulated cat house is an affordable option with $169 as the starting price for the small sizes. These types of outdoor cat houses are usually made with cedar and are high-quality too. There is one that would be suit your cat as it comes in 3 different sizes, small, medium, and large. With these size options, you are sure to find an insulated outdoor cat house that would perfectly fit your cat. If you want more options, these outdoor cat houses can be customized as well.
You can customize insulated cat houses by adding:
- Heating pad/s which are outdoor rated
- For keeping out rains and wind, you can add a vinyl door flap.
- Add a rounded door or additional, extra doors
- Customizing the cat house with an extended roof
Duplex Insulated Outdoor Pet House
A duplex will provide plenty of space and room if you own more than 2 cats (2-4). You can even choose to add a center divider to divide it into 2 rooms if each of your cats wants to maintain their own personal space. A duplex insulated outdoor cat house is easy to assemble and features lots of space and roomy dimensions. If your cats are playful, they will have a lot of space to play around without feeling cramped or uncomfortable.
How to Be Sure that the Cat Fits
In order to be sure of enough space for each of the cats, you must conduct a standing test to test. If the cats can do full 360 turns, stand up, do a full stretch, and lie comfortably without any problems and without invading the personal space of your other cats, then you can now be sure and happy of finding the right outdoor cat house for your pet cats.
Cats feel safer and prefer smaller homes. If you don’t have a lot of cats to house, do not go for bigger homes as it might attract attention from other animals. With this, you will be having trouble with maintaining a constant and the right temperature inside the outdoor cat house.
Putting the Outdoor Cat House in Place
Here are some tips which could help you with deciding on the location where the cat house should be placed. In this way, you can be sure that your pet gets the protection and comfort that they need.
The elevation is a good idea
As many would know, cats do love high places, which is why elevating the house must be considered. Not only does it attract and let out your cat’s playful nature, but it would also be helpful as well for protecting your cat from possible predators around. The outdoor cat house being elevated gives your pet cat the vantage point. You should know that a cat’s best defense against predators is flight.
The house must be exposed to the right amount of sunlight
Place the outdoor cat house where it can receive the right amount of sun. During the daytime, the heat and light coming from the sun will serve as a natural form of heat, which would be good for your cat.
Placing it in open spaces should be avoided
As much as you don’t want the cat house to be completely shaded, it wouldn’t be a good idea to place this in an open, wide area. You should know that cats are mostly afraid of crossing wide, open areas and aren’t feeling that safe with sleeping in these types of areas. For them to feel comfortable and safe, place it in an area that isn’t to enclosed but not too spacious either.
Additional heating must as well be considered
To generate more heat from the sun, some people who buy outdoor cat houses make use of small sections of solar covers that are to be placed over the exterior. Also, you might also want to try adding small heaters. What to basically do is use a covered light bulb, which makes generating more heat possible. You can get creative by making your own additional heating or for a safer alternative. There are additional heating that is commercially available.
Heated pads are also available, and these may be placed on the floors of the cat house. What you have to just make sure about is that it doesn’t stay on the floors at most times. Remember, this heating pad must only serve as a warmer for the house and no something that might cause harm or accidents (like fire).
Cleaning an Outdoor Cat House
An outdoor cat house, just like a litter box, requires routinely cleaning as well. Leaving it uncleaned and unchecked may lead to microorganisms building up inside it. This can expose your pet to different health risks and make it an unhealthy place for them too.
- You’ll need wash rags, soap, spray cleaner or a hose, and bleach that is diluted in water.
- Depending on the brand, size, and type of house that you have, the process of beginning with
cleaning may vary. Basically, what most have to do is to open up the outdoor cat house.
- Mostly, cat houses like these come with a top that can come off, so what must first be done is removing the roof. For molded plastic types of houses, remove its bottom through flipping the home up-side-down
- The bedding, toys, even cushion if the house has these, it must all be removed first. Through the dryer or washing machine, clean these up too completely as dirt may stick on them as well. If possible, make use of the hottest cycle you can go to. By doing so, it will work much effectively for wiping out dirt or any kind of ticks that might be on the items mentioned.
- Pour hot water into a big container and mix in liquid detergent. To make the water sudsy, use the right amount of detergent. As much as possible, it would be suggested to use an anti-bacterial detergent.
- Clean the interior of the cat house by using a washcloth or sponge. Wash and wipe its ceiling, walls, and even the floors. As often as it is required, wash the cloth and rinse the sponge in the soapy water.
Other Ways to Clean the Interior of the Outdoor Cat House:
- Another way would be using a water and a bleach solution, apply it to the interiors of the outdoor cat house with a spray cleaner. As an alternative, you can also make use of a rag that you’ll have to drench in bleach. This is if you don’t have a spray cleaner. Bleach should be used as it is effective for killing bacteria.
- With freshwater, what you’ll have to do is rinse off the insides of the outdoor cat house from all the bleach and/or soap deposits. This can be best accomplished and faster to be done using a water hose.
- Right after, finally, what needs to be done is to leave the house to dry completely. After finding that the house is entirely dry, you can now place all the toys, cushions, beddings back to its places, inside the house.
- After that being done with cleaning and arranging the objects, simply place the top back on or flip it back over to close the outdoor cat house. Cleaning and maintenance should be done at least every one or two weeks in order to keep the house in tip-top shape at all times.
Housing Features Which Can Be Added To The Outdoor Cat House
Housing accessories can complete the package of making the whole house home sweet home. Here are some features which you can add to your outdoor cat house.
Flap closures are essential as it would be beneficial if you own cats, which are often shy. Their hiding serves as their coping behavior to respond with change. Flap closure will be perfect for achieving a warm, small, warm, and dark place that the cat will love.
A bit of fun time, even when the cats are inside an outdoor cat house will be possible with interactive toys. Examples of interactive toys include hanging plush toys. This would be a plus point for you as an owner because you show that you pay attention to the happiness and playfulness of your pet cats.
Self-playfulness is one distinct characteristic of a cat. With this said, it is important for the house to have a spot where they can do so. Consider the house size and as well as the cats’ sizes. For a claw room, you would want to take into consideration the house dimensions where things can still be added. With a claw room, your cats are allowed to go out and in with no problems and that they are comfortable with curling up, playing, and going to sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Which one is better? An indoor cat house or an outdoor cat house?
A: Since an outdoor cat house is made to withstand weather and other elements around, it is much sturdier than an indoor cat house. This already gives it an edge. An outdoor cat house as well includes great features, including advanced safety features compared to indoor cat houses. With this said, it would be a much worth it to invest if you choose to have an outdoor cat house.
Q: How can I be sure that the cat house will remain warm?
A: First thing you have to ensure is that the cat house that you bought features thicker insulation or is well insulated. The thicker the insulation, the better warmth that the house will be having. If in cases that you live or you are in a location that can get really cold, getting a built-in heater for the cat house would want to be considered.
Q: How to can I keep an outdoor cat house maintained?
A: With a normal house detergent, you can use it to wipe the house clean. If you have any cushions, remove them and clean them as well. Return them inside once you see that it is dry and clean enough to be placed back inside the cat house. This is the basic process and steps of cleaning an outdoor cat house, but instructions and cleaning process still may vary depending on what type of outdoor cat house that you have.
Q: Is it necessary for an outdoor cat house to have two doors?
A: With most outdoor cat houses, they are already built with two doors. Having two doors is considered as an important safety feature for your pet. Say, for instance, a predator, a coyote for this matter, tries to get into the house. Your pet can go through the other door to escape. It is a must as well to know that cats also feel more secure and comfortable with them, knowing that they have an escape route in case of predators or other emergency situations.
There are a lot of great outdoor cat houses, but what you should be considering is whether the size is perfect, if it is weatherproof, and should be suitable to the needs of your cats. Choosing the right outdoor cat house wouldn’t be that hard if you have pictured what type of cat house you would want to buy already.
If you are well-guided and have been reading multiple reviews regarding outdoor cat houses, you might already have a choice in mind. Remember, the outdoor cat house that you choose must make both you and your cats happy, secure, and for the cats themselves, they must feel cozy and comfortable. Even so, they are multiple cats inside one house. All of them must still secure and cozy in their own personal spaces.