Stray and feral cats can be a serious problem. In many cases, these animals live on the streets and fight for their food and shelter every day of the year. To help them out, you can build an insulated outdoor cat house so they will have a place to sleep dry and warm even during the cold winter nights. Unlike humans or other animals, cats can't produce their own heat and need a little help to survive.
If you are worried about stray cats during cold winter nights, this cat house is something worth making. It will help prevent them from becoming sick or injured, which can be quite common during freezing temperatures.
Read on to learn how to build your own DIY insulated outdoor cat house for multiple cats. It will keep them safe and warm during cold weather!
How to Build an Insulated Outdoor Cat House For Winter
Step 1: Gather The Right Tools and Materials
To build a warm outdoor cat house, you will need the following tools and materials:
- 2 x 4 boards at 8 feet long (you can use lumber from under your local hardware store)
- Wood screws or nails
- Fiberglass insulation
- Angle brackets and wood screws
- Corrugated plastic or metal sheeting – roughly 35 inches by 48 inches (you can use plastic from an old storage bin)
Step 2: Design the Outdoor Cat House for Winter
You can create your own design, but it should follow these basic guidelines:
- Floor dimensions roughly 30 inches by 20 inches
- 2 to 3 feet tall, depending on the thickness of your insulation
- Sloped roof. You can create this yourself
Step 3: Assemble the Sides and Roof
Use angle brackets with screws to hold the sides together. Build two sides first, then attach the roof using angle brackets with screws.
Step 4: Cut Flaps on the Sides
Cut out two large flaps, roughly 10 by 6 inches, from the corrugated metal or plastic sheeting. These will serve as your ventilation holes. They should be cut in a way where they are easy to open and close.
Step 5: Cut and Attach the Floor
Attach the floor to your DIY insulated outdoor cat house using screws and angle brackets. Again, you can create your own design, but make sure it's square.
Step 6: Attach the Insulation
Use fiberglass insulation to fill all the gaps between the boards. You can also use thin foam sheeting, which will only insulate against cold, not heat. If you choose to do so, make sure you wrap it in plastic and tape it around for additional protection from water and moisture.
Step 7: Cut and Attach the Roof
Attach the roof to your cat house using screws and angle brackets. You can cut a hole for ventilation on either side of the cat house, but it's recommended that you pick one side only. That way, the wind will blow through the other side and keep the temperature inside more consistent (and therefore warmer).
Step 8: Cut and Attach the Door
Cut out a door using one of the metal sheets. Position it towards the front of the cat house, about 2 feet up from the floor level. You can make it any size you want. For example, if the stray cats in your area are small, you can make the door smaller. If they're large, then size it accordingly to keep them all safe and warm inside their new house during cold winter nights!
Step 9: Insulate the Door
Attach insulation around the inside of the door using screws and angle brackets. You can attach insulation to the sides of the cat house too, but that's not necessary if you have already attached fiberglass or foam sheeting to those areas.
Step 10: Assemble the Cat House
Use screws and angle brackets for this step as well. You have to screw all the pieces together with screws and angle brackets.
You can attach a piece of plywood to the front, which will give your cat house a nice finished look. You can also add other details such as paint or trim along the roof and floor if you want.
Step 11: Place Your New DIY Insulated Outdoor Cat House for Winter
Now that you built a cat house, you need to find a nice place to put it. First and foremost, you want to make sure it's in a safe location where stray cats won't get run over by cars!
Ideally, the cat house should be somewhere close to its current habitat. For example, if they live under an abandoned shed or porch, you want to place the cat house under the same shed or porch.
You should also consider whether there are any feral cats in your area. If they're around, then placing your insulated outdoor cat house close to their territory will draw them inside more quickly.
Other Things About Insulated Outdoor Cat House
In addition to the steps above for building a fully insulated outdoor cat house, here are a few more things to note.
Some Ideal Places to Put Your Insulated Cat House for Stray Cats
1. Put it in an area where you see the most stray cats
If you have an area where you see a lot of stray cats, then put the cat house there. This will be a prime location, and it will draw cats in immediately.
2. Near bushes and trees
Cats like to sleep in bushes and under trees, especially when it's cold outside. So putting your insulated outdoor cat house on the perimeter of these areas is an excellent way to attract and trap stray cats.
3. In your backyard
Cats are territorial. So if they live close to your home, they'll likely claim your backyard as their territory. This means that if you put the cat house in your backyard, it will trap them inside.
4. Near food bowls
You can also attract stray cats to your insulated outdoor cat house by placing food bowls around it. Cats are creatures of habit and routine, so they will return to the same spots and eat food every day. And if they find a safe, warm place to sleep along the way, all the better!
5. Near dumpsters and garbage cans
Cats like to scavenge for food. So if they're rummaging through your garbage can or a dumpster, then placing the insulated outdoor cat house nearby will be a very effective way to trap them inside.
In addition to these ideal locations, you should also place your cat house somewhere that's easy for you to find. You don't want it too close to your home, but you also want a good landmark if stray cats take off with it!
You can use a wooden post or anything else to mark the location of the cat house. For example, putting it near some garbage cans will make it easier to find.
Placing Food and Water Near the Warm Outdoor Cat House
Stray cats have nothing to eat or drink. So you need to provide both food and water if you don't want them to go hungry or thirsty. Ideally, put the food bowls under the insulated outdoor cat house so they'll come inside to eat.
However, there is a risk of the food attracting neighborhood cats. So if you want to keep them out, then put it somewhere else, or you can also close up all entry points except for one. That way, stray cats will feel safe enough to go inside, but other neighborhood cats won't follow them in.
Using Durable Materials when DIY Insulated Cat House
You must use sturdy materials to construct your DIY insulated outdoor cat house for winter. You can use cheap plywood or cardboard, but you'll likely need to replace it after a few months if it gets wet. If you are in an area with a lot of rain, then an insulated waterproof outdoor cat house is ideal.
Budgeting about $60 is good for an average-sized box with insulation and the proper roof ventilation. But, of course, this will vary depending on the size and materials you use for construction.
You should also consider the type of insulation you want to use. Again, this will depend on your climate, but most people usually opt for Styrofoam or some other form of foam.
Insulating the floor is also a good idea, especially if it will be placed somewhere cold, like near a dumpster or other outdoor location. You can use either foam or thick cardboard to insulate the floor.
Make Sure to Provide Ventilation
You should also make sure you provide good ventilation in your cat house! Stray cats are very heat sensitive, so they may die if the inside becomes too hot. It's particularly dangerous for kittens, who can't handle the heat, as well as adult cats.
This is why it's also a good idea to place the cat house near bushes and trees. That way, stray cats will feel comfortable spending their time outdoors while you provide them with warmth and shelter (from the elements).
In conclusion, it's important to provide shelter for stray cats during winter. You can do this by building an insulated outdoor cat house and placing food and water around the area they'll likely go to every day.
This will allow them to eat and drink while also providing a comfortable place to sleep through those cold winter nights! Stray cats are often overlooked, and they need our help, so if you can spare a few dollars to build them something warm and cozy, then do so.
Cat houses are more of an "investment" for stray cats since it will keep them sheltered during the winter months. For this reason, it's also essential to know where they sleep daily. This way, you can place the house close to them and make sure you provide food and water right beside it.