Home: Outdoor Cat Shelter

Outdoor Cat Shelter
How To Make An Inexpensive Cat Shelter

Calico Cat Needs Outdoor Cat ShelterHaving access to a protected outdoor cat shelter is what saved these cats lives.  When outdoor cats can get into a rain-proof and insulated cat shelter they have a better survival chance than when you dump off a a pile of cat kibble every day. 

I volunteer at a local state park, Falls of the Ohio here in southern Indiana.   Someone dumped kittens there and the local staff kept them fed.  As time passed, we knew they would be having kittens if they weren't neutered soon. 

Freezing Winter Rains

Soon the freezing winter rains hit hard in Clarksville, IN.  The cats only had trees and bushes to huddle under.  Well, they could get under the visitors cars, but then they were tempted to climb up into the engine area where it was warm.  The rains didn't let up. These cats were doomed.

 

Here are just a few hazards these cats faced:

Frostbite (ear tips, tails, and toes are especially prone)

Hypothermia, which can be fatal (shivering is the first sign)

Injury or death as a result of resting on a warm car engine

Disorientation in winter storms, making it difficult to find their way home or anywhere

Falls through thin ice on ponds, streams, or the rapidly rising river

Ingestion of antifreeze, a deadly poison

Broken teeth (trying to eat frozen trash food)

Build a simple, inexpensive outdoor cat shelter

Here's what you'll need to build and inexpensive cat shelter.

  • 2 heavy duty Rubbermaid plastic storage bins (50 gallon size and a 90 quart size) or,
  • Styrofoam like a cheap cooler or leftover home insulation,
  • Straw,
  • Duct tape,
  • Old bubble-wrap from a dormant outdoor swimming pool (optional). 

What you are going to do is place the smaller storage bin into the larger, insulate the space underneath and around the smaller bin, cut in an entry door, poke in some drainage holes and pop on the lid.

It costs less than $30 bucks and you can have it done in about an 30 minutes. 

Placing the outdoor cat shelter is your next challenge.  You must get it out in their area so that they get used to it and don't fear it.

The feeding area isn't the best because there may be other intruders like raccoons, possum and other cats hanging around the feed zone.  Try placing it in the same area that you see the cat sleeping outside.

Mike at The Urban Cat League shows you just how to put it all together

Now if you're wondering what the old bubble-wrap is for, its to capture the heat from the sun and provide extra insulation.  If your cat shelter is placed where it gets a bit of sun, this wrap is designed to capture and hold in the heat. Lay it over the top and side of your homemade cat shelter and it make the shelter even toastier.

Once you get your outdoor cat shelter set up I would love for you to share a picture with our readers.  You can type up some quick notes or tips and post a picture up on the Cat Pictures page.

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