What better place for feral cats to go in the winter than an outdoor cat shelter?
Feral cats do a lot for their communities. They keep rodent populations in check and bring a lot of people joy. Now, many stray cat communities are doing something for them, building them feral cat houses for winter. Since community cats are generally afraid of people, it's very hard to trap them and turn them over to a shelter, but cat lovers can make a difference in these felines' lives by building them a warm kitty house for shelter when the cold weather hits. There are a few different ways you can build a winter cat shelter. Here's a look at just a few!
Building a DIY Feral Cat Shelter
Feral cats cannot survive on body heat alone during the winter months. Building an outdoor cat house will help keep an outside cat safe and warm. A feral cat shelter can be as simple as an old storage bin with a hole cut in the side for entry with a box cutter. Fill the Rubbermaid tote partially with hay, then insert a cooler. Fill in any of the gaps with straw and place some in the bottom of the cooler. Place the lid on the styrofoam cooler, and then put the storage bin lid on top.
Place the cat house in an easily accessible place so your neighborhood kitties can climb inside. The cat's body heat and the straw will keep them nice and toasty inside their new cat bed. Avoid using things like hay and blankets as these items can freeze and harm the cat or even kill them. Another DIY version of a cat house uses an old Igloo dog house for the cats to hang out in. You can make the entryway smaller by covering part of it with a heavy-duty tarp, attaching it with duct tape. Fill the dog house with straw, and you are good to go!
Heated Cat House
You can buy a heated cat house online to keep cats nice and warm throughout the winter. Many companies sell them online and in stores. The animal shelter is made of polyester and is weather resistant. To help the cat keep warm, the cat house has a heating pad on the inside. It is even rated to keep cats warm when the temperatures drop to subzero. The opening is covered by a weatherproof flap that can be removed during the summer. Keep the shelter elevated to prevent water or snow from getting in. If you have a problem with raccoons in your area, you can also put the cat house in an area they cannot get to, like a garage or shed. The deluxe version of the heated cat house comes with feeding stations so the neighborhood cats can get some food and water outside of the cat house. You could even place a litter box in there.
Pallet Cat Shelter
Shades Community Cats recently posted a video of how they create their pallet shelters for cats. Old pallets are pretty easy to come by and if you have the room, make for some pretty perfect cat shelters. They first create four cat boxes, one for each edge. Then the bottom pallet gets covered in a tarp and gets secured. Next, the boxes get placed on each corner, and straw gets put in the middle of them all. Next, the top pallet gets covered and placed on top. The whole thing gets another layer, and then it gets covered with a tarp and, of course, secured with gorilla tape. With this, your kitties will be nice and warm throughout the winter months.
Have you built a DIY feral cat house? Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page.