Step 1: Start
We keep our cat houses out all year long but we only feed them inside on very cold days. They are plugged in all winter, day and night. In the spring we unplug them during the day when the weather is warm and plug them in for the cold nights. During the summer our cats dont use the inside, so we put foam pads on top and they love to lay up there. When we turn the houses on in the fall as the days and nights start to get cold again, we find our cats sleeping inside, they really love their houses!
Having fun checking out their new house.
Step 2: The Cats
They were very neglected and abused by their owners, and then abandoned. When the two of them were abandoned they were both in bad shape, and neither one had been spayed or neutered.
Smokey, he had mats on both his sides so bad that when they were shedding off, his skin was pealing off with them and leaving open wounds that looked like burns. I cut off the mats the best I could, cleaned and medicated his wounds. It took about 3 weeks for him to heal and start growing his hair back.
Squeaker, she was pregnant and close to delivery. I thought she would go some where and hide to have her babies. But I was wrong, on Mothers Day when I came out on my porch I found Squeaker in one of the houses crying and in full labor. She had chosen one of the cat houses to be her nesting box, and that is where she / we raised her litter of 3, two girls and a boy.
When her babies were old enough we got them good homes and had Squeaker and Smokey spayed and neutered. After all this I was worried they might not be close. I was wrong again, they are back to sharing a house and just as close as ever.
This cat house is easy to make and can be built in just a few hours. It is easy to clean and will last for years.
Step 3: Parts
1 - 100 qt. cooler or larger
1 - super bright 12 ft. rope light
8 - 1" x 1" mounting bases
20 - zip ties
11 - #8 x 1/2" long wood screws
1 - 8" x 8" piece of carpet. Make sure the carpet is a couple inches larger in height and width than the doorway you are going to cut.
1" thick foam pad for the inside bed (cut to fit)
1 rug or blanket for the inside bed
3" thick for outside on top of the lid (cut to fit)
Step 4: Making the House
Start by measuring a 6" x 6" square about 1" up from the bottom, in the lower corner of the cooler. Then drill a hole in each corner large enough for a jig saw blade to fit in. Cut the square out.
Mount the piece of carpet to the inside of the cooler with 3 - #8 wood screws, making sure the doorway is covered completely. Then cut a slit about 3" long up the middle of the carpet. This makes it easier for them to exit.
Step 5: Rope Light
Starting with the cord end string the rope lights around the inside of the lid starting in the lower left hand corner, so the cord end hangs out the back as shown in the picture below. Mount them to the bases with zip ties. The rope light should wrap around twice.
Step 6: The Cord
Make sure the lid closes without pinching the cord. Be careful not to nick to the edge of the lid with the saw.
Step 7: Inside
If you would like us to build one or more for you, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.pdjinc.com for more contact information.
Step 8: End
Please close the lid!
I have placed these under an enclosed porch but others have noted that when used in the open the lid leaks in the rain. So I got a new coleman chest and put it out in the rain and it leaks. Not what I expected. So here is the fix (I hope); I got some weather stripping 1/8" X 3/8" X 10 feet. I put this around the edge of the inside lip. I first tried 1/4" thick stripping but it was too thick. The 1/8" works great I can feel the lid lock into place when closed. It has stopped raining for now so I will get results later. It may be better to put the strip on the lid. I will run more tests when it rains again. Make sure the edge is clean and dry before adding the strip. I used alcohol to clean the edge.
I believe that closed cell type stripping is the best, There is an open cell strip but this may collect water.
The house was in the rain all night with the weather stripping installed and I opened it up this morning and it was dry inside! The weather stripping is a success. It would be a good idea to add a strip about the door to act as a gutter, make it arched or angled for drainage. Also the cut for the bottom of the door should be slopped to the outside. When opening the lid while wet it will help to run your finger around the opening first to remove standing water. This will keep it from dripping inside as the lid is opened.