how to build a cat house outdoor

Name Your Outdoor Cat Shelter!

Ten Cat Nap Lane is a word play, if you will. I drew in the name using a waterproof white pencil, but paint would work just as well. If you own a Cricut or comparable cutting device, feel free to use it creatively.

DIY Heated Cat House

Step 1 –

Assemble your supplies and be aware that this project is best suited for a person with intermediate carpentry skills. Using a circular saw, measure and cut four 16-inch-square pieces of plywood from the 1/2 sheet of 3/8-inch plywood. Before cutting, make sure your lines are straight by using your level.

Step 2 –

Using your circular saw, cut four 1″ x 2″ pieces of wood measuring 16″ long and two 13″ long each from the 8′ piece. Cut two 16-inch-long by 8-inch-high triangles out of the 3/4-inch plywood.

Step 3 –

The next step will be to trim the gaps so that your cat can enter and exit the house. You will have two openings and use two of the sixteen-square pieces. Using a carpenter’s square and the lid of a paint can (or other circular object), measure each opening to be at least 6 inches wide by 8 inches tall.

It is optional, but you will need to make room if you wish to install a heating pad in the house. Make a hole in the box’s back for your electrical cord to pass through.

Step 4 –

For the straight edges of each opening, use a circular saw; for the rounded portion, use a jig saw.

Step 5 –

Attach your 1 x 2 sixteen-inch long pieces to two sides of two pieces of 16-by-16-inch plywood. These will serve as the backing for the inside box’s corners.

Step 6 –

To create the interior of the cat house box’s top, screw one piece of 1″ x 2″ by 13″ across.

Step 7 –

The next step in building the box is to take two side pieces and fasten them together with 1 1/4′′ screws. Repeat process for the other side. Attach these pieces together to make the box.

Step 8 –

We made use of leftover white-painted plywood from another project. Great way to recycle wood!.

Choose a location for the box on the 2′ x 2′ 3/4′′ piece of plywood that will serve as the cat house’s platform.

Step 9 –

Use four of the National Hardware 2 1/2″ Corner Braces to attach the sides of the box to the platform on the inside. Use your screw gun for this.

Step 10 –

Using a screw gun and 1 5/8′′ screws, attach the two triangles to the front and back of the cat house. This will start to build the outdoor cat house roof.

Step 11 –

Cut the 2′ x 2′ 1/2′′ piece of plywood in half. These pieces will form the roof of the cat house. 1 5/8′′ deck screws are used to fasten one side of the roof component.

Step 12 –

Place the second part of the roof on the triangle and attach it using two of the National Hardware 1 1/2″ Back Flap Hinges. The blister package comes with screws that you’ll find handy to use! These hinges allow easy access to the inside of the cat house for the cat’s people!

Step 13 –

It’s really starting to come together!

Cut the shim shingles in half using your circular saw. Attach as shown in two rows using adhesive caulking.

Step 14 –

Cut the two bead board pieces into 16-inch lengths. Next, trace around each doorway opening, imitating the curve at the top, using the paint lid. Make any necessary cuts to additional bead board pieces to decorate the entire roof line. Cut these pieces with a jig saw.

Step 15 –

Using adhesive caulk, affix the bead board to the two sides of the cat box around the two openings for decoration.

Step 16 –

Cut four pieces of the 2″ x 4″ ten inches long. These will be the legs to raise the cat house off the ground. You can make the legs taller or shorter to suit your needs. Attach with 1 5/8″ deck screws from the top and use the National Hardware 2 1/2″ Corner Braces underneath.

Step 17 –

Now that your cat box is built, you can paint and decorate it however you like! If you decide to paint, it’s best to paint the outside of the cat house as well as the inside using a waterproof exterior paint or stain.

How To Build An Outdoor Cat House

  • One – 1/2 sheet – 3/8″ plywood
  • One – 2′ x 2′ sheet – 1/2″ plywood
  • One – 2′ x 4′ sheet – 3/4″ plywood
  • One – 8′ – 2″ x 4″ (pressure treated pine)
  • One – 8′ – 1″ x 2″ (clear fir)
  • Two – 8′ Bead Board (pine)
  • Two – Packs Wood Shim Shingles
  • 1 1/4″ Exterior Deck Screws
  • 1 5/8″ Exterior Deck Screws
  • Adhesive Caulking
  • Waterproof Exterior Stain
  • Paint Brush
  • Heating Pad
  • Twelve- National Hardware 2 1/2″ Corner Braces (Galvanized)
  • Two 1 1/2′′ zinc-plated back flap hinges from National Hardware
  • Circular Saw
  • Jig Saw
  • Screw Gun
  • Tape Measure
  • Level
  • Carpenter’s Square
  • Caulk Gun
  • Paint Lid (For Tracing Opening)
  • Sandpaper – 60 Grit
  • Pencil
  • **Protective Gear: Gloves and Eye Protection** Use caution at all times when using power tools.

This is the original sketch we drew when we were first designing the cat house. While we made adjustments along the way, this provides you with an idea


How do you make a homemade outdoor cat house?

The easiest way is to take a large tote, cut out a hole and insulate it with styrofoam. Or if you happen to have wood, create a box, line it with styrofoam and straw.

How big should a hole be for an outdoor cat house?

Cats don’t need a very large opening – only about 5-1/2 or 6 inches in diameter, or the width of their whiskers. A smaller opening also has the added advantage of keeping more heat in. Q: Would cats try to chew on the foam where the opening is cut? A: If chewing is a problem, you can frame the doorway with duct tape.

Will outdoor cats use a cat house?

Remember that feral outdoor cats may have their preferences, and it might take some time for them to get accustomed to the shelter. Providing a comfortable and warm environment will increase the likelihood of outdoor cats using the house, especially during colder months.