Make Your Own Outdoor Cat Shelter With These 12 DIY Ideas!

Winter is coming. To all dear feral and stray cats out there. How can you get through the freezing winter nights?

A Caring Act for The Little Fur Fellas

Winter can be so hard for living things. Especially for feral and stray cats. To them, it’s not easy to survive out there. Because they must keep looking for food and fight the cold winter nights. You can help them to stay warm by making an outdoor cat shelter.

Here, we are giving you 12 DIY ideas to make an outdoor cat shelter from various materials. Starting from the storage container, PVC pipes, cardboard, pallet wood, and also solid wood. Not only for feral or stray cats, but you can also make this cat shelter as a winter house to your stay-at-home dearest furry friend.

So, what are the ideas? Let’s find out by reading the article below. Also, check our Amazing DIY Cat Trees here.

1. A Simple DIY Cat Shelter Made With The Storage Container and Styrofoam

A Simple DIY Cat Shelter Made With The Storage Container and Styrofoam

To make a simple, cheap, and fast outdoor cat shelter you can use a storage container and combine it with styrofoam as an insulation material.

This is what you need:

  • A storage container. Its size adjusts to the number of feral or stray cats that can be accommodated.
  • A styrofoam sheet with size 4’ x 6’ or you can adjust it with your container size. The price around $ 8.00 and you can get it in any home depot near you.
  • A foam pipe cover with adhesive. In this case, it’s reuse. You can find any similar soft material with this foam pipe.
  • A cutter, marker, and ruler.
  • Wood skewers to joined the styrofoam pieces.
  • Used blanket or thick cloth.

2. DIY Cat Shelter from Double Storage Container With Straw

You can substitute the styrofoam with straw as the insulation material. Because of course, it’s more eco-friendly if comparing with styrofoam. An important note, please always use the straw, not hay because it can make the shelter cold. The hay soaks up the moisture and it can get moldy.

Now, to start this project, you need to prepare these materials and tools:

  • Two storage containers with different sizes.
  • One is big and one is smaller.
  • A marker and a cutter.
  • A hair-dryer to heat the container’s surface, so make you easier cut the lines.
  • Straw

3. The Storage Container With A Cat Door

The Storage Container With A Cat Door

If you want to close the hole that you’ve made in the container, you can install a cat door. Besides making it looks nicer, the cat door can minimize the cold wind that enters through the hole. Please prepare these materials and tools to begin:

  • A storage container. You can choose any size of the container.
  • A cat door.
  • A sun reflector as the insulation material.
  • Straw
  • A cutter
  • A glue to stick the sun reflector to the container wall.
  • A screwdriver to install the cat door.

You can follow the step by step instructions on how to make this outdoor cat shelter by visiting this site

4. DIY Cat Shelter using Styrofoam Cooler Box

DIY Cat Shelter using Styrofoam Cooler Box

Another option for the main cat shelter material is a styrofoam cooler box. It’s super cheap and it’s easy too. You can get it in a home depot or it’s even better if you can reuse the used styrofoam cooler box if your family or your neighbor has it. The materials and tools to start making this outdoor cat shelter are:

  • A Styrofoam cooler box. If you want to buy it you will only charge about $ 5.
  • A tape. Choose stronger tape like duct tape or packaging tape.
  • Batting. This is the cotton wadding for use in quilts. Or, you can choose other insulation materials like straw.
  • A zip-lock plastic bag. To avoid the batting get moldy inside the shelter, you can put the batting to this zip-lock plastic bag. But, if you choose straw as insulation material you can skip this.
  • Scrap fabric. This is to added warmth. You can use an old pillowcase or other used cotton fabric. 
  • A cutter and marker.
  • A drill or a nail or a sharp pencil. You will use this to perforate the box lid as a drainage hole. The lid will be the lowest surface of the shelter. 

After all the materials and tools are ready…

5. Plastic Cooler Box Winter Cat Shelter

Plastic Cooler Box Winter Cat Shelter

The plastic cooler box has many advantages as a material for an outdoor cat shelter. Because it was made from plastic and so thick, of course, it more durable, stronger, and sturdier. You still need insulation materials to keep the warmth and in this project, straw is the best choice. It’s easy to clean and good insulation material. 

Now, check this list below to start the project.

  • A plastic cooler box. Find the biggest size if you can. Because it can load more feral or stray cats.
  • A Dremel tool and circle cutter which attaches to it. This tool is very useful to make a perfect hole in the side of a plastic cooler box.
  • Keyhole saw. You will use this tool to finish out your cut after using the Dremel tool.
  • Straw for the insulation material.

You are also able to watch the video here.

6. Cat Shelter Made by Combining The PVC Pipes and Cardboard

If you have a lot of PVC pipes at home and want to make an outdoor cat shelter, why don’t you use it? Yes, with PVC pipes you can build the feral cat house and combine it with used cardboard. The pipes will be the house constructions and the cardboard to cover it all. Let’s prepare the materials and tools.

  • The PVC pipes, the 4-way connectors, and the elbow pipes
  • 2 used cardboard. You can search two different sizes of cardboards at least with the same high size to make you easier when assembling those two cardboards.  
  • A laminate. You will use this to cover the front cardboard, so the cat house will look prettier.
  • Glue.
  • Used thick towel. This is for the bedding.
  • R-30 insulation. 
  • A box tape and cutter.
  • Spray paint for coloring the cardboard.

7. The Wooden Outdoor Cat Shelter With “Kitty” Nametag

The Wooden Outdoor Cat Shelter With “Kitty” Nametag

Making a wooden outdoor cat shelter is a challenging choice. You will have to prepare a lot of materials and carpenter tools. But, if you want to give a try you can go with this one. This is the list of what materials and tools that you need:

  • Block solid wood, siding, and plywood.
  • Rigid foam insulation.
  • Outdoor wood glue.
  • Screws.
  • Wood paint.
  • Scrap PVC trim to frame all the shelter and also the doorway.
  • Hinges for the roof.
  • Electric blanket for the bedding.
  • A jigsaw
  • A router and sander.
  • Vice clamps to hold the wood in a place. 

To finish this DIY project you can see the step by step picture instructions by visiting this site.

8. The White Wooden Outdoor Cat Shelter With Two Doors

The White Wooden Outdoor Cat Shelter With Two Doors

This is another design if you want to make an outdoor cat shelter made from wood. It’s pretty easy to do and has a simple design. It uses block solid wood for the pole and plywood for the wall and the roof. Before go further and create it, make sure you prepare all these materials and tools.

  • ½ inch plywood.
  • Block solid wood.
  • Screws and nails.
  • ½ inch water and mildew resistant insulation board.
  • 2 cat doors.
  • A glue.
  • 2 hinges for the roof.
  • 2 latches.
  • Outdoor paint.
  • Hammer and saw.
  • Straw.

9. The Two-Story Wood Pallet Cat Shelter

The Two-Story Wood Pallet Cat Shelter

This wood pallet outdoor cat shelter has a two-story design with stairs outside and it’s big enough for two adult cats. For the insulation material, you can use the straw. And this is what you need to build the shelter:

  • The wood pallets.
  • Nails and screws.
  • Hammer and saw.
  • Drill and sander.

To complete this DIY wood pallet outdoor cat shelter, you can follow the picture instructions by clicking this link

10. A Small and Simple Wooden Outdoor Cat Shelter

A Small and Simple Wooden Outdoor Cat Shelter

If you want to build a small wooden outdoor cat shelter you can go with this design. Basically, of course, you need wood as the main material and the basic carpenter tools. Further, you will also have to prepare these appliances to complete this DIY project.

  • An outdoor heating pads.
  • Electric cord.
  • A Thermo cube to make the heating pads turn off automatically if the temperatures reach a certain level.
  • Straw as insulation material.

To read the story behind this project and how to build it…

11. A Warm Plywood Cat Condo

This outdoor cat shelter using plywood as its main material. The design looks simple, but it has nice acrylic windows so you can see the cat from the outside shelter. If you interest to make one like this, you should prepare these materials and tools: 

  • Plywood.
  • Screws and nails.
  • A sheet of transparent acrylic.
  • 3 hinges for the roof.
  • Wood paint.
  • Heating pad.
  • Clamps to hold the woods in a place.
  • Saw and router.
  • Cutter and ruler.

12. A Unique Triangle Outdoor Cat House

You might be looking for a unique design for making your outdoor cat shelter. This one could be your choice. It has a triangle design with three-story. It looks so nice and pretty. For the insulation material, you can add the straw. This is what you need to build it:

  • Block solid wood.
  • Siding wood.
  • Nails.
  • Wood paint.
  • Drill, grinder, and router.
  • Saw and hammer.

Please click this link so you can watch the video instructions and complete your triangle outdoor cat shelter.

So, with all those options above, which one will you choose? Well, whatever it is, by making an outdoor cat shelter for feral or stray cats, you’re making a big help for them to survive through the winter.

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