Winter Cat Shelters

It’s good to get started early so you don’t have to panic at the last minute like my human did last year…

 …my favorite human is always a little late with the bright ideas, but it’s never too late to give a cat some shelter. Be sure to raise all shelters and feeding stations off the ground with bricks or pieces of a 4×4 to help prevent water from coming in or snow from blocking the entrance, and put a nice thick layer of straw in the shelter to keep kitty off of any moisture that might accumulate on the floor. Cats also prefer to have a second door through which they can make a quick escape in the event an intruder tries to enter.

Here are some shelter ideas to help the kitties make it through the winter, be they stray, feral or your own outside cats (some of these web sites have the same ideas, but you get the picture):

 DIY Shelters

 An inexpensive, yet effective shelter from PACT Humane Society in Chicago, Illinois (and so simple to make that even my human can do it!)

Plans for building a cat shelter from Ally Cat Allies

Excellent shelter ideas from Neighborhood Cats in New York, New York

Some excellent advice for feeding & sheltering feral cats from the Feral Cat Caretakers Coalition in Los Angeles, California (yes, it can get cold even in California)

Shelter idea and some good info from Coolest Cat Care

 Premade Shelters

Heated Outdoor Cat Shelter – this shelter has radiant floor heating and requires an electrical supply. It’s very nic and also has a backdoor for quick exits.

The Feral Villa a simple, pre made, wooden cat shelter at an affordable price

Shelters from Cats Play (wooden cat {and dog} houses, rather pricey but very groovy)

 Heating & Warmth

Some of my feral cat caretaker friends line the inside walls of their cat houses with mylar blankets (also known as Space Blankets!) which are a really cheap way to hold in the heat. You can get them from Amazon.com or at Walmart in the camping section).

Another thing to consider for keep kitties warm is a Snuggle Safe heating disk which provides heat for about 10 hours (microwave required to heat the disk!). If you use a Snuggle Safe be sure to wrap it with a blanket or towel before putting it in the cat shelter. Lowest prices for Snuggle Safe as of 11/06/2011 (these come with a cover. If you know of lower, please let me know!):

Purr Pads – also known as Mysterious Purr Pads – are supposed to retain the cat’s own body heat. We just got a couple of them so I can’t tell you how effective they are yet, but you get 2 in a package and they are cheap.  They are 20 x20 and made of polyester fibers which are supposed to also be recycleable. You can get them at any number of cat supply stores, but the owest prices online for Purr Pads that I’ve found as of 11/06/11 are:

There is also the Mysterious Kuddle Kup which comes in 2 sizes and is made out of the same stuff as the Purr Pad.

Also check out Kyle Kitty’s Cat Fence!

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