11 DIY Outdoor Cat House Plans You Can Make Today

Last Updated on: October 23, 2020

If your cat lives outdoors, or you look after a colony of feral cats you’ll know that keeping them warm and dry in the winter can be a challenge. The answer is a sturdy outdoor cat house that will provide them with somewhere to shelter.

We searched the internet and have found 11 of the best DIY plans for outdoor cat houses that you can start building right away.

From a super smart design featuring an old cooler to a robust elevated wooden shelter, we’ve included a wide range of designs – many of them are suitable for beginners, too!

Pick your favorite and get building! 

1. Insulated Cat House by My Outdoor Plans

Insulated Cat House by My Outdoor Plans
Image: My Outdoor Plans

Skill Level: Medium to Advanced

This cozy insulated cat house plan from My Outdoor Plans is an excellent choice if you want a robust yet attractive house to keep your outdoor cat warm all winter long.

You can follow along the detailed step-by-step plan to make this cat house – and then have fun painting and styling it however you like!

Materials
  • Wood of various lengths and widths
  • Plywood
  • Polystyrene foam
  • Wood stain
  • Paint
  • Glue
  • Wood filler
  • Nails and screws
Tools
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Miter saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Sander
  • Drill
  • Level

2. Instructables Easy Winter Shelter for Cats

Instructables Easy Winter Shelter for Cats
Image: Instructables

Skill Level: Beginner

This extremely easy shelter from Instructables is based around a Styrofoam box. These are cheap to buy making this a great project if you’re looking for a way to provide multiple feral cats with shelter on a budget.

The instructions are easy to follow along and you can make this in a couple of hours.

Materials
  • Styrofoam box
  • Fabric for bedding
  • Tape
  • Glue
Tools
  • Craft knife

3. Cooler Cat House by Instructables

Cooler Cat House by Instructables
Image: Instructables

Skill Level: Medium

This is such a great idea! If you have an old cooler in your garage, you can quickly and easily turn it into an excellent outdoor cat house using this tutorial on Instructables!

You can add rope lighting as a heating option if you have harsh winters.

Materials
  • Large cooler
  • Rope light
  • Zip ties
  • Mounting base
  • Wood screws
  • Carpet or other bedding
  • Foam pad
  • Glue
Tools
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Hot glue gun

4. Easy Tire Cat House by How2

Easy Tire Cat House by How2
Image: How2 Youtube

Skill Level: Medium

Guess what – if you have a few old tires in your garage, you can make an outdoor cat house! This YouTube video by How2 explains the steps you’ll need to follow.

You’ll need a Dremel grinder or similar to cut through the tires, but apart from that, this is a super easy and quick project which can be completed on a tight budget.

Materials
  • 2 old tires
  • Plywood
  • Blankets
Tools
  • Dremel grinder
  • Craft knife
  • Hacksaw

5.  Insulated and Waterproof Cat House by What We Made

Insulated and Waterproof Cat House by What We Made
Image: What We Made

Skill Level: Medium

Using a range of relatively cheap and easy to find materials, you can make this insulated and waterproof outdoor cat house.

Follow the YouTube tutorial by What We Made and you can have this completed in an afternoon.

Materials
  • 2 x rubber tubs
  • 6” PVC pipe
  • Insulating fabric
  • Foam insulation
Tools
  • Jigsaw
  • Craft knife

6. Alley Cat Allies Outdoor Cat Shelter

Skill Level: Beginner to Medium

Whether you’re looking after a feral cat colony, or have domestic cats who simply don’t like to come indoors, this shelter by Alley Cat Allies is a great choice.

This requires minimal skill and easy to find materials. Straw is used to insulate the house and provide bedding, meaning it’s easy to keep this clean simply by changing the straw inside regularly.

Materials
  • Straw
  • Flower pot
  • Styrofoam
  • 2 x plastic tubs
Tools
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors

7. Fiver Cats Community Cat Shelter

Fiver Cats Community Cat Shelter
Image: Fiver Cats

Skill Level: Medium to Advanced

These Fiver Cats shelters are designed to be used to house feral cat colonies in reasonably remote locations, but their design is also perfect for use in your backyard.

The detailed step-by-step instructions provide all you need to get this built in a day or so. The elevated height is excellent if you live somewhere with heavy snowfall too.

Materials
  • Chalk
  • Roofing material
  • Hook and latch set
  • Screws and nails
  • Plywood
  • Lumber of various sizes
Tools
  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill

8. Cats In My Yard Heated Outdoor House

Cats In My Yard Heated Outdoor House
Image: Cats In My Yard

Skill Level: Advanced

Cats In My Yard have created a detailed post on how to provide a heated outdoor house for multiple cats. If you live somewhere with very cold winters, your outdoor cats will appreciate this!

Materials
  • Wood of various sizes
  • Heated mats and bowls
  • Straw
  • Glue
  • Paint
Tools
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Jigsaw

9. Cozy Wooden Cat House With Window by Instructables

Cozy Wooden Cat House With Window by Instructables
Image: Instructables

Skill Level: Medium to Advanced

This tutorial by Instructables is perfect if your outdoor cat also likes to watch the world go by while they’re keeping warm and cozy.

This cute wooden cat house has a window so they can hang out in style.

Materials
  • Plywood
  • Rubber matting
  • Hinges
  • Paint
  • Weatherstripping
  • Transparent plastic
  • Carpet or blanket
Tools
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver

10. Faux Hedge Cat House by Ellen Hart

Skill Level: Beginner

This shelter by Ellen Hart is cheap and easy to make and uses garden lattice plus faux hedging to provide a cozy place for your cats to sleep.

Bear in mind it’s not weatherproof – but it is perfect for outdoor kitties in hotter climates or long summers.

Materials
  • Plywood
  • Garden lattice
  • Paint
  • Faux hedging
  • Cable ties
  • Bedding
Tools
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill

11. Sturdy Winter Cat Shelter by Alley Cat Allies

Sturdy Winter Cat Shelter by Alley Cat Allies
Image: Alley Cat Allies

Skill Level: Medium to Advanced

This detailed tutorial by Alley Cat Allies will help you make a strong and sturdy cat house for the winter.

It’s perfect for feral and domestic cats alike as soon as the colder weather comes in.

Materials
  • Plywood
  • Roofing shingles lumber of various sizes
  • House paint
  • Hinges
  • Bricks
  • Roofing nails
  • Fiberglass insulation
Tools
  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Screwdriver
  • Pen
  • Measuring tape

Conclusion

So, there you have it! We hope there’s a DIY plan here to suit you and your outdoor cat.

Whether you’re skilled with your DIY skills or just starting, there’s plenty of plans here to suit all of us. Some of the designs are extremely clever and can easily be completed using some materials you might already have on-hand. Others will need a bit more planning as well as new materials.

Either way, you’re sure to end up with a warm and cozy house for your cat. We’re sure they’ll thank you for that come winter!

Featured Image: Ella Lena, Pexels