Outdoor Cat Shelters

Outdoor Cat Shelters

Do you have a neighborhood cat or cats you feed?  Do you ever wonder where that cat goes for shelter from the cold, the rain, the snow or even the heat?  Do you wish you could provide shelter or keep them safe?  

There are many outdoor cat houses on the market today.  Most are built out of cedar, a long lasting wood that also repels insects (like fleas).  It weathers nicely and can protect the cat or cats from the cold, the heat, the rain, sleet and snow.  These are available with insulation that makes them warmer in winter and cooler in summer.  Most are available with or without that insulation.  Available options include the Under Cover Pet Houses and the Touchstone Cat Shelters.

Another choice is the Kitty Tube, constructed of post consumer content, consisting of recycled milk and detergent bottles. The Kitty Tube is an extremely green product and almost indestructible.

All are built to withstand the summer sun and the bitter cold of winter.  You can even add a thermostatically controlled heated pad that will only warm to the cats normal body temperature and never overheat.  These also have chew proof cords. 

Many options are available to suit your needs, or more specifically, to suit your cat’s needs.  It may be important, to you, that the house be attractive in your yard.  Or, it may be more important that it is up, off the ground, away from animals who might harm your cat.

There are even “luxury cat houses”.   A few examples are the Kitty Mansion, the Barn Cat – Cat House and the Room With A View.  These are especially aesthetically pleasing.

Around for a long time, and still popular, is the Katkabin.   All versions of the KatKabin® are available in a beautiful range of colors that can either blend in or stand out in your garden, outdoor area or home. Wherever you choose to put yours, this certainly is one cat house which will make a stunning design statement!

Outdoor Cat Shelters

Cat Trees with Washable Shelves

Is there a cat tree with removable or washable covers?


I hear and see that question, online, a lot.  There ARE alternatives to those cat trees with “faux-fur” and “cheap carpet” coverings.   There are options like all wood cat trees http://www.kittystoreonline.com/ALL_NATURAL_CAT_TREES.  These have NO coverings and are beautiful inside or outside alternatives.

There are also great cat trees made with long lasting PVC with durable 40 guage vinyl mats that can be easily cleaned http://www.kittystoreonline.com/cat-tower/kuranda-pvc-cat-tower.  Cat shelters have been discovering they can have easily maintained cat trees in their shelters, which also comply with a lot of industry requirements and their state laws.   

People who have “Outdoor Catios” need cat trees that can withstand the elements.  The Rustic Cedar Outdoor Cat Trees and the PVC Cat Trees meet those needs in almost every instance.  The PVC might not be ideal for continuous sun exposure in 110 to 120 degree desert heat but for most areas, they work just fine.  Rain or snow doesn’t hurt them and they can be hosed off outside.

There are also  all wood cat trees with removable scratch pads http://www.kittystoreonline.com/PURRFECTOWER_CAT_TREES and http://www.kittystoreonline.com/cat_tree/Spiral_Cat_Tree/Catreena_Cat_Tree and  http://www.kittystoreonline.com/tree/purrsilla-cat-tree  and http://www.kittystoreonline.com/cat-tree/corner-cat-tree.    Although these are not meant for outdoor use, they are more easily maintained and cleaned.

And……….all of the above are made in the good old USA!!  What more can you ask?

Cat Trees with Washable Shelves

Do Cats Talk?

Do Cats talk?  Of course they do, they talk to each other and they talk to you. You just have to learn to be a good listener. It’s sort of like a dog’s training class, the trainer isn’t training the dog, he’s training you.

For instance, my oldest cat, Pepper, (a fifteen year old Ragdoll, now deceased from diabetes)  was a whiner. I often asked her if she wanted whine with dinner. But, apparently, her whining had gotten her what she wanted and she was not about to change.

So, when she came into my bedroom at 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning, I first knew she wanted me to get up. But I came to understand there was probably a good reason she wanted me up. She had become the ‘spokesman’ for an empty food dish. But then, she had five other felines depending on her to make sure the food bowl and water fountain were filled and, believe me, she was very good at her job, because she was persistent.

Then there is Smokey, my fourteen and a half year old Russian Blue. He is responsible for getting the pet door to their outdoor kennel opened, first thing in the morning. That’s why he is uncharacteristically loud early in the morning, around 5:00 AM. He also takes responsibility for reporting back in, to me and his housemates, if the weather is cold or if it is raining. On cold, wet mornings, he wastes no time with his report. I can tell he wants me to do something about it. I just comfort and sympathize with him until he calms down and finds another spot inside to relax.

Our third vocal kitty is Little Bit, a nine year old Manx with a stub of a tail. It has fallen to her to scold the others, chasing them while she does it. She’s the most mischievous one in the family. It has also befallen her to be the beggar of treats, starting about 5:00 in the afternoon. Since I like to wait until dusk to bring them in, with the shaking of the treat container like the pied piper, she sometimes has to wait, but continues to make her impatience known. After all, she has others depending on her for their daily treats, so, she continues improving her vocal demands and I know exactly what she is saying.

Then, there is Precious, sister to Little Bit. Precious was given her name before we discovered her personality. Now, when I speak of her, I often say “Precious………..NOT.” Don’t get me wrong. She is very lovable. She is also very vocal. She can be loud when she paces the house calling for her sister. She gets cross, like a sleepy baby, when she wants me to take a nap with her and I’m too busy. She will sometimes spend an hour or more following me every step I make, asking me to take a nap (I swear she says mama, over and over), until finally she gives up and finds a place to nap by herself. She also is like a little girl, watching my every move when I’m folding clothes or some other task, as if she’s trying to learn how, in order to help me.

Last, but certainly not least, was Squeaky, a gray stripe tabby (also now deceased at the age of seven and a half of lung cancer). She got her name when she was a ‘stray’ living outside and only showing up for meals twice a day. I would call her for her food and not realize she was there until she was right next to me because of her faint meow. She was always quiet and shy with other humans, basically only trusting me. She became friends with Precious and they would snuggle together at night. Even though she was shy, Squeaky also talked, mostly to tell me when Little Bit or Smokey were bullying her or when she needed a little love from me, often demanding it, quietly, by jumping into my lap, when I was working at the computer.

So, you see, they all talk, some more than others. Once you understand the personality of each cat and you learn to listen to them, their communication will become much clearer to you.


Do Cats Talk?

From Kitten to Cat, An Amazing Journey

These little creatures can give you years of enjoyment and love. They will grace your home with their playfulness and beauty. They will give you hours of laughter and enhance your life experience. All they require is your complete attention, care and love, in return.

The decision to bring a cat or kitten into your home is one that should be made with thoughtful consideration. These are somewhat fragile animals that must be cared for and protected. Small children usually aren’t familiar with handling a cat or kitten. For the safety of the cat, and the child, it will be necessary to teach the child the proper way of interacting with the new addition. Supervision must be given, in the beginning, to insure the safety of the cat and the child.

Consideration must also be given to whether this will be an inside cat, an outside cat or an inside/outside cat. From statistical studies, an outside cat’s life span is 2 to 4 years. On the other hand, a house cat can live into its twenties, if cared for properly.

If you’ve never had a cat in your home, you may find you need to make a few adjustments. Kittens, in particular, are very inquisitive. They will examine every nook and cranny of your home. By doing this, they establish “safety zones”. You must let them have these in order to give them the security they need. Cats are very safety and security minded.

They may also find electrical cords, which could injure them if chewed on, or valuables that can be broken, if played with. The best thing to do is shorten cords to raise them off the floor. You can do this with twist ties. Valuable or breakable items should be put away until you feel the cat will not be attracted to them.

The kitten never lacks in imagination. Constantly exploring it’s environment, the kitten is in awe of the surroundings. There are so many things to see and do. The kitten never gets bored, maybe tired, but not bored. A kitten learns its behavior in the first weeks of life. It needs stimulation, by play, to keep it from becoming destructive in later months. Providing toys and safe places to sleep or play is of utmost importance to the kitten’s development. Providing scratching posts, cat bed and a climbing tree is of utmost importance to your furniture and your nerves.

Small toys such as catnip scented mice or small ball type toys seem to keep their attention the longest. Batting these toys around, all over the house, is not only fun to them but gives them the exercise a house cat needs. If you opt for other more expensive toys, they should have an interaction to entice the kitten because they have a very short attention span.

Sibling kittens learn the art of play and rough and tumble interaction with other kittens, which will serve to make them play longer into adulthood. This is important for their physical development, giving them the exercise they need and creates the psychological frame of mind to get along with other family pets.

An adult cat is a thing of beauty and grace. Jules Verne once said “I think a cat could walk on a cloud and not come through”. The feline is one of God’s most perfect creations. He knew we needed them in our lives.

The journey through life with a cat is truly a joy you can’t understand until you experience it.

From Kitten to Cat, An Amazing Journey

How to Stop Cat Scratching

Are you kidding?   You can’t stop a cat from scratching but you can keep her out of trouble by providing scratching posts. Many are available, some less expensive than others.  But no matter the cost, it could save you from damaged furniture, frayed draperies and your frayed nerves.

Scratching is a normal part of all cat’s behavior.  They sharpen their claws to keep them ready for climbing, catching prey and, I’m sure, other reasons cat behaviorists haven’t even thought of.   When cats scratch, they shed the outer coat of their nails, keeping them sharp.

An outside cat has trees, as a favorite scratching post, but inside cats have to find a substitute, most likely your sofa or favorite chair.  A good method to lure your cat from your furniture or drapes is to place a scratching post in front of the area they have chosen to scratch.  They will be drawn to the post and use it, instead.  A good catnip spray is one way to lure them to the new scratching post.  You can gradually move the post, eventually placing it in a spot they can easily find and one you approve.  This can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in repair or replacement costs and unnecessary wear and tear on your nerves.   This also helps you have a happy, healthy indoor cat, without the inhumane act of de-clawing. Believe me, it is inhumane.

Scratching posts are available as a stand-alone-post, a post with a perch on top, some with dangling toys, and cat condos that include all of these choices along with small rooms, hammocks and ladders, all for the pure enjoyment of your beloved cat.

Never take for granted the comfort and well being of your precious pet.  Your good care will be rewarded with years of unconditional love.
How to Stop Cat Scratching

How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Safe Outdoors

Your cat wants to go outside – You want to keep your cat safe.  Needless to say, you can’t just put a cat in a dog kennel, with no roof, & expect it to stay very long. Cats will be up & over the top before you can get the door closed.  However, there are many alternatives which will keep your cat safe……….and be attractive in your yard or on your deck.  An outdoor cat kennel is the safe way to give your cat the outdoor freedom he wants without the inherent dangers he might encounter, outside on his own.

Before “cat kennels” were available, I designed a two room outdoor kennel with two 7’ X 12’ X 6’ tall dog kennels, added a pitched roof on each one to drain rain water, covered the floor with stepping stones, fit large cut limbs into tree configurations for climbing & put in some weather resistant cat furniture. It is connected to “their” room in our house by a pet door & ramp. They love it and spend hours out there every day.

If you’re not up to designing an outdoor kennel but want your cat to be able to enjoy the benefits, offered by the outdoors, you might consider some of these outdoor cat containment systems.   These kennels provide several options for configuring the perfect place for your cat to get some fresh air & enjoy nature, in your yard.  With easy to follow instructions, your kitty can be enjoying his outdoor “escape”, in no time. The freedom, he will feel, will make him a happier indoor cat.

If even those options are too much for you to contemplate, consider the “portable” cat containment of Kittywalk Systems.  From the Clubhouse to the Penthouse, the Grand Prix & the Town & Country configurations, these are the “easy” outdoor cat kennel & condo.

How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Safe Outdoors

Outdoor Weatherproof, Insulated, Heated Cat House

The weather can get pretty brutal for our outside pets.  They CAN be protected from the cold and wet or even hot and dry effects of the changes in the weather, with a weatherproof, insulated cedar cat house.   The cedar construction resists mold and bugs, including fleas and ticks.  The insulation resists cold and hot temperatures.  A low wattage heating pad can be added to keep the cat’s bed at the normal body temperature of the cat, without overheating or being a hazard.

Protecting your outside cat or the feral cat(s) you feed can save their life.  Cats who get along well, will huddle together in the cold weather.  A dry, protected place, in your yard or on your deck, will be   welcomed by your furry friends.

If you don’t have a convenient electrical plug, near the outside cat house, a self-heating pad will do the trick.  These respond to and reflect back the cat’s own body heat, allowing the cat to remain warm and comfortable.  Old towels or small blankets, inside the house, add to the warm and comfy “nest”.

At least two doors should be provided in any cat house, to allow an escape route to your cat, in the event of a predator entering the house.

To entice your cat to a new cedar cat house, a few treats sprinkled inside or some catnip spray on the bedding can help to welcome a reluctant cat.

The right outside cat house can be attractive and enhance, rather than detract from, your backyard or deck.  Find the right one for you and for your cat at www.KittyStoreOnline.com/OUTDOOR_CAT_HOUSES.

Outdoor Weatherproof, Insulated, Heated Cat House

Moving with a cat?


You’ve bought that new dream home or acquired that new dream job………but it’s in a new city, far from your current home.  On top of that, you have 2 dogs and 2 cats to consider in the move.  The dogs will follow you anywhere and be happy just because you’re there.  However, moving the cats can be a particularly stressful ordeal, for them as well as you. 

Although this can be difficult, it doesn’t have to be. It just takes some forethought and planning.  I have heard so many stories of people pulling into the driveway of their new home, opening the car door for the cat and never seeing the cat again. So sad.  They are frightened and just want to go back to their familiar home and neighborhood.

The first thing to consider is how to reduce the stress on the cat. If the cat has been an outdoor cat or indoor/outdoor cat, you should keep the cat in for a few days to a week before moving. To prevent the cat from running away, extra care should be given to keeping the cat confined to a private room while movers are loading household items, preferably with a companion person or other friendly pet.  Make sure the cat has the necessary water, food and litter box and that the door is kept closed.

When it comes time to physically move the cat, transport the cat in a familiar pet carrier.  If you have to buy a new pet carrier, buy it a week or two before the move.  Leave the carrier open in a place the cat normally spends time.  Inside the carrier, place some familiar things like toys, a cushion, etc.  The cat(s) will get used to seeing it and should go in and out, familiarizing itself with it and not associating it with anything negative.

Prior to the movers arriving at the new house, you should have set up a room with the cat’s familiar surroundings, such as a condo/tree, cat bed, litter box, food and water bowls and toys. A large note should be taped to the outside of the door of this room, stating “Do Not Enter”, to remind family members as well as the movers. Then, after all of the movers have left, open the door and let the cat roam around it’s new home.   It won’t take long, maybe a day or two, for the cat(s) to accept their new home.

Outside access should only be given with supervision until you are sure the cat has accepted the move and it’s new surroundings and won’t try to run back to the old house.  Even if your move is hundreds of miles from the old house, the cat doesn’t know that and may try to find it’s way back.  This is, most often, the reason people lose their cats after a move.

Consider making them “house cats”.  Outside cats typically live 1 to 5 years because of all of the dangers inherent to the outdoors.  A house cat typically lives 12 to 18 years and can live into their 20’s if properly cared for. Keep your precious companion beside you as long as you can.

Moving with a cat?