Cat House for Those Chilly Nights

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Introduction: Cat House for Those Chilly Nights

Weather changes quickly and can be rather nasty here in Ontario. There were times our cat didn't make it home before lights out and got stuck outside for the night. Being in the rural area, a cat door was not a solution either.

So, we decided to build him a cat house for him to hang out in and give him some shelter. With the weather we had this year, this was one of the better projects we built.

Step 1: Building Box

Since our cat does not like small spaces, we had to build it large. Using several 2x2s to frame the box added the extra support needed to withstand our dogs using the roof as a lookout point.

Our cat house ended up 18" by 26" by 18" tall. Any size would do according to your cat's preference. We used exterior plywood left over from other projects and sealed the wood with waterproof paint. The roof/lid was attached with hinges to allow us to clean the inside. A strip of weather stripping around the lid helped seal out drafts. We had some plastic left over from a storm window repair, so added a small window to give some natural light.

A piece of leftover carpet (which can be easily removed for washing) added comfort A cat blanket from the local dollar store added some extra warmth and gives it that homey feeling.

Step 2: Happy Cat

We were not sure whether our cat would actually use it or how well it would hold up to the harsh weather. Here is a picture after one year on the deck.

As far as use goes, we are happy to say that the few times he didn't come home we were glad to find him warm and safe inside his cat house. And that made it well worth it.

Participated in the
Pets Month

1 Person Made This Project!

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57 Discussions

0
Thezcatz
Thezcatz

Question 1 day ago on Step 2

Do you have instructions for PVC catio?

0
Guy.Fawkes
Guy.Fawkes

11 years ago on Introduction

Great idea. We have "yard cats" (they moved into the yard and I, being a sucker for a hungry look, started feeding them, so they stayed) and it would be nice if they could get out of the rain someplace besides my kitchen porch. This is Oregon; it does rain, a bit. I think I'll try to rig it so the clothes dryer exhaust blows underneath the cat house floor, too, adding a bit more warmth. Hmm, now I'm going to need a diverter on the duct so I don't have to move the cat house in Spring and put it back in the Fall... But they don't need light. they can't read, and they shouldn't have electric cords to chew on. So no 40W bulbs from EvilMart.

0
greensquirl777
greensquirl777

Reply 3 months ago

I have used a version of this for about 22 years. Yes, 22 YEARS. It has a cloth 2nd wall to help keep more warmth in, and a LIGHT to help add warmth. Because the cord goes up thru the top, it never gets chewed on. I have mine insulated with 2" reflective foam board, and an old couch cushion. There is room for them to have a food bowl and a water bowl. I have the exit located at the top so they have to jump up out, or down in. Once my cats have stayed in it, it transfers their scent and keeps strays away. 15 different cats have called it home. Some times there would be 3 or 4 at a time in there.

0
AirstreamAmy
AirstreamAmy

Tip 4 months ago on Introduction

In colder climates, blankets will hold the cold, and freeze your cat...you must use straw for good insulation, not hay!! ...and you can also add a heatimg pad for pets too..plus, two holes.. one for escape if needed

1
EricS335
EricS335

3 years ago

This is cool. Only suggestion is that carpet, blankets, towels, etc easily retains moisture and increases flea infestation chances. Better off using wood chips or straw for warmth. For more ideas on this topic, visit http://www.alleycat.org/resources/feral-cat-shelter-options-gallery/

1
cannonj507
cannonj507

6 years ago on Introduction

Use another section inside the house. Cut a doorway at the back of the section so the cat has two doorways to reach the sleeping area. The cat walks straight to the back and enters the second doorway to the sleeping area. This stops cold air from coming straight into the house which keeps it warmer for the cat during cold months. Do not face the house to the north because of the cold winds from that direction.

1
battlinjack
battlinjack

6 years ago on Introduction

Great idea, but you should add a back door. If another cat tries to get in and he has no where to run there will be a fight. I build winter shelters for strays/ferals and have seen it happen more than once. I use clear plexi hinged on the outside so it can only be opened from inside. Always have an escape hatch for the cat.

1
bouder
bouder

8 years ago on Introduction

I wish I had found this last fall ... we had trouble getting our cat to come in at night and, desperate, I left his cat carrier (complete with pillows and blankets) outside so he would not freeze. Since carrier = vet, he refuse to use it. LOL! I am happy to report he did not freeze, nor lose parts, but I will make this house and get him used to it over the summer! Thanks for the great idea!

1
pensativo
pensativo

8 years ago on Introduction

Super cool. Thanks for documenting this. I am about to build one of these myself as my wife and children have adopted a stray. It has to stay outside because we have severe allergies. Thanks again for taking the time to put this on.

Oh, new idea: maybe I can put the cat box in a cat box...lol. If I find one big enough, then the cardboard can be decorated. My kids always loved the giant boxes we got and made a playhouse that we all colored with crayons and markers. They still talk about that, and they are in college now.

love it! Our cats go in and out a "cat window" but they love to snuggle in a small space such as open cardboard boxes. I think I'll start making them a cat condo with a few boxes and pillows. I can discard the boxes as they get and use new ones and launder the pillows... perhaps a dedicated nest will keep the hair fallout more contained... but I'm not betting on it.

thanks.

1
qboid
qboid

8 years ago on Step 2

I would probably put a canopy and seal the edges with silicon sealant, With pushable doors made of glass to keep the heat in just a little bit more.

0
Scammah
Scammah

12 years ago on Introduction

This is a great idea I want to try this. I have been looking for someone to make an instructable like this for awhile. Is that a door mat on top of it?

0
feiheck
feiheck

Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

Yes, it is a heavy weight rubber door mat. It helps protect the roof/lid from the dogs and cat's nails when they jump on and off. Even during heavy winds it didn't blow off.

0
Tomasauk
Tomasauk

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

It would be cool if you put it underground and the roof would be the doormat to your house.

0
Wolfram
Wolfram

Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

But why dont you just get one of those doors that open because the cat's collar is magnetic ??

0
Scammah
Scammah

Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

Well then he wouldn't be able to make this cool house.