I would like to build a few cat houses for local feral cats to help during the winter and protect them from coyotes.

I was thinking of using about 1 inch hardwood plywood. What are some good joints to use that provides the best chances for the cat house standing up against a coyote? The cat house will have two levels which the upper level allow the cat to remain safely from jaws of the coyote.

If there are any other suggestions I would love to hear those too. Thanks.

  • 1
    Do not put up a sign that says "Cat House."
    – John Canon
    Dec 27, 2018 at 2:53
  • John, absolutely not. I find that nicer things we put out for the feral cats tend to be taken or destroyed. In this particular case these will be around my property so I will not need to worry about that. Also, they need to hidden from the neighbors eyes.
    – lordhog
    Dec 27, 2018 at 3:19
  • Our small apartment building has a large rock mound covered with shrubbery filling the front yard. It is home to 2 very elusive feral cats. When I cycle quickly up to the front entry, I sometimes spot one or both of them before they dart into the bush.
    – John Canon
    Dec 27, 2018 at 3:59
  • Like with most things, there's never A best. There are good choices and often it doesn't make much/any difference which you pick. Here, you could build this about a dozen different ways and there'd be no real difference in strength at the end of the day.
    – Graphus
    Dec 27, 2018 at 9:32

1 Answer 1


You could use 2x2 (actually 1.5 inch square) as an integral frame to join each plywood piece at right angles. With 2.5 inch screws it would be a strong structure.
Keep the entry holes small, and always have a back door available for the little guys. At each entry you could build a "rattle-trap" that makes a noise when the cats approach each door. It would rattle when the coyote approaches, thus waking the cats. Back door exit, remember?

  • John, thanks for the suggestion of adding a second entry location to the house. Thanks for the idea of using the 2x2. I will definitely try to add those to the house. In addition, I need to make sure cat house has some weight to it and fastened to the ground in some way.
    – lordhog
    Dec 27, 2018 at 23:33
  • 1
    Make the roof waterproof, draining away from the entrances. Add a piece of rigid foam to the floor, and slope it slightly toward the door. When the house is in position, pound a sharpened 2x2 into the ground at each corner (min 24") then screw the stakes to the structure.
    – John Canon
    Dec 28, 2018 at 1:24

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