Cat Houses for Our Feral Friends





Introduction: Cat Houses for Our Feral Friends

Warm and safe homes for the winter for your outside pet or feral friends.

Step 1: This Is a Quick Instructable to Make a Winter House for Your Outside Pets or for Your Feral Friends.

I will admit it that I am the crazy cat person in our neighborhood. I will feed all who show up and also take them to our local animal society to get them fixed and just help out as I can...

In Florida it gets cold and yes it will freeze here in North Florida so I make some little houses to protect the cats from what weather we do experience.

These are quick and to make two will cost you approx. $20 for the pair.

Step 2:

Step 3: Items You Will Need.

For the houses I use just a semi clear storage tub with lid and a pet bed or thermal mat. I use a tub that the cats can see out of so nothing can sneak up on them.

The storage tub will cost you around $6.00 new or you can usually find them at a garage sale or my favorite pet local humane thrift store for a couple of dollars.

The pet bed I found at a local discount store for under $6.00, once again you can find them cheaper at the local thrift stores. Unfortunately the temperature was dropping and I wanted to get them done, so I spent $24.00 for everything for two houses.

Step 4: Creating the Opening

  1. For this I used a regular pocket knife and a torch. This is my glass blowing torch and reaches well over 2000 degrees, but anything to heat your knife will work.
    • Remember to do this outdoors or with good ventilation as the fumes will be most likely toxic or at least smelly.
  2. Start by marking or having an idea of the size of opening for your animal.
  3. Heat you knife and score the line. The plastic will melt and you will have your line to follow. You will have to reheat your knife many times to cut through the plastic. The plastic will also stick to the knife, so I heated up the blade and wiped it off on a piece of wood.
  4. I made a square shape and made sure not to cut through the lip of the tub so the lid will still clip securely.
  5. Once the square was removed, I just made the opening more rounded as some of the cat have a belly. Make sure to heat the knife and melt any sharp areas in the opening.
  6. Finally take the knife and shave off the melted pieces on the outside and inside.

Step 5: The Finishing Touch

Once the opening is made.

  1. place the lid on the ground and place the bed on the lid.
  2. take the tub and place over the bed and lid making sure that it clips and is secure.

You house is now complete.


Step 6: Home Sweet Home

Place your home for your feline where it is sunny, out of the wind and where they bed down and it will only take a couple of minutes for someone to take up residency.

On the cold night they will cuddle up with each other inside and their body will keep these homes warm and cozy for the night.

I have made these for several years and have seen as many as five cats curled up together.

This is my first instructable and hopefully not my last. Please vote for me if you like this and think my cause is good.

Thanks so much.



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I make these for the community cats i feed, but use straw or shredded newspaper in a plastic bag for added insulation. Also, lining the interior with 1 inch rigid foam board for extra warmth. Turning them upside down is a great idea because it gives them more room inside. However, i would duct tape the lid to the bin and make the entrance approx four inches above the ground to prevent water from entering. I have also added an escape route hole on opposite end. God bless you for providing a warm, dry shelter for our feral cats and thank you for sharing!!

Thank you ALL for helping cats in need <3

Just a tip for anyone looking to insulate their shelters: To keep body heat in and around your cats, straw - not hay - makes good insulation as the shafts are hollow. It doesn't mold when kept out of the rain/snow, and can handle the moisture cats give off. When put in loosely a cat can burrow into it for extra warmth. It works with plastic shelters like this one, wood, or styrofoam.

Also - if you're in an area where wet food freezes, you switch to dry. The group I help looks for the highest fat content in the food. Gives the kitties extra calories :)

I don't understand why you turn the whole box upside down. When it rains the lid rim will catch the rainwater and it will seep inside the box and get their cloth bedding sopping wet. :( I keep the boxes upright so the lids will not leak water inside. And besides, the lid provides shade in hot weather.

1 reply

I have made these for years and have yet to have the water seep in. This is to protect them from the cold. If the cats decide to lay on top the lid will warp and then the box is shot. And besides, it is too hot for them in the hot weather so the cats don't use them in the summer ;).

I store them until it gets cold and I get a couple of winters out of each box.

The cool thing about this idea is to customize them to your climate and to your cats liking.

you can take the plastic piece the you cut out and make a couple of holes in the top, a couple of holes in the box and attach with zip ties to make a movable flap. This will protect the insides from the rain splashing in or, like here, the rain falling at an angle and going inside.

This plastic house doesn't keep them warm in the very cold weather does it?

1 reply

It works very well in northern Florida. They cuddle up and their body heat keeps them warm. I have seen 3 or 4 cats in the boxes and they are happy. Beats being out in the elements.

I was specifically looking for this cat house! Like you I am a crazy cat lady and Indiana has been having terribly cold and snowy winters. I understand that the life span of unaltered feral cat is 2-3 years. Thank you for your helpfulness.

1 reply

thanks for the comments and for helping the kitties.

i like this 1 the best out of all i have seen by googling. fortunately in hawaii it never goes to freezing or even close.My friend has a problem feeding her feral colonies because of mongoose dogs and even feral pigs invading her feeding spots.And I have lived here for 25 yrs and I have learned ALOHA is only a word and is only used for tourists..I want to make my friend one for when it rains and to keep the food dry..Thank you for helping the cats and i believe that reflects ones character and integrity...

1 reply

Thanks much for the comment. If you save the plastic piece you can attach it with zip ties and a couple of holes so it is a flap.
Great for keeping the food dry.

They look nice and cozy. It is so kind of you to look out for those feral felines.