Yes, cats can live contentedly outdoors throughout the summer in a shed or outdoor cat housing.
It is not recommended to let your cat reside in a shed during the winter unless it is really well insulated to keep it warm and cozy.
If you have a family member who is allergic to cats, if you have too many cats and they need extra place to live, or if your cat prefers to live outside because she loves the outdoors, allowing her to live in a shed in your garden can be a nice compromise.
Would A Cat Like Living in a Shed?
Your cat’s personality, habits, and age will all play a big role in how successfully they adapt to living outside in a shed.
If your cat has spent its entire life as a house cat, making the switch to live in a shed may be too difficult and stressful.
Your cat should first become accustomed to being outside.
To achieve this, pick a calm, dry day, and make sure your cat has a nice first experience when they go outside.
Allowing your cat to explore at their own pace can help them become accustomed to the outside environment and eventually allow you to release them on their own.
Your cat will probably appreciate living outside in a shed if they react well to this and venture outside whenever possible.
If your cat already enjoys exploring on its own and being outside, that’s fantastic!
Living outside will probably make them immensely content because it will allow them to go exploring whenever they want.
Senior Cats or Kittens
Age is a factor to take into account when considering whether to take your cat outside.
In general, kittens and elderly cats shouldn’t reside in sheds.
In addition to the fact that they are much more sensitive to temperature changes and other variables, kittens need to be closely watched in case they get into any mischief.
Consequently, leaving kittens unattended in a shed poses a risk.
In a similar vein, senior cats shouldn’t be moved to an outside environment, especially if they’ve never done so before in their lives. This is because it will be much tougher for them to adjust to and accept the change.
Additionally, some older cats may have health issues that make it unlikely for them to win a battle and make it difficult for them to tolerate temperature changes.
On the other hand, if your cat is strong and mobile, an outdoor lifestyle can be ideal for them.
How To Setup a Shed for Cats
While it is safe for cats to live in sheds, there are a few things to take into account while designing an outside house for your cat.
1. Climate Control
It is crucial to think about climate control while making a house for your cat in your shed so that they will remain comfortable as the weather changes.
In order to keep your cat comfortable in its outdoor home, especially during the winter or if you reside in a region with a cooler climate, the material your shed is made of is crucial.
Any ordinary wooden shed would do, or you could turn your garage into a brand-new cat condo.
Avoid greenhouses though since your cat won’t be able to feel comfortable in them because they get too hot in the summer and too chilly in the winter.
If you’re on a tight budget, you should also consider insulating your shed using materials like polymer foam, foil insulation, or even bubble wrap.
For hotter summer days, make sure there are windows that can be opened or some other sort of ventilation.
2. Size of the Shed
Getting the right-sized shed can also significantly impact how at ease your cat is when living outside.
Even though your cat will live in your garden and have access to the entire outside world, having a roomy inside area is still essential for when they want to sleep or when it’s unpleasant outside.
Even if your cats seem to get along, they still need their own area because cats are inherently solitary animals and could become quite upset if they don’t have their own space. If you have more than one cat.
Stressed cats may exhibit a variety of behavioral problems, including spraying, snarling, and being hostile. They may also become ill and develop feline cystitis.
3. Size of the Entrance
The size of the entry should also be taken into account since if not, dogs or other predators could enter and cause serious problems.
It is likely that the garden shed you are utilizing has a typical door.
Install a cat flap so that only cats can enter and exit the shelter rather than using this as your cat’s entrance.
Consider buying a microchip reader or one with collar control if you are worried about stray or wild cats taking advantage of your dogs’ home.
By doing this, you can make sure that only your cats use the shed, giving them a much nicer and more private residence.
If you’re on a tight budget, you could alternatively make cat-sized holes in one of the shed’s sides and tape over the edges to make them smooth and avoid any accidents.
Compared to buying a cat flap for your cat shed, this is less expensive.
4. Protect from Bad Weather
In order to prevent the interior of your shed from becoming dampened by rain or snow, it is also a good idea to assist shield the shed’s entrances from inclement weather.
One suggestion is to add a ledge to the shed’s outside over the doors and windows to help block out inclement weather.
Additionally, you could spread out some tarpaulin over the shed’s doors and fasten it there so it looks like an awning.
If you have the space, this is the preferable choice because it offers better protection from inclement weather and gives your cats a place to breathe some fresh air without getting wet on rainy days.
5. Internal Furnishings
You must properly arrange the interior of the shed to make it a place your cats will like spending time in if you don’t want to leave them with an empty shed.
You should install storage on the interior of your cat shed.
Given that climbing is one of cats’ natural instincts, providing them with a variety of climbing surfaces will keep them happy and occupied.
Cats prefer to have a secluded space up high where they can observe the room and feel secure, so shelving makes a great perch and sleeping area for them.
In order to make the space pleasant for your cats, you could also include cozy objects like blankets, towels, and pet beds.
Another excellent tip is to hide and cuddle up in cardboard boxes or other locations.
These items will provide greater insulation than if your cat were to merely sleep on the bare flooring and will also help them stay warm on colder days.
Another wonderful addition is a feeding and watering station, which gives your cat a specific location to go to for food.
Even though the shed is outside, be sure to remember to frequently replenish their food and water. You can also purchase an automatic feeder and a cat water fountain to ensure that your pet is fed throughout the day.
Reasons For Cats To Live Outdoors
There are various reasons why owners would think about giving their cat an outdoor shed home:
Some people might not have known they were allergic to cats before getting one as a pet (Dan, the editor here, has a severe cat dander allergy; I only discovered this in October 2020 despite having a cat for five years; I now treat it by hoovering frequently!) or others may have had people move in who can’t live with their cat.
Allergies may be managed and owners can keep their cats instead of having to give them away by keeping them as outdoor pets.
Too Many Cats
Your home might not be big enough for the amount of cats you now possess if your cat had a litter of kittens that you decided to retain or if you took in a few too many stray animals.
Your cats will be happier if you give them more room and freedom by building a home for them in your shed.
Stray or Outdoor Cats
Occasionally, especially if your cat was once a stray, they prefer living outside to living inside.
If your cat enjoys being outside and prefers to run around outside rather than snuggled up on your lap or in their preferred hiding place, you can consider getting them an outdoor home to make their life more enjoyable.