The Best Bedding For Outdoor Cat Houses (Pet & Feral Cats)

  • By: Brian Comstock
  • Date: February 6, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

The problem with most outdoor cat houses is that they don’t provide the same comfort level as indoor dwellings do and this can lead to cats being unhappy and stressed out.

This article explores some of the best bedding for outdoor cat houses so that your pet will stay happy, healthy, warm, and your adopted feral friend will thank you for a helping hand…

Best Outdoor Cat Bedding List

1. Straw

Straw provides insulation against both cold and heat, which means it’s perfect for use in most climates.

It’s especially good at keeping the interior of your kitty condo cool in hot weather if you don’t want them sitting on a hot floor all day.

straw

The downside is that grass tends to stick to it quickly, so you will have to brush it off regularly, which can be time-consuming.

2 . Cat Beds

One option is simply using cat beds inside the house with straw scattered around them (not too much, though. If there are clumps of wet straw stuck together, this could make your cat cold).

3 . Shredded Paper

This option is very inexpensive since you can get shredded office paper for free from your workplace. It’s also quick to clean up in case your kitty happens to have an accident or spills food on the floor.

However, it doesn’t insulate well against heat/cold, which may be a problem if the weather turns chilly.

4 . Towels and Blankets

You can easily wrap towels around cat beds inside outdoor cat houses to provide extra warmth without having to buy anything special for this purpose.

If you want something with more insulation value but is still easy to wash, try using blankets instead of towels. Make sure they are tightly secured with string wire etc., especially if you use towels.

5 . Memory foam padding

You can pick up memory foam padding from a store that sells inexpensive furniture and mattress pads/toppers, then use this as the base of your kitty bed inside the house.

This is very cheap, easy to clean, and provides extra insulation against both heat and cold. It also doesn’t require much effort to wash it since it’s machine-washable.

towels

Just make sure you check for any rips or tears before using it because this will allow cold air to come in through those holes, which may be dangerous in wintertime.

6 . Plush fabric

This option is only really suitable for indoor cat condos as there is no insulation value here whatsoever compared to straw, paper, or memory foam options.

This is only recommended for cats who are not exposed to cold weather at all.

7 . Heated Pads

If you can afford one, consider buying a heater for outdoor cat houses that are specifically designed for pets.

Most of these will come with an insulated cover, so it keeps your pet warm while also preventing heat from escaping.

However, this option is certainly more expensive than using the bedding options above and may not be suitable for cats who like sitting outside in wintertime.

8 . Newspaper or Cardboard

If you use cardboard, make sure it’s not from toxic trees if possible. And cut out a few slots so your kitty can enter/exit easily without discomfort.

Avoid cheap parchment paper since it may contain toxic chemicals.

cardboard

Paper isn’t comfortable to sit on but may be useful when using less effective bedding, such as leaves or hay.

You should also avoid using photocopied newspapers because the ink in these newspapers often contains toxins.

9 . Warm Soil

If you live in an area with very cold winters, the best option is to use warm soil that has been placed beneath your cat’s outdoor house (or inside if it’s an indoor condo).

If you use this method, ensure the soil temperature stays constant at around 65F or 18C for optimal benefits. You can test this by putting your hand over the soil; don’t use that spot if it feels uncomfortably hot.

To avoid burning your kitty’s feet accidentally, place a thin layer of mulch or pebbles on top before adding soil underneath.

The good thing about this method is that it isn’t just cheap to install but also provides heat all year round to keep your outdoor cat happy.

10 . Warm Floor Mats

You can pick up cheap, thin foam mats that are designed for use in bathrooms/hot tubs at some dollar stores or discount department stores.

These are very cheap and easy to cut into shapes/sizes for placing under your kitty’s house (make sure they fit snugly inside first, or they may slip out).

floor mats and carpet

You can also opt for smaller, rectangular ones if you don’t mind folding them over multiple times before securing them with string wire, etc., but these aren’t as comfortable for cats.

11 . Insulated Tiles

Another option is using insulated tiles on the floor of your outdoor cat house instead of mats.

Just make sure you get the right size to fit your cat house/condo before using these, then secure them tightly with string wire or whatever else works for you.

12 . Reflective Material

You can also use reflective material normally used in garages to help reduce heat loss in wintertime (this doesn’t work in summer).

The key limitation of this method is it’s mainly effective against heat loss rather than providing an extra layer of insulation. It does help if your kitty moves out into colder areas when sleeping inside its outdoor house!

You may need to cut it into shapes/sizes but make sure you leave enough room around the edges for securing it well with string wire etc.

13 . Exposed Brick

Some people have successfully used exposed brick as a heat source for outdoor kitty houses.

You need to ensure the temperature is about 65F or 18C and that it’s not too hot to prevent your kitty from burning its feet; if you can touch it with bare hands, it should be fine.

14 . Cat House Heater (cheaper option)

Make sure you choose a heater designed specifically for outdoor cat houses.

Before using any heater in an outdoor house, check with your veterinarian first to see which type they recommend before making a purchase (it may be possible to find a universal cat house heater).

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