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 when they need to leave for one reason or another.
This can be an even bigger problem if you are one of the many people with feral cats on your property, since those 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 a cat outdoor shelter available.
I’ve checked out some quick and simple ways to provide the outdoor kitties on your property a safe place to stay when the weather gets bad to share.
There are quite a few outdoor cat shelter plans online that end up creating a great place for a treasured pet, 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 took one of those super cheap Styrofoam coolers you can pick up anywhere and fashioned a somewhat insulated outdoor cat shelter for winter out of that.
Simply turn the cooler over, cut a cat sized entrance semi-circle out of the top rim, and 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, and cover the top with heavy branches, brush, and possibly a good sized rock to keep it in place. To get the cat inside, stick 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 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 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 cat shelter 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: