When it comes to outdoor cats, domesticated or feral, cat houses are a lifesaver. If you like to help out with the community cats, having an outdoor shelter for them is a good way to keep them safe and dry. Cat houses also work for felines that refuse to come home at decent hours and prefer to yowl at the door until you let them in.
Wooden designs aren’t always simple and may require a few carpentry skills. Here are various DIY cat houses that are insulated, non-insulated, or heated. There are also a few other designs that you can repurpose as an extra challenge.
Insulated Cat Houses
1. Insulated Cat House
|Materials:||Screws, tongue and groove slats, 2x2s, 1x2s, deck boards, and insulation boards|
|Tools:||Tape measure, circular saw, drill, and carpentry square|
Although this insulated cat house takes a bit of patience and carpentry skill, it’s a compact way to keep your outdoor kitty warm when they’re outside. It’s can be difficult because you’re building from scratch, but it’s a simplistic design. You can personalize the outside with a splash of paint or put asphalt shingles on the roof to give it a little extra protection from the weather.
2. Double Cat House With Insulation
|Materials:||1x2s, decking boards, 2x2s, 1x3s, siding, plywood, insulation boards, and asphalt shingles|
|Tools:||Hammer, tape measure, framing square, level, miter saw, drill, and sander|
To make sure your cats stay warm, especially in winter, this double cat house caters to multiple felines and is completely insulated. With two compartments and asphalt shingling, any shelter-seeking cat will be safe from whatever the weather throws at them. This design also has a covered porch to stop rain from getting into the house itself.
3. Cat House (for Winter and Feral Cats)
|Materials:||Plywood, 2x2s, screws, nails, insulation board, hinges, latches, wood glue, and cat doors|
|Tools:||Drill, jigsaw, tape measure, and hammer|
For a relatively easy cat house that you can turn into a family-friendly project, this simple design is also a good way to keep stray and feral cats warm over the winter. It has a hinged roof so you can change the straw or bedding inside. Its simplistic design also enables you to recycle materials that you can’t find other uses for.
Unlike many other designs, this one has cat doors to keep the warmth in and the bad weather out.
4. Cat House on Stilts
|Materials:||2x4s, plywood, 2x2s, insulation board, nails, screws, wood glue, and filler|
|Tools:||Hammer, tape measure, miter saw, drill, level, and framing square|
Cats like high places, and keeping their outdoor house raised off the ground is a good way to keep other critters out. This raised cat house is a relatively simple design even if it does take a bit of work to put it all together. The plan has a second part, so remember to check out both pages before deciding whether to attempt this design.
5. Kitty Cat House
|Materials:||2x4s, plywood, insulation board, PVC trim, asphalt shingles, aluminum drip edge, galvanized hinges, and wood glue|
|Tools:||Kreg Jig, vice clamps, brad nailer, router, sander, caulk, Dremel|
Recycling materials is one of the best ways to use materials that will otherwise go unused. This design for a simple cat house uses leftovers from other projects. There’s a place for your cat to sleep, somewhere to keep their food and water, and asphalt shingles for extra protection from the rain.
6. Feral Cat Shelter
|Materials:||Insulation board, screws, plywood, and plexiglass|
|Tools:||Drill, table saw, and jigsaw|
With a front porch to keep out the rain, this Feral Cat Shelter is a cute way to help out your neighborhood strays. With two windows and an open porch, cats have several lookout posts. They also have plenty of shelter from bad weather, especially with the added insulation in the main compartment.
7. Insulated & Shingled Feral Cat House
|Materials:||2x4s, ½” OSB, 4x4s, 2x4s, plywood, insulation, screws, and asphalt shingles|
|Tools:||Drill and jigsaw|
Feral cats are always looking for places to take shelter, whether it’s from the weather or predators, and this insulated and shingled cat house protects from both. There’s also plenty of space for you to add in separated compartments or offer room for several cats at once.
8. Cat Shelter
|Materials:||4x4s, 2x4s, 2x2s, screws, insulation board, plywood, wood glue, and cedar shingles|
|Tools:||Drill, level, table saw, scissors, stapler, and tape measure|
For a cat house with plenty of space, this Cat Shelter has two floors. The insulated kitty bedroom keeps them warm and away from predators, while the lower section has room for food and water. This design also features a porch for cats to sun themselves on.
9. Insulated & Waterproof Cat House
|Materials:||2x2s, screws, metal rod, wood glue, OSB, insulation, siding, wood trim, and spray paint|
|Tools:||Carpentry square, clamp, circular saw, drill, grinder, file, plane, tape measure, hand saw, jigsaw, stapler, sander, and router|
Non-insulated Cat Houses
10. Cat Hotel
|Materials:||Wood screws, stair riser/board, panel board, and pine boards|
|Tools:||Drill, circular saw, tape measure, and carpentry square|
If you like to help out the neighborhood strays or have several cats that like to wander the outside world, this Cat Hotel caters to several felines at once. It takes a bit of work to put it all together, but it offers four separate compartments for your cats to snuggle into. Give it a splash of paint, and fill each room with pillows to give them somewhere warm to sit and wait out the rain.
11. Pallet House
|Materials:||Wood pallets and nails|
|Tools:||Drill, circular saw, jigsaw, and tape measure|
Designed to reuse old pallets, the Pallet Cat House is a way to give life to unused materials. It’s a more in-depth design than some other plans and requires a bit more technical skill. For a stylish house, though, it’s a winner. You can even decorate it with wooden cat silhouettes to give it more of a cat-friendly feel for your cats and/or the neighborhood strays.
12. Outdoor Pet House
|Materials:||Plywood, 2x4s, 1x6s, wood screws, wood glue, filler, caulk, and door trim|
|Tools:||Circular saw, jigsaw, nail gun, drill, miter saw, measuring tape, and speed square|
If you have feral cats, outdoor explorers, or small dogs that love to stay out no matter the weather, the Outdoor Pet House is perfect for all of them. This design is a stylish way to keep your cat warm during bad weather and winter days. There’s also space to put a bowl of food and water to keep feral cats fed.
13. Triangle Wooden Cat House
|Materials:||Hardboard, screws, wood glue, and nails|
|Tools:||Hammer, hand saw, drill, and jigsaw|
If you’re tired of the ordinary box structures of most cat houses, this triangle-shaped cat house will give your yard a unique flare. The design itself is also one of the simplest on this list, while still being able to protect cats from the elements.
14. Cat House/Side Table
|Materials:||Plywood, 1x3s, screws, 2x3s, wood glue, and hinges|
|Tools:||Kreg Jig, saber saw, and sander|
Furniture that doubles as something else is the best way to save space when you don’t have much available. This cat house might be smaller and less extravagant than some other designs, but you can use it as an end table on your patio. You’ll be able to enjoy the sunshine and give your cat a comfortable spot to nap.
15. Deluxe Pallet Cat House
|Materials:||Deck boards, wooden pallets, screws, and hinges|
|Tools:||Drill, jigsaw, and table saw|
Designed to be used by multiple cats at once, this Deluxe Pallet House is made with recycled pallets. You can even open each section, so you can make sure the bedding is clean and any water dishes are topped up.
16. Simple Cube
|Materials:||Plywood, wood glue, and nails|
|Tools:||Drill, hammer, jigsaw, and circular saw|
If you don’t have many materials but do have a hammer, nails, and plywood, this Simple Cube design is perfect. It’s easy to put together and super cozy.
17. Simple Side Table
|Materials:||Plywood, screws, and wood glue|
|Tools:||Table saw, miter saw, sander, Kreg Jig, drill, and nailer|
For new carpenters who want to test out new tools, this Simple Side Table is a good way to cater to your cat and challenge yourself. It’s an easy design with several tricks that you can experiment with.
18. House on Wheels
|Materials:||Wood boards, framing boards, hinges, pet door, wood glue, corrugated metal, screws, and caster wheels|
|Tools:||Miter saw, clamps, drill, nail gun, sander, and Kreg Jig|
Wooden structures can be a challenge to move if you need to. You can build this cat house on wheels to make it easy to maneuver. It also has a hinged roof to enable you to reach in and change the water and food dishes.
19. Chilly Nights Cat House
|Materials:||Plywood, hinges, 2x2s, plexiglass, screws, and carpet|
|Tools:||Jigsaw, drill, and circular saw|
A quick and easy shelter for those late-night wanderings or sudden weather changes is the Chilly Nights Cat House. The plan is a little vague with the details, but the design is a simple one. Make a box, add a door, and throw on a hinged roof for easy access.
20. Cute Outdoor Cat House
|Materials:||2x2s, plywood, screws, asphalt shingles, and roofing felt|
|Tools:||Drill, tape measure, framing square, sander, and miter saw|
To spruce up your yard and cater to all the cats around, this cat house is simple and waterproof and has a cute design. The blue-and-white paint gives it a modern, chic look, but you can always switch out the colors if you prefer a different aesthetic.
21. Heated Cat Shelter and Seat
|Materials:||Plywood, wood boards, acrylic or polycarbonate sheet, carpet, heating mat, nails, screws, wood glue, silicone sealer, and vapor barrier|
|Tools:||Compact router and table saw|
Cats are good at finding warm spots, but they appreciate having easily accessible places to shelter in. This heated cat shelter doubles as a cozy seat and contains a heated blanket. You can also add in a camera so you can check how your guest is doing without scaring off any timid strays.
22. Outdoor Cat House
|Materials:||Pine boards, wood glue, glass, 3’ hinge, and heated mat|
|Tools:||Jigsaw, table saw, tape measure, and clamps|
For an extra cozy cat house, this design enables you to trail in a cable to run a heated power mat. Whether you make it for feral cats or your own adventurer, there’s plenty of room to add in a water dish and food bowl. The hinged roof enables easy access too.
23. Solar Powered Cat House
|Materials:||Wooden box or planks, plexiglass, insulation board, cat flap, 12v battery, solar panel, charge controller, 12v car seat heating kit, 12v PIR sensor, electrical wires, and fuse holder|
|Tools:||Drill and electrical tools|
If you don’t mind spending a little more, this Solar Powered design can be added to your existing cat house or you can build one from scratch. Regardless, it’s a good way to challenge your creative skills and keep cats warm in the winter.
Designs to Repurpose
24. Dog House
|Materials:||Screws, 2x4s, plywood, 2x2s, tar paper, 1x2s, filler, and wood glue|
|Tools:||Drill, hammer, miter saw, tape measure, level|
This design might be a homemade dog kennel, but with a few adjustments to the sizing and door, you can convert it into a quaint home for your cat. You can even separate the house into compartments to give several cats space to wait out the rain.
25. Insulated Dog House
|Materials:||Screws, nails, plywood, asphalt shingles, 1x1s, 1×4 slats, and insulation board|
|Tools:||Level, drill, hammer, sander, and jigsaw|
A dog house might seem extravagant, but the designer grants you a great deal of freedom to customize the design. This insulated dog house offers plenty of space to build compartments for multiple felines or food and water bowls. For extra warmth, make the door smaller to keep out the weather.
26. Repurposed Dog Shelter
|Materials:||Cat door, plywood, stone slabs, wood pallet, insulation board, screws, metal brackets, 2x2s, and an old dog kennel|
|Tools:||Jigsaw and drill|
Reusing a neglected dog shelter is the perfect way to create a home for multiple cats. Kennels are spacious and roomy and designed to stay out in the cold. There’s also enough space to add a second level to allow even more felines in.
27. Catsby Manor
|Materials:||Wooden pallets, plywood, carpet, 5-gallon bucket, nails, screws, roof shingles, and sisal rope|
|Tools:||Drill, hammer, jigsaw, handsaw, circular saw, sander, planer, and staple gun|
With the carpeted design, this idea isn’t completely outdoor-friendly, but the Catsby Manor cat tree does make for a cozy place to sit on a sheltered part of your porch. You could also adapt the design to make it more weatherproof.
28. Dog Kennel and Porch
|Materials:||Wood pallets, planks, screws, wood glue, and corrugated steel|
|Tools:||Nail gun, table saw, sander, clamps, and drill|
A dog kennel design that you can repurpose is this Fun House. You can adjust the design to suit your cat by adding multiple floors in the main house and making the door smaller. There’s even a sheltered porch for them to watch the weather.
29. Kennel With Porch
|Materials:||2x4s, 1x4s, screws, siding, insulation, and plywood|
|Tools:||Nail gun, drill, miter saw, jigsaw, table saw, and Kreg Jig|
This kennel isn’t something that you’ll want to move often. It does offer plenty of space for multiple cats and food dishes. You can add compartments and more doors for several cozy spots for your favorite felines.
30. Redesign a Rabbit Hutch
|Materials:||2x2s, 2x4s, plywood, siding, screws, corrugated metal, and hinges|
|Tools:||Miter saw, drill, tape measure, framing square, and level|
If you want to test your redesigning plans, try restyling this Rabbit Hutch plan. With careful remodeling, you can make an elevated cat house and turn the ramp into a scratching board. Just be aware that you may have to adjust a few of the sizes and forego the hardware cloth to make the design suit your cat.
Whether they’re feral or domesticated, cats love to be warm. Help out your neighborhood strays or keep your intrepid explorer warm on rainy days while you’re at work by building them a cat house. Hopefully, one of these DIY plans has inspired you.
Featured Image Credit: nu_tuna, Pixabay