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Any ideas for winter outdoor cat shelter? Answered

Basic shelter doesnt work in the freezing months of winter....any ideas to keep kitties warm and out of elements? Styrofoam and rigid insulation boxes are ok, but its difficult to keep dry in the snow and wind. I like the chicken coop shed, making it airtight and perhaps wrapping or draping it with solar heating material-hmm, it would that work? Cant be too big, this is to be placed in semi-private view. Cost is a concern too!!



8 years ago

What I am thinking, is that an outdoor shelter warm enough for cats might be attractive to other (unwanted) animals too. Raccoons for example.

If you want something 'clandestine', I am thinking of something like a metal/ plastic garbage can, or maybe a -FOOD GRADE- 55 gallon drum. Cut an entry hole in one side, about as high as the cat's belly. Elevate the can on something, like a wooden pallet. Face the entry hole against a wall or corner, away from sight as well as blasting winds.

Put something like a stool or chair inside for the cat to sleep on, and staple some carpet up the side so it can climb up to the sleeping platform.

As someone else pointed out, rope lights, x-mas lights, or a light bulb (25 w) would be enough to keep a cat warm enough in the winter. The colour Red is probably best so it won't bother the cat's eyes.

Put some of your dirty, stinky laundry inside the can, such as on the cat bed/ sleeping platform. This should be enough to scare other animals away.


8 years ago

Obviously, I don't know what temps you're trying to combat, but around here it dips to about 18-20F. More often it ranges between 24F-32F. So, if your temps are similar the following ought to work for you:

What I did was start out with a large pet carrier (the white plastic kind with a metal mesh swinging door) and removed the door.

I had an old (very warm & thick) sleeping bag from my Boy Scout days that I used to line the entire inside of the carrier...that took about half of the bag. I positioned it so that the opening was quite small with roughly 10" of the bag protruding out of the door (it looks similar to the hood on a fur-lined parka when it's synched down around someones head).

I then took the rest of the sleeping bag and wrapped the outside of the carrier and secured it.

I put it under a lean-to and faced the opening on the leeward (away from the wind) side. Every time it's very cold that's where I find my kitty. When I reach in to pet her it's been pretty warm inside.

By the way, I had a bed pad (egg crate-style) laying around so I cut a couple of pieces (approx. the same size as the bottom of the carrier) and stacked 'em up before I lined the carrier with the sleeping bag.


10 years ago

Possibility: Try contacting feline rescue societies in nearby municipalities. Some of them have been doing the catch-neuter-and-release thing in an effort to control the feral cat population, and have come up with cost-effective shelters appropriate to their local climates, and if they're in the same climate zone as you their design is probably worth copying.


10 years ago

How do you read the tags ? Not seen any open source readers yet have you ?