Ideas for Quick Feral Cat Shelters
When miserable weather moves in fast, loads of people with outdoor cats get stuck with the cat outdoors in dangerous cold. Maybe the home owners need to leave for one reason or another, or the cats are feral, or simply will not come inside the house.
This can be an even bigger problem if you are one of the many people with feral cats on your property. Those unfortunate cats can end up in serious trouble, once cold weather moves in.
People may assume cats can take care of themselves no matter what happens. But in truth freezing temperatures can give a cat frostbite on their ears, paws, and tail that can end up getting them killed – without some form of cat outdoor shelters available to protect them from the elements.
I’ve checked out some quick feral cat shelters, and simple ways to provide the outdoor kitties on your property a safe place to stay when the weather gets bad.
There are quite a few outdoor cat shelter plans online that end up creating a great place for a treasured pet or a feral kitty. But, I wanted to find some quick stop-gap solutions for the cats in your area who are in danger right now.
My Temporary Outdoor Cat Shelter
I used to live somewhere pretty cold and my family had a semi-feral outdoor cat that came around once in awhile. When we got worried about the weather, we used one of those super cheap Styrofoam coolers you can pick up anywhere.
We fashioned somewhat insulated outdoor feral cat shelters for winter out of those. Here is how we did it …
Simply turn the cooler over, cut a cat sized entrance semi-circle out of the top rim. Then set it outside in a quiet area of your yard, preferably near where you already feed her.
Put some layers of straw or dried grass down below where you set the shelter. Cover the top with heavy branches, brush, and possibly a good sized rock to keep it in place. To get the cat inside, pop her food and water in there before you leave.
I know that won’t last long term since the Styrofoam turns to junk pretty fast. But it at least provides a warm and insulated shelter for emergencies with something you can generally pick up at a gas station. And all for under three to five bucks.
We never intended to end up feeding a non-pet cat on our property, but since it happened we wanted to make sure she stayed as safe as possible.
Quick Outdoor Feral Cat Shelter Ideas:
- These People Suggest Using Anything – This page has information about setting up some simple shelters for feral cats, including where to put them so the cats will actually use the shelter and how to set up a safe winter outdoor cat shelter and feeding station.
- This Page Has Instructions For A Simple Homemade Shelter – The simple feral cat shelters instructions located on this page can be made with things most people can get for less than $20 close to home, if you don’t have most of it lying around already. I like the fact that this shelter is built with a way to keep out rain and a level of insulation that simply providing a cut up bin or something won’t handle. It is still simple enough for anyone to make with five minutes and a couple of those huge plastic bins.
If you’re going to feed feral cats on your property, giving them a safe place to stay warm really does need to happen as well. There are lots of great resources out there for dealing with local feral cat colonies online that I’d suggest looking at, including help on where to get them trapped, spayed or neutered, and released for free.
Here is one example of a delightful looking cat house:
Here is a Range of Different Feral Cat Shelters
Heated Feral Cat Shelter Sanctuary
If you have a little money to spend, then here is a feral cat shelter that is a huge treat for any cat who is feral, or just will not come into the house. This attractive shelter is thermostatically heated (oh wow!) and is constructed from cedar wood (natural flea repellent) for a long life.
The shelter includes straw bedding heaped up around the sides to insulate the cat. And also the bottom of the shelter is insulated. The interior of the box measures 14″x14″ and the the roof has a nice overhand of a few inches all round, to keep out the rain.
It is open so the cat will not feel trapped. The cat is warmed with a 150 watt infrared bulb in the top covered by a grill to be safe. Then there is a durable heating pad in the bottom.
It comes with a 20 ft cord. This shelter uses about the same electricity as a couple of light bulbs.
Place the shelter in a spot that is as protected from the wind as possible and Kitty will be comfy. Both the heating pad and the infrared bulb are connected to an adjustable thermostat so you do not have to worry about the heat being on during warm weather.
The winter of 2013-2014 was a true test for our Sanctuary. We have one of these set up on our property with a camera for neighborhood strays and there is always a cat in it. Even when the temp dropped to minus 7 with a windchill of minus 25 there was a cat in this shelter warm and cozy.
This awesomely cozy cat shelter is available to buy here on Amazon