Building a Winter Cat House - DIY Pets
We have an outside cat that only comes in for injuries andextreme cold weather. Otherwise he stays outside and sleeps mainly on our front porch.
In a previous video we made a hammock for the cat. He still loves lounging around on it, but as the colder months started moving in, he started finding other places to sleep at night. He even started lying on one of our potted plants to stay warm.
My wife recently found a small box and put a towel on the bottom to give him a place sleep and stay warmer, and he loved it.
We still felt a little sorry for him, so we created a Winter Cat House to keep him warm during the winter. It is fully wrapped in R-30 insulation with a removable top that is also insulated.
We even utilized the original hammock with some modifications to add structure and support to the walls of the cat house.
This is a great way to keep an outside pet from freezing during the winter months.
To make this project, we started with the original cat hammock we made a few months ago. We first removed the fabric to make this task easier. We then added 4-way connectors to the corners so the frame could extend overheard for support.
At the top, we utilized the original corner connectors from the hammock to make the frame. At the bottom, we added some elbows and pipes on 2 sides for better support.
We wanted to wrap the frame with cardboard so we looked around the house. By chance, we found a heavy duty box that we had leftover from staining our front porch. Fortunately, all it needed was a slight reshaping and it fit perfectly over the frame.
The bottom of the box did have to be cut in a few places to allow the flaps to close completely. And we sealed it off with some box tape.
At this point we needed a few items, so we went to the store and picked up a larger box and some R-30 insulation that was on sale.
We then removed the PVC frame from the first box and reattached the cloth fabric so the cat will still have a comfortable night sleep. An additional towel will be added to this later for more warmth.
It was time to test fit all three pieces. The frame fit well into the first box and then into the second box with some added room for insulation.
With some careful measurement, a rectangle was outlined on the smaller box. I used a box cutter to carefully trim out the door for the house.
For the next step, I strongly urge using a breathing mask. I did not have one at hand, and I regret not having this protection. You will also need some kind of hand protection.
I next rolled out the insulation and cut out a section to fit at the bottom of the larger box. I then inserted the small box and marked the opening that was removed for the door. The larger box was then cut as well.
I then wrapped the smaller box with one layer of insulation, making sure not to cover the doorway. I did seal off any gaps in the box to keep the cat away from the insulation. The box needed 1-1/2 strips of insulation to reach from top to bottom. I then used some box tape to temporarily keep it in place. The tape will be cut later once everything is assembled.
For the top of the cat house, I used another flat box and trimmed it to size. It took a little trial and error, but everything fit together well. It is fully removable which will make cleaning easier in the future. I then fill the top box with insulation and slid it into place.
I sealed the sides of the larger box with some tape to prevent heat loss. And then added tape to the top box to keep it in place.
For the door opening, I added some insulation into the gaps and measured the spaces between the boxes. I then cut and taped in some more cardboard to prevent the cat from scratching or rubbing against the insulation.
At this point, the box needed to be painted for it to be presentable on the front porch. My wife likes Fall colors, so I used some brown spray paint to cover all of the labels. Spray paint may not be the best with water resistance, but I already had some on hand and the cat house will stay on the porch.
I also had some laminate from another project, so I measured, cut, and attached it to the front of the cat house to improve the appearance even more.
To keep the bottom of the box from collecting moisture, I used some 1.25-inch PVC to lift it off the wood floor. The PVC was built into a square to provide the most stability for the house. I also gave it a layer of brown paint to make it less noticeable.
Over all, the cat appears to be very happy with his new home. With in 10 minutes of introducing the new structure, he jumped inside and got comfortable.
This new home should help him stay much warmer during the colder months.
In the future, we plan on adding some hanging flaps over the entrance to keep even more of the cold outside, but we wanted to wait until the cat was secure in his new home.
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Runner Up in the
Animal Innovations Contest