The outside world can be a scary place which is why outdoor cat houses are becoming increasingly popular.
They also provide a great source of shelter in the cold and rain which can make it easier to allow your cat to be outdoors during the day while you’re at work.
When you start looking at cat houses, you’ll quickly discover that there is a whole world of options for you to choose between.
A lot of the decisions will be based on the size of your yard, what features you have in there and the size of your budget.
Here are some key features that you should be looking for:
Raised off the ground – while you can find cat houses that sit on the ground in a similar fashion to dog houses, it’s much better for your pet to have the house raised off the ground. This is in part to keep the cold and damp from rising up from the ground and in part to give them an extra layer of security against ground predators.
You can find houses that sit on stilts or that attach to sturdy fences and tree trunks.
Insulated – you know that your cat will sleep in the most unlikely of places but when you stop to think about it, they are all warm areas. Your pet is unlikely to use a cat house that has simple wood or plastic walls as it will get cold if the temperature drops.
Insulation doesn’t have to mean a cozy palace for your cat but an inch or so of foam around the inside will do the trick.
Sloped roof – your cat will use the cat house to take refuge from the rain as well as the cold so you’ll need a house that has a sloped roof to allow water runoff.
Flat roofs are prone to seepage in heavy rain and can start to rot the beams of the beams of the house during a prolonged rainy spell.
The world of outdoor cat houses is vast and while any cat house you choose should have the above features, you can spend a lot of money on upgrading the house.
Some of the extras are ridiculous such as diamante awnings and a little doorbell, but the following may be worth investing in:
Cat flap – an open door only offers your cat protection from the elements and unless you’ve placed the cat house out of the way, it leaves them open to attack.
Cat houses with cat flaps can give your pet some security, especially if you upgrade to the ones that are triggered only by the microchip in your cat’s neck.
Heating – if you live in a particularly cold part of the country, an inch or two of foam insulation isn’t going to keep your cat warm. You can get cat houses that use electricity from your home supply to heat under floor and wall pipes.
For a little extra, you can have the house powered by mini solar panels on the roof.
If you’re overwhelmed by choice or working from a tight budget, then building your own outdoor cat houses could be a way to keep things simple.
You can find many different designs on the internet but you can also adapt a dog kennel plan by adding a thick floor and shrinking all dimensions to fit the size of your cat.
There should be enough room for them to stand up and turn around inside but too much space will be hard to keep warm.
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