How to Build a DIY Outdoor Cat House (Guide with Pictures)

If you’re looking to build a DIY outdoor cat house or enclosure for your outdoor cat then this will be an excellent post to learn from. Reddit user Nizidramaniiyt (@gsilkie on Instagram) takes us through the process of building a DIY outdoor cat house step by step in a well documented DIY build log.

This DIY outdoor cat enclosure project requires basic beginner level woodworking skills, though someone with no prior woodworking skills should still be able to follow along and create a nice finished product. Here’s a quick list with Amazon links to some of the tools and products used for this project:

Below is the entire step by step build process for this DIY outdoor cat house made out of pine wood. Enjoy!

Outdoor DIY Cat House: Finished Photo

DIY outdoor cat house finished build photo

As per tradition, the completed project first.

cat on a fence

This DIY outdoor cat house was designed and built for this little guy. He was dumped on us because he has issues living indoors. His previous owner was going to take him back to the shelter where he would have probably been put down.

He refuses to use the litter box, pees on the walls, and fights the other cats, and he will risk any number of swinging boots to dart outside. We don’t like having our cats outside, but it’s a necessity in this case. He’s chill with us when we’re home, and only goes outside when he wants to go potty and at night. And for the spay and neuter crowd – don’t worry. He’s fixed and won’t be filling the streets with kittens.

Outdoor DIY Cat House: Build Process

DIY outdoor cat house sketchup design

I used Google SketchUp to draft up a rough sketch of how the DIY outdoor cat house would look like. The inside was designed to fit a heating pad we already had out of a cheap velcro outdoor cat house.

DIY outdoor cat house build process

These are the humble beginnings. All of the wood was either 1×6, 1×2, or 2×2 pine boards. The entire outdoor cat house was glued together, except for the hinge and one piece of window molding. I decided to build it all out of pine for cost reasons. I figured the cat wouldn’t care.

DIY outdoor cat house build process

I glued on the side boards one at a time. The rope is used to squeeze the front and back panels together while the glue dries.

DIY outdoor cat house build process

This is how the angles were cut for the angled sides. It’s not very precise, as there’s a ton of wiggle room on that miter thing. There’s probably a better way, but I couldn’t think of one with the tools I had.

DIY outdoor cat house build process

For the window and door cutouts, I made the outdoor cat house door about the size of a commercial kitty door and added 1″ to the height and width because this cat is so fat.

DIY outdoor cat house build process

I brought the house inside to test fit the door before moving on. It looks like he fits.

DIY outdoor cat house build process

Gluing on some of the finishing touches.

DIY outdoor cat house build process

I used Minwax Honey colored stain (Amazon link) and some polyurethane (another Amazon link) I had sitting in the garage to finish it up. I urethaned one side at a time to avoid runs on vertical surfaces.

The window of this DIY outdoor cat house was tricky. I cut out a channel on the sides of the window trim pieces to hold the window on. I used a table saw, which was sketchy, but I don’t have a router table.

DIY outdoor cat house window

This is how the channels turned out. The glass is a 6.5″ square piece of 1/4″ glass a local glass company cut for me.

DIY outdoor cat house window

The glass slides in from the bottom, then the bottom window trim is screwed on with a wood screw from the inside.

DIY outdoor cat house roof

I free-handed the roof cuts to simulate shingles. I didn’t measure anything to make it a bit sloppy, as if a cat built the house. Or at least that’s how I imagine a cat would build it.

The wood here is the rough-sawn pine. It’s cheap, and it has a cool texture to it. It will tear up your foam brushes when you try to stain and urethane it, though.

DIY outdoor cat house open

The lid is attached by a 3′ continuous hinge for easy access to the inside. The lid is HEAVY, so it certainly won’t blow open in anything less than an F3.

DIY outdoor cat house heated cat bed pad

I drilled a 1.25″ hole to route the power cord for the heated pad.

DIY outdoor cat house heated cat bed pad

This is how the heated pad sits in the house. It allows him to keep watch through the window for prey and predators. The pad has a washable cover we can clean when he dirties it up with his muddy paws.

DIY outdoor cat house door hinge

The hinge is all stainless steel for corrosion resistance.

Outdoor DIY Cat House: In Use

DIY outdoor cat house cat peaking through window

He took to it right away. I think that face means that he wants some privacy.

DIY outdoor cat house cat peaking through window

By popular demand, a close up of him in his house.

DIY outdoor cat house

Reddit user S_Nickels hooked me up with a fancy leather flappy door for Dre. This should keep him a little bit warmer inside.

Outdoor DIY Cat House: Conclusion

If you found this post on how to build a DIY outdoor cat house entertaining or helpful then checkout out our other DIY projects build logs. A big shout out and thanks once again to Reddit user Nizidramaniiyt for sharing this post and showing us how to build a DIY outdoor cat house! And remember no DIY project is too hard for you to conquer; with the right amount of determination and proper research you can build your own DIY outdoor cat house.

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