12 thoughts on “Build your own shelter

  1. I built a cat shelter for a cat that moved in with me out of a 15 gallon foam planter pot and saucer that I got at a local close out center. Just turn the pot upside down and cut an entry hole in it and set it down into the planter saucer with a small pillow inside and you have a fast cat house.
    The pot is made of rigid foam that is about 1 -1/2 inches thick so it will be sturdy and also provide insulation. It is already painted a tricota color and has a decorative design on it so the hole project can be finished in a short amount of time.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Wow, that sounds exactly like something I’m needing for a feral cat that’s been hanging around for several months now… I keep feeding it so it at least won’t starve but I sure was wondering what I could do for it re: shelter! My options just simply WEREN’T working. What sort of place did you find this planter at so that I can look for one? I’m not real clear with “local close out center”. And since it’s foam and assumably light, how are you able to weigh it down so that it won’t blow away?

  2. My Hubby & I use small styrofoam coolers, with a hole cut into it, & cover with plastic, & put a blanket etc inside. They say straw is much better to use inside the house, but we check the inside blanket often. Also the Purr Pads are very good to put inside.

  3. Just about any store with a garden center should have some sort of pot like this. I liked the rigid foam for it’s insulation properties and it is also easy to work. I used a small key hole saw to cut a mouse hole shaped entrance way.
    My cat house went on the front porch, and I did not have to weight it down. You could use rocks, another planter with plants in it or just about anything that you felt like that has weight.
    Good luck and enjoy that feral cat Susan.
    Ron

  4. These take about 2 hours to make (plus overnight drying time for the caulk) and average about $20 each (materials from Home Depot). A handsaw, measuring tape, sharpie, and, in this case, a 1qt saucepan to trace the hole was all it took. I used shredded paper last year, but it tracked too easily as the cats passed in and out. This year, I’m using straw.

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.154004861313618.26569.153624374685000&type=1

    I’m also a big fan of this heated water bowl. http://www.khmfg.com/thermal-bowl.html
    Porch and shelter traffic increased with news of fresh, unfrozen water. Word got around! My bedroom was a little drafty having to snake the cord out the window, but it was a small sacrifice.

  5. I love all the ideas I just read about but I have raccoons in my yard and wonder if a shelter without a back door might be putting my feral cat in jeopardy or might even discourage him/her from using it even though it sounds like it will keep him/her protected from the weather.

  6. That’s a common concern, but in my experience, the raccoons are interested in neither the shelters nor the cats, but rather in what’s left in the food dishes or in the garbage cans. They are nocturnal scavengers, not sleepers. I’ve watched raccoons come and go while the cats stayed put in the shelters. As for an “exit strategy,” two openings in the shelter invite more weather in and allow wind to pass through, making the interior less warm and cozy. We’ve had about 6 Rubbermaid bin-style shelters in our neighborhood in various back yards for the last 3 winter seasons, and so far, none of the cats have been jeopardized by the rodents.

  7. I built a shelter, using directions found on the internet – involving two different-size plastic totes. Saw a round hole to the measurement of at least a six-inch plumbing “hose”. It’s thick and stiff. Put hay in the bottom of the large tote and insert the smaller tote. Line bottom with hay and insert the “hose” through both totes, creating an entrance. Make sure it’s a tight fit. Put lid on small tote, and line sides and top with hay. Put lid on large tote. If you wish, you can drill a hole, large enough to accommodate a plug, through both totes to allow for insertion of a heating pad instead of hay as bedding. Needless to say, it’s easy to take apart to clean, etc.

  8. I have a dog house(well insulated) I use small outside clip on lights also put thick clear plastic on door so it will pass through opening, also built a 4ft x 8ft shelter well insulated and carpted the insi
    de, divided it with piece of old paneling so on both sides put clip on lights, keep food and water inside the water has never frozen, also put blankets in them, and thick clear plastic on doors. I have about 15 feral cats(all fixed) along with my 20 cats.( I use a 60 watt bulb)

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