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Are Cat Houses Needed For Your Indoor Cat?

Updated on April 23, 2014

Today cat houses seem to be popping up all over the place, especially in areas where a stray cat problem exists. It is a very sad commentary, when our cats run away and get lost, but it is downright unforgivable when an owner.abandons or ditches their pet. Maybe the cat has destroyed the furniture or scratched them or urinated where he shouldn't, but abandonment is not an option, in my book. Unfortunately rather than taking these misbehaving pets to a shelter or finding another home for them, these people will just drop them off away from home. Today, their is an increasing amount of this behavior mainly due to the weak economy. It is hard to understand the thought process, but there are people out there who leave their pets behind just because they can't afford them anymore. To me. this is a form of animal cruelty, but that's a story for another day.

Unfortunately, if your area has a large stray cat population, you can't find a home for all of them. Additionally, bringing in a stray involves many challenges for your other cats, such as fleas, ticks, lice or even HIV or feline Leukemia. One way to help these animals though, is to build or purchase a cat house for your yard. Outdoor cat houses provide temporary shelter for strays on a freezing night or during rainy weather. They will also provide your cat with a temporary shelter if he decides to bolt from your house or roam the neighborhood. If he's a full time or part time outdoor cat and you don't want to spend the night searching for him, this convenient dwelling will provide him some comfort for the night.

The Following is a list of things to consider before building your cat houses. These items will help you decide what you need to purchase and the amount of effort that will be involved

  • How many cats do you need to house? Remember that not all cats are likely to use the shelter, or at least not all at the same time. This shelter should probably house no more than 5 to 7 cats simultaneously.

  • Make sure that you make the shelter small enough for storing in your vehicle, if transport is required.

  • If you live in a climate that gets very cold it is recommended that you use insulation

  • Use only exterior paint to reduce weather exposure (preferably dark green or dark brown, or something that matches the surroundings).

  • The floor should be tiled instead of carpeted to reduce the chance of flea infestation and combat moisture inside the shelter.

  • Use screws instead of nails for better durability.

  • The roof should be hinged so bedding can be replaced, and for easy access when rescuing kittens that might be sheltered there.

  • The roof should be slanted to keep water outside.

  • A wind block should be set in place inside the door of the shelter to improve occupant comfort. You may also consider a canvas flap to go over the door.

  • Place wood chips, straw, or hay inside for warmth and comfort.

Remember that cat houses can be built for your indoor cat, if he decides to remain outside for the night and that's why more than one house may be needed if you live in a feral cat neighborhood.

Cosycat - The Outdoor Cat House


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    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 

      4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      I think these houses are a smart way of dealing with helping outdoor cats interesting Hub and beautiful cats!

    • stars439 profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Wonderful hub. God Bless You

    • hglick profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      yes Shinkicker, I agree. There are too many abandoned pets these days

      That's a good question epigramman. I'm sure google has the answer (lol)

    • epigramman profile image


      8 years ago

      well you are certainly a decent noble friend of all God's creatures ...and you put a labor of love into your hubs so from my two best friends - Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel - thank you for your love!

      And outside for them - well the world is just one big cat house - lol lol the way - unrelated question - why did they give the name - cat house - to brothels back in the old days?

    • Shinkicker profile image


      9 years ago from Scotland

      What a novel idea, especially if more cats are being abandoned.

    • hglick profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Coach, Yes it is true that the biggest problems come from ferals that are not spayed or neutered. We need more people like you guys to make a difference, and adopt or recommend building small shelters. Thanks for caring.

    • Coach Albert profile image

      Coach Albert 

      9 years ago from San Francisco

      Hey fellow cat lover. Great hub. My fiancee and I have had our little princess for about two years now. She came from a feral cat in an affluent neighborhood were a family fed them but never caught them to be spayed or neutered. Hence one cat produced fresh litters every season. My fiancee brought her home and I fell in love with the little furball. We talked the family into calling the humane society to trap and spay the feral momma kitty. I never knew they had these for cats, it makes sense. I will recommend an outdoor cat shelter as well hopefully they'll listen.

    • hglick profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      kartika, thank you for the info on alley cat allies

      I'll include the link here:

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 

      9 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      Excellent information. I have a website on pets and will be researching this more - I have written about the feral cat issues and as more people abandon cats we will see more of this - my cat is an inside cat, but I know some cats would love an outside house in a nice safe part of the yard. People can go to Ally Cat Allies for more on dealing with this issue!

    • hglick profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      2patricias, Yes I have some friends with indoor/outdoor cats who have built cat houses for them. I guess it's easier when the cat does it's bathroom activity outside as long as it's not in the flower bed LOL

    • 2patricias profile image


      9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Just the other day a friend was telling me that she has a cat house for her cat. Her's is insulated and her cat spends a lot of time in it.

    • hglick profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Rose Ella, We need more people like you who will adopt these loving animals from the humane society.

    • Rose Ella Morton profile image

      Rose Ella Morton 

      9 years ago from Beverly Hills, Michigan

      I once meet an old lady at the grocery store. She was buying a case of cat food, yet she own no cats. She told me that she had been feeding the strays. and as you know a well feed cat has a better chance with her kittens. sometimes it better to have the adult female cat fixed and have the Humane Society pick up the kitten. I have a cat and dog both from there.

    • hglick profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Yes Spiffygal, I know what you mean. Most of the strays in my area relocate behind a Pizza restaurant down the block from me and I end up putting food down for them.

    • Spiffygal101 profile image


      9 years ago from N.W. Florida/South Alabama

      I agree with you about people abandoning their pets. Some just don't care for them and they relocate to my house...great hub and keep up the good work...


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