With winter fast approaching, cat owners minds tend to travel towards their outdoor based fury friends, with a large majority of concern focused on how they are going to brave the severe cold and wild weather of the outdoors. Many cats are unable to be tamed as indoor felines and as much as we would love for them to nest safe and soundly at the end of the bed, in the comfort of the home; many cats will not settle this way. Outdoor cats still need protection from the harshness of winter and a heated outdoor cat house is a great way to do so. Heated outdoor cat houses are relatively easy to make and way more cost effective in relation to buying a premade one and will not only ease keep the cat warm and safe but will ease the mind of the cat owner.
How much heated outdoor cat house will cost?
To begin the creation of your DIY heated outdoor cat house, the first step is to create the simple insulated cat house which you will then heat. To do so you will need the following materials:
- A 30 gallon plastic storage container with lid ($10 at Target or Kmart)
- An 18 gallon plastic storage container with lid ($6 at Target or Kmart)
- Styrofoam insulation – approximately 4 sheets needed ($5 per sheet from Kmart)
- Duct Tape ($4.50 from Kmart)
- Heavy duty carpet scissors or a box cutter ($5 from Seton)
To create the heating element to the insulated cat house you will need:
- Outdoor waterproof electric heating pad (easily found online, starting at $30)
- An extension cord.
- Drill to create a hole for the heat pad’s cord to pass through.
How to build the insulated cat house?
- Firstly, you will need to cut the doorway hole into the narrower side of the storage container. The hole should not be too big so that other bigger and more confident animals can try and take over the cat house. Cats are able to fit into a fairly snug hole, so try not to overdo it. The small hole will also ensure that no harmful natural elements can get to the cat while it is inside, such as strong gusts of wind.
- Tape the edges of the doorway hole with duct tape. The duct tape will make sure that the cat is not harmed on the way in and out of the cat house, as cut edges of plastic can be sharp.
- Make a hole in each container with a drill as to where the cord for the heat pad will pass through. Ensure that all holes line up.
- Next, place a piece of Styrofoam insulation on the bottom of the first box, cutting the piece of insulation with the box cutter to fit the container. Continue this method for the other four walls; making sure all walls are covered for optimum insulation, with the exception of a hole in one wall for the heat pad’s cord. It is important not to make the insulation for the walls too high or the lid will not fit on. Cut out a matching door hole in the Styrofoam.
- Place the second smaller plastic container into the Styrofoam lined larger container. It should fit in comfortably without much room for movement.
- Place the outdoor heating pad into the bottom of the smaller container. Plug into power outlet using extension cord if need be. The heating pads are activated by weight so will only be heating up when your fury friend is inside.
- Lay down some straw on top of the heating pad for extra insulation and then secure the lid on top of the smaller container.
- Place a piece of insulation on top of the small containers lid and then secure the larger containers lid.
- Place the finished cat house in an appropriate location, away from danger and not directly onto the cold ground. Also keep in mind that there is an electrical cord running to the cat house, so try to position it as close as possible to a power outlet. Secure the cat house it against the wind by placing a flat stone or brick on top of the roof.
In severe cold weather it is essential that your outdoor cat has a very warm place to rest on snowy, rainy nights. Not only is this DIY outdoor heated cat house somewhat easy to make, it is also cheap and very effective in ensuring the safety of your cat against the harsh winter cold. The heating pad is a great way for your cat to gain localised extra warmth, with the entire cat house staying warm and cosy due to the insulation. Electric heating pads are perfect for outdoor cat houses as they only warm up when pressure is being applied to them, meaning that they are not using unnecessary energy.
The overall cost of building an outdoor heated cat house is approximately $65 at the minimum, depending on the quality of your heating pad or where you source your heating pad. Ebay has some really great deals when it comes to cheapness and quality.