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Which cat houses are best?

If you own a cat, you’ve probably seen them sleep in some pretty unusual places. Boxes, laundry baskets and windowsills are all fair game, but sometimes your furry friend wants to take a cat nap away from prying eyes. That’s when a cat house becomes useful.

These small shelters can be purchased for both indoor and outdoor cats in a wide variety of different styles. The Kitty Tube Insulated Cat House is the top pick for outdoor cats because it’s comfortable, well-insulated and constructed from eco-friendly materials. 

What to know before you buy a cat house

Types of cat houses

  • Indoor: Spacious and stylish, indoor cat houses are usually constructed from painted wood or a soft, plush material with textured surfaces for your feline to scratch. These houses usually lack insulation and heat since they’re designed for indoor use, and they may feature multiple levels for your cat to climb. 
  • Outdoor: These durable cat houses are constructed from weather-resistant materials and often feature insulation or heating for cold nights outdoors. If the outdoor cat house comes with electric heat, keep in mind that you’ll need to keep it close to a power outlet. Insulated cat shelters feature thick walls to trap your pet’s body heat, but these may not be warm enough if you live in a particularly frigid area. 
  • Cat trees: Although they aren’t technically cat houses, these tall structures are beloved by many indoor cats, especially if they’re prone to climbing tall objects. Cat trees usually have multiple levels and may or may not feature built-in interior spaces. The surface of a cat tree is usually covered in a textured, carpet-like material for scratching. Cat trees can take up a lot of space, so choose carefully if you live in a smaller home or apartment. 

Bush dwellers vs. tree dwellers

If you’ve done any research on cat behavior, you may have come across the dweller theory of cat ownership. This theory states that all house cats are either bush dwellers or tree-dwellers. Bush dwellers feel the safest when they’re close to the ground. If your cat likes to sit beneath furniture or curl up under blankets, then they may be a bush dweller. Tree dwellers are cats who love to climb objects and can often be found on top of bookcases or other tall pieces of furniture. Knowing whether your cat is a tree dweller or a bush dweller can be very helpful for choosing a cat house they’re sure to love. 

What to look for in a quality cat house 


Cat houses can be found in a wide variety of styles, from traditional cottage-looking shelters to structures with a sleek, modern aesthetic. While the look of a cat house may not matter to your pet very much, you may want to look for a shelter that blends in with your existing decor. 

Multiple entrances

Look for a cat house with multiple entrances, particularly if it’s being kept outdoors. Your cat will instinctively feel safer, and they’ll have additional means of escape should another cat or curious animal stop by. 


Some cat houses have dangling stuffed mice and other toys attached to the entrance of the shelter. This can be a major selling point for a skeptical cat, particularly if the toy is infused with catnip. 

How much you can expect to spend on a cat house

The cost of a cat house depends on its size and construction. Simple fabric or plastic indoor shelters usually cost around $30-$80, while outdoor shelters with electric heating and other high-tech features can cost $120 or more. 

Cat house FAQ

Will other animals enter my cat’s outdoor cat house? 

A. Raccoons, possums and other curious animals may be attracted to the cat house. Avoid this issue by buying a shelter with a small, cat-sized door and don’t leave out any food that could draw unwanted attention from the local wildlife. 

Why isn’t my cat using their cat house?

A. Cats are notoriously picky and unpredictable animals. While nothing is a sure thing, you can make a cat house seem more appealing by throwing in cat treats and keeping it away from other animals. 

What are the best cat houses to buy?

Top cat house

The Kitty Tube Insulated Cat House

The Kitty Tube Insulated Cat House

What you need to know: This top-rated shelter features thick insulation and a clever design that cats love. 

What you’ll love: This solid structure is constructed from post-consumer recycled content and features thick insulation to keep your cat warm. The shelter also comes with a soft cat bed and a unique door design to keep out curious intruders. 

What you should consider: There’s only one entrance, and the shelter doesn’t have a particularly attractive design. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top cat house for the money

PawHut Heated Indoor Cat House

PawHut Heated Indoor Cat House 

What you need to know: This affordable cat house is portable and warm enough for chilly nights indoors. 

What you’ll love: The shelter is water-resistant, collapsible for easy storage and comes with an electric heating pad for additional warmth. This simple design also features multiple entrances so your cat feels safe.  

What you should consider: A few users reported that the zipper enclosure breaks easily, causing the structure to collapse. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Lovupet Wooden Indoor/Outdoor Luxurious Cat Condo

Lovupet Wooden Indoor/Outdoor Luxurious Cat Condo

What you need to know: This stylish cat house is constructed from real wood and can be placed indoors or outdoors. 

What you’ll love: This shelter is large and solidly built, with multiple layers and a clear plastic canopy. It’s constructed from 100% fir wood, not cheap particle board. You can buy it in grey or a vibrant teal color.  

What you should consider: The included assembly instructions can be somewhat difficult to follow. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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