With the winter months arriving now, it’s important to keep your pets warm and safe at night. Your outdoor cat may be missing out on the warmth and comfort of a nice cozy bed if they spend their nights outside during the colder months. If you live in area where temperatures drop below freezing, we suggest providing your cats with a safe environment to sleep in so they stay nice and cozy throughout the night. These simple instructions will show you how to make an outdoor cat house that can help keep your feline friends warm and protected from cold weather conditions!
Small box Styrofoam insulation 14 gauge wire (or smaller) Wire cutters Aluminum foil Tape Wooden board Hot glue gun & glue wood screws Safety pins Nail Hammer Drill & small drill bit
1. Start by cutting the Styrofoam insulation to fit inside the box, leaving 1/2 inch around all sides for it to fit snuggly. Cut 2 pieces of wood slightly smaller than the width of your box and hot glue them along the length of one side of your box (we used a 4ft x 2ft x 8in box). Hot glue these pieces flat on top of each other. Use safety pins to hold them in place while they dry before moving on to step #6.
2. Next you will need to bend two 14 gauge wires into shapes like ours (~18 inches long and ~3 inches wide). Curve one end down and then back up again and repeat on the other side.
3. With a hammer and nail, poke holes through both ends of one wire then cross them to form an “x” shape as shown in photo #4 then twist around wire just below hole until secure. Repeat process on opposite side with other wire. The wires will be bent 18 inches from box corner so that they are parallel with each other for this step.
4 . Next take your twisted wires and bend them down over the top of the insulation, leaving 2in sticking up past top of insulation (you can cut excess off later if needed). Bend these wires at a 90 degree angle out and away from the headboard assembly (see last photo for clarification). You should now have 2 pieces like those in our photo.
5. Glue these pieces into place along the top of your box (see photo). The insulation should be flush with headboard assembly you just made and the “x”-shaped ends of wire should point away from each other. Use safety pins to hold them in place while they dry.
6 . After allowing glue to dry completely on step #5, it’s time to move onto the foot-end assemblies for your outdoor cat house! Cut 2 pieces of wood slightly shorter than width of box and hot glue them along the length on one side only (we used a 16in x 4ft x 8in) like this:
7. Again, hot glue two boards flat on top of one another over each end; use safety pins to hold them in place while they dry.
8. With a nail and hammer, make holes through both ends of your 14 gauge wire then pierce holes through the headboard side boards as well as the foot-end boards on the other side. Twist ends around wood just below hole until secure as you did with step #4 & 5. Repeat process with second piece of wire for opposite end of box. You should have 4 pieces now – 2 headboard + 2 foot-end assemblies like this:
9. Now it’s time to bend those wires! The idea here is to create a 90 degree angle so that one end points down towards the ground and the other points up towards the roof of your cat house. We recommend measuring down about 3in from the top board and making a mark on the inside like this:
10. Measure up to your headboard assembly (should be ~18 in) and make a mark on that side too; then use these measurements to bend wires at 90 degree angles to meet either mark you made in step #9. You should end up with something like this:
11. Glue these pieces into place and hold until dry as you did in steps 5 & 6. Use safety pins again if needed!
12 . Now cover box completely with aluminum foil, making sure to get it under the lip so no insulation shows through when finished – we found using tape to secure was much easier than hot glue because it didn’t dry immediately and allowed us to adjust.
13 . Use a staple gun or other method to tack the flaps of aluminum foil down to the box. This will help prevent holes in your insulation such as what is shown in our photo:
14 . Tape any flaps/holes you need to around edges with duct tape for extra security.
15 . Taking one end at a time, cover each wire-frame leg with 1 layer of batting then secure by stapling all the way around edge making sure it’s tight and flush against headboard assembly + foot-end assemblies. You should have something like this after stapling both legs:
16 . Nail 2 pieces of wood together ( used 1x3in boards) to create a “U” shaped piece like this:
17. Cut one more 1x3in piece of wood into 2 halves then nail them together to form another “U” shape just like you did with the first board. You should have something like the photo below after these steps are complete – two of them required for each side!
18 . Use your hot glue gun to secure batting-covered wire legs to u-shaped pieces on top of foot-end assemblies (as shown in photo). Take care not to stick or staple insulation at any time during this step, only the wire frame and wood + batting pieces as noted previously!
19. Repeat step # 18 for headboard assembly but don’t secure yet as you will need to rotate legs inward first. The idea here is to create a flat bottom for your cat house so insulation does not bunch up inside at the bottom since you’ll be cutting out holes for entrance and exit.
20. Hot glue or staple together all 4 pieces of wood on under-lapping side as shown in photo. This will secure everything together properly later on when you attach roof, insulation, plexi-glass, & trim boards along top. We recommend measuring & marking where these would best meet before gluing then lining them up with extra support temporarily if needed during process (we used tape to hold them). Do this step for both sides now!
21 . Cut insulation to fit between wire legs making sure there’s enough excess sticking out past the bottoms to fold under as you did with insulation for the rest of the box.
22 . Hot glue insulation underneath legs on bottom side of each side as shown in photo below. This will help keep heat from escaping from between those wires!
23 . Use a staple gun to tack batting completely around wire frame first then hot glue or staple into place all 4 pieces of wood on top as shown in photo, making sure it’s nice and snug against insulation on the bottom side & that excess is folded under there too
24 . Secure one board at a time per step so far (as noted), starting with outside most boards, onto leg assemblies by gluing or stapling all along edges until complete. You should have something like the photo below after this step is complete – 2 boards per side like before!
25 . Cut plexi-glass to fit inside of wood frame & secure with liquid nails or screws depending on your preference; then staple or glue insulation to back (optional) while liquid nails dries.
26 . After liquid nails has completely dried, you can attach trim board using liquid nails or staples. We used liquid nails in our example but staples are definitely faster & easier so use what you have available/prefer! Repeat for other side once dry.
27 . Detail pieces are next. You can simply cut these out of an extra piece of wood, create them how you prefer, and nail them down onto any exposed edges for a finished look. We cut out a few triangles and used liquid nails to attach them in place, that’s it!
28 . Take your piece of trim board (horizontal) and secure down onto legs with screws or nails about every 10in-14in apart for extra support:
29 . Using your screwdriver/drill for this part, mark 1-2 holes on either side of roof line where you’d like to add finishing details & use screws along the way to add extra flare. You could also simply add triangle shapes from wood here instead if preferred. The idea is just to cover up any exposed insulation + staples/glue while giving it a nice finished look.
30 . Repeat # 29 going the other direction.
31. For the roof, place some glue all along top edge of insulation to make it nice & flat then lay down your plywood sheet on top. Measure out where you’d like holes cut and mark accordingly – we recommend marking where your finishing details will be located so you can line up square with them without measuring after cutting each hole out (see step 32). You may need someone to help hold this in place while gluing if doing by yourself:
32 . After securing plywood in place with screws, use a hand-held circular saw or jigsaw to cut through plywood, insulation, and batting only! Again, don’t cut into wires underneath or sides of wood frame yet. We used a circular saw but a jigsaw is much quicker & has a cleaner cut.
33 . Once you’ve made your cuts, use a drill to dig out holes in plywood for your finishing details (optional) – the hole will also be used later on when securing heater cord with cable straps. You can either follow our example or create any design/shape you’d like!
34 . Glue, staple, or screw down your trim board along roof line for a nice finished look:
35 . Lay insulation in place in between each leg assembly and secure with staples/hot glue/liquid nails all around edges until it’s snug against wire frame:
36 . Measure out & mark where you’ll need holes drilled into plywood so that your wire mesh screen will fit tightly:
37 . Secure wire mesh screen over insulation with staples/hot glue and repeat on other side:
38. Cut some small pieces of plywood to use as a door frame, attach hinges, and secure inside opening with hook & eye latch. Optional: add finishing details around outside edge for a nice finished look.
39 . Drill holes in plywood where you plan to mount the cat house heater cord (we chose the inside front top corner) but make sure it will be near from your plug! You can also throw a few screws/nails up along the roof line for extra support if desired after marking out holes for your screws to go through. We used 2 – 3in exterior screws here but indoor drywall screws would work just fine as well:
40. Cut out a hole in your roof and insulation where you’d like your cord to go through towards inside of the house, drill some holes for your cable straps, and secure heater cord with those. Secure extra cord on inside with zip ties or twisties as needed, plug in, and enjoy! You may need to use a box cutter around edges of hole so it fits nice & tight as not to let any heat escape.