Guide/How-to| Alley Cat Allies

Pre-Built | Assembly Required: Easy | Moderate | Advanced

Providing shelter is a great way to keep cats safe from the elements and can help you monitor their ongoing well-being. There are several options available for feral cat shelters. Below are just some of those options.

Learn what makes a good shelter for outdoor cats.

Looking for other ways to keep cats more comfortable outdoors? See our tips for winter, summer, and year-round care.

Pre-Built

K&H Outdoor Heated Kitty House

Advantages: Waterproof vinyl backing, easy to assemble, 2 exits, thermostat-controlled, heated floor pad, comfy.

Disadvantages: Cost, not as sturdy as more permenant shelters, may not provide adequate protection from predators because of the materials used and large door openings.

Catio Furniture™ Feral Cat House

Advantages: Weatherproof, drain holes.

Disadvantages: Cost, may not accommodate more than one cat.

KatKabin

Advantages: Lightweight, protects from the elements.

Disadvantages: Cost, not well insulated, complaints about cracking in outer plastic.
Special thanks to Modern Cat.

The Kitty Tube

Advantages: Made from recycled materials, weatherproof, insulated, removable lid, easily cleanable, and comes with a “straw only” option.

Disadvantages: Cost, the pet bed option is not recommended for outdoor use.
Special thanks to The Kitty Tube.

Ark Workshop Outdoor Cat House

Advantages: Sturdy wooden construction, spacious, available with add-ons such as insulation, another exit, door flaps and overhangs, and risers..

Disadvantages: We don’t recommend some of the bedding options such as cedar and pine shavings. The base price is reasonable, but once you include add-ons, it can get pricey!
Special thanks to Ark Workshop

Feral Villa

Advantages: Durable wood and weatherproof shingles.

Disadvantages: Requires some tools for construction. *Check out the pre-made feeding stations available for purchase on the same site.
Special Thanks to Feral Villa.

Plastic “Igloo” Shelter

Advantages: Pre-made and can be purchased at most pet stores.

Disadvantages: Wide door opening makes this shelter harder to insulate and guard against the wind. This also provides less protection from predators.

Easy

Alley Cat Allies’ DIY Outdoor CAT Shelter

Advantages: Inexpensive, easy to build and transport.

Disadvantages: Lightweight provides less protection from predators than a wooden structure.

Faux Rock Shelter

Advantages: Available at most home improvement stores and garden centers, well camouflaged.Possible Drawbacks: Prefabricated rocks can be expensive, tools will be necessary to cut opening and attach base.

Disadvantages: Prefabricated rocks can be expensive, tools will be necessary to cut opening and attach base.
Special Thanks to CSUN Catpeople.

Styrofoam Cooler Shelter

Advantages: Styrofoam cooler is available from hardware stores, grocery stores, restaurants, etc. Simple to make.

Disadvantages: Lightweight – provides less protection from predators than a wooden structure. Cats may scratch Styrofoam. As with many of our low cost shelter options, this shelter is not weatherproof and will require more upkeep then some of the more permanent and professionally built shelters.
Try reinforcing this shelter by taping heavy duty lawn and garbage bags around the outside of it, to provide added protection from rain and snow.
Special Thanks to Indy Feral.

All About Spay Neuter Fish Box Cat Shelter

Advantages: Available in white or camouflage, tiled floor to prevent scratches, drainage system.

Disadvantages: Lightweight — provides less protection from predators than a wooden structure.
Special Thanks to All About Spay Neuter.

Spay And Stay Weatherproof Cat Shelter

Advantages: Inexpensive, easy to build and transport.

Disadvantages: Lightweight – provides less protection from predators than a wooden structure.
Special Thanks to Spay And Stay.

18-gallon PlasticTub Shelter

Advantages: Inexpensive, easy to build and transport.

Disadvantages: Lightweight – provides less protection from predators than a wooden structure.
Special Thanks to Community Cats Maryland.

All About Spay Neuter All Weather Cat Shelter

Advantages: Pressure sealed, 2 insulations all around, low maintenance.

Disadvantages: Lightweight – provides less protection from predators than a wooden structure.
Special Thanks to All About Spay Neuter.

Roughneck Home

Advantages: Affordable, easily reproduced in quantity with commonly available materials and simple tools.

Disadvantages: Provides less protection from predators than a wooden structure.
Special Thanks to eRubbermaid.

Storage Container Shelter with flap

Advantages: Affordable, door flap to help keep out weather, easily reproduced in quantity with commonly available materials and simple tools.

Disadvantages: Provides less protection from predators than a wooden structure.
Thanks to Dana Hudson Goldstein from VoteAnimals.org.

50-gallon Storage Container Shelter

Advantages: Affordable, easily reproduced in quantity with commonly available materials and simple tools.

Disadvantages: Provides less protection from predators than a wooden structure.
Special Thanks to John V.

Plastic Cooler Shelter

Advantages: Weather proof, pre-insulated, relatively inexpensive and includes an easy opening top for cleaning.

Disadvantages: Requires special tools for cutting an opening.

Corokitty Shelter

Advantages: Stylish and well designed. Simple, inexpensive, durable materials. Weather resistant. Variety of designs that can be easily modified. Some designs can be attached together to create multi-unit shelters.

Disadvantages: Requires some degree of skill and access to tools—like a jigsaw for cutting. Not all design plans are complete—the site is a work in progress—so check back for updates.
Special Thanks to Chris Peterson.

Moderate

Alley Cat Allies’ Inexpensive Do-It-Yourself Shelter

Advantages: Sturdy design, can house multiple cats, provides protection from predators.

Disadvantages: Building requires a moderate degree of skill.

“Dog House” Shelter

Advantages: Sturdy design, provides protection from predators.

Disadvantages: Building requires a moderate degree of skill.

FIVER Cats Raised Wooden Cat Shelter

Advantages: Very sturdy, two exits, raised for potential high snowfall, can use water-resistant/proof material for roofing, small “porch” on front.

Disadvantages: Requires tools for construction, cost, larger size.
Special Thanks to FIVER Cats.

Camper Topper Shelter

Advantages: Can house 10-15 cats, camper toppers are readily available for purchase.

Disadvantages: Requires some tools and moderate skill for modification.
Thanks to Friends of Felines in Sedgwick, Kansas.

Garden Shed as a Shelter

Advantages: Shed is easily re-purposed and modified. Houses many cats and provides heating options.

Disadvantages: Requires larger space, availability of a shed, and moderate skill to install a cat door.
Special Thanks to Community Cats Maryland.

Lattice-Wrapped Porch

Advantages: Easy to install, provides protection from predators and its intended purpose is not noticeable.

Disadvantages: Moderate skill level required to frame and apply lattice.
Special Thanks to Community Cats Maryland.

Faux Hedge Shelter

Advantages: Accomodates more than one cat, inexpensive and easy to construct, provides privacy for cats and aesthetic consideration for neighbors.

Disadvantages: Not weatherproof, requires additional measures for cold weather use.
Special Thanks to Ellen Hart.

Advanced

A-Frame Cat Shelter

Advantages: Sturdy design, provides protection from predators, large A-fram roof allows for heat lamp.

Disadvantages: Building requires a high degree of skill.
Special Thanks to Community Cats Maryland.

Coop Shelter

Advantages: Houses multiple cats, sturdy, offers protection from predators.

Disadvantages: Requires skill, and large space.
Special Thanks to Community Cats Maryland.