9 Best Bedding Materials For An Outdoor Cat House/Shelter

Just like us, cats need a layer of protection around them to keep them safe from the harsh weather. It’s harder for those who sleep in an outdoor cat house or shelter. Keeping that in mind, you need to insulate their space.

You might ask yourself, “What is the best bedding for an outdoor cat house/shelter?”. While there are various options that people use, straw has the best outcome with its ability to repel moisture and keep felines safe from the winter and even the heat during the summertime.

Today we will tell you all about the best types of bedding for a cat house to keep it safe and warm, as well as share some cat house tips. Check out the list of the best outdoor cat houses on Amazon now!

What Bedding Materials Can I Use For An Outdoor Cat House? 

You can use several materials in an outdoor cat house. Some of them are as follows.

1. Straw

Straw is the best material you can use as bedding for a cat house. It’s inexpensive, and it’ll stay dry and fresh throughout the year. Most importantly, it’ll keep the cat warm and cozy.

The only thing that’ll be bothersome is that this material will get stuck to your feline’s fur, and you’ll have to brush it off regularly to keep it clean.

Ensure that you’re getting long strands of straw and not the blended ones that feel damp. Most shops these days sell a mix of straw, wheat, rye, and corn, and that’s what you should avoid.

Consider using wheat straw because it’s best at staying dry. Just make sure that you give the cat house a weekly clean to remove any straw that’s wet from urine.

The best way to arrange the bedding is by first setting some pine needles on the base of the shelter and then layering it with wheat straw. As straw repels heat, you should add a small amount during the summer and spring and increase it in winter to keep the shelter warm.

2. Memory foam padding

Memory foam is a durable material found in sofas, car seats, and mattresses. It provides extra support and pressure relief.

It gives insulation during every type of weather, and you can clean it effortlessly in a washing machine. Just use it as a base inside the cat house and let it do the trick!

3. Cat bed 

If you want to go all out at making the cat house cozy, you might as well buy an outdoor cat bed. You can place it inside with straw scattered around it.

You can even go for a heated bed designed especially for cats. They work by keeping the temperature of the bed up to a cat’s average body temperature.

4. Heating pads

Heating pads are another good source of heat for outdoor cats. There are microwaveable heating pads that release heat for up to 10 hours. They can be used in place of heated cat beds.

The downside to heating pads is that they’re costly. Plus, you’ll have to monitor the cats to ensure they don’t harm themselves.

5. Insulated tiles

When building your cat house, install insulated tiles on the floor instead of placing any bedding.

You can still add straw, cat beds, or mats for their comfort, but the tiles will keep the shelter warm on their own.

6. Cardboard

Use cardboard made of non-toxic materials and place it on the base of the shelter. You can cut it the way you want to, so it’ll be easy to shape it to fit the cat house.

You can make it better by filling the interior with shredded newspaper.

Fill it to the bottom of the entrance. Compared to other materials, newspapers won’t do as much when it comes to insulation. Still, they can be helpful in an emergency.

You can put straw on the cardboard instead of paper for better results.

7. Reflective material

Any material that reflects body heat will work here. The best you can use is a Mylar blanket. These low-bulk coverings made of heat-reflective plastic are also known as space blankets.

You can use them to cover the floor of the shelter. You can even line them on the walls for extra heat if you want.

Keep in mind that reflective materials are not for use during the summer. They trap heat inside, and you don’t want cats to deal with an added layer of warmth in hot weather.

8. Old camping gear

Some people like using their old camping gear in outdoor cat houses. You can place a sleeping bag inside (Obviously, put the one you don’t use anymore).

They’re durable and breathable, which makes them great for keeping kittens healthy and cozy.

9. Packing peanuts

Similar to straw and shredded newspaper, packing peanuts are lightweight and easy to clean. You can replace them with a new batch whenever they get dirty.

However, you should be aware that some cats try to eat them because of their texture is appealing.

You can opt for biodegradable packing peanuts made of corn starch. They are safe for cats and work similarly to normal packing peanuts.

Should I Use Hay Or Straw In A Cat Shelter?

When it comes to using the right material in your cat shelter, always go with straw.

Straw and hay look similar, but they are used for different purposes and have different outcomes when it comes to using them as bedding. You can tell them apart by their price.

Hay is much more expensive than straw. You can come across straw at any pet supply store, so you won’t have to spend too much time looking for it.

While hay seems like a good option, it can result in your cat catching a cold. It happens because hay absorbs moisture which makes it wet and soggy.

On top of that, it can end up getting moldy, so it’s not something you should invest in. On the other hand, the straw will stick with you for decades if you store it in a dry place.

Can I Use Mylar Blankets For Cat House Bedding?

Yes, you can use Mylar blankets for cat house bedding. Mylar blankets have reflective properties that allow body heat to be retained.

You can sew a Mylar blanket in another material that repels water and doesn’t absorb heat.

Wool is a suitable choice for covering the blankets to make self-warming cushions. They are windproof and waterproof, which is why they’ll keep feral cats from getting sick during the winter.

What Should I Put In My Feral Cat House?

You can obviously use good bedding like heated cat beds, heating pads, or insulated tiles.

However, since feral cats are unsocialized, you’ll have trouble cleaning these beddings. They take a while to wash and dry, which can cause the cats to avoid you.

Instead, use straw or shredded newspaper. They are more comfortable to clean because you can just remove and replace them with fresh bedding.

Should I Give A Stray Cat A Blanket?

It can seem like a good idea to use blankets, but it’s not. Blankets will, for one, absorb body heat from cats as they don’t provide their own heat.

Secondly, they don’t repel moisture, so they’ll end up getting wet. It’ll make your cat chilly and increase the risk of it getting sick. The same goes for towels. That’s why it’s best to avoid them.

Check out the list of the best outdoor cat houses on Amazon now!

Final Words

To sum up, there are various materials you can use for bedding. The best choice is straw.

However, you can also use shredded newspaper, packing peanuts, insulated tiles, old sleeping bags, heating pads, cat beds, cardboard, Mylar blankets, and memory foam padding. They’ll keep cats warm and cozy at all times!