|How To Live With Cats||
A Styrofoam cooler cat shelter is easy to make and will provide much-needed protection for your outdoor cat when the weather is cold. Or use a plastic storage tub or igloo doghouse to create a DIY cat shelter.
While some cats love to play in the snow, very cold weather can also be treacherous for cats. Like humans, they can suffer from frostbite, and they can die from hypothermia when their fur gets wet and doesn't provide as much insulation as usual. One of the most important things you can do for your outdoor cats is give them a cold weather shelter. In fact, in very bad weather, that shelter can be even more important than food.
If your outdoor cats live in an office park or other exposed area, set up your shelter in a stand of trees, under a row of bushes or in another place where it won’t be noticed by people passing by. Put some bricks under the shelter. It will be warmer if it’s off the ground. And orient it away from direct wind, rain and snow.
DIY Cat Shelters
Storage tubs make great
cold weather shelters for cats.
An igloo doghouse, 19-gallon plastic storage tub or Styrofoam cooler can become a cozy cold weather cat shelter. If you use a storage tub or cooler, cut six-inch by six-inch doorways in the long sides of the container. The extra doorway will provide an escape route if another animal wanders into the shelter.
The bottoms of the doorways should be several inches above the ground to prevent flooding.
To insulate the shelter, line the walls and top with pieces of Styrofoam, and cover them with a Mylar reflective blanket.
To make a Styrofoam cat shelter, use a sheet of hard Styrofoam that’s eight feet long by two feet wide and two inches thick.
Cut the Styrofoam into two 24-inch by 24-inch pieces for the floor and roof of the shelter. For the sides, cut two 12- by 24-inch pieces and two 12- by 20-inch pieces.
Cut six-inch by six-inch doorways in the longest sides. Then glue all the pieces together with silicone sealant, and paint the shelter with dark green or brown latex deck paint.
Inexpensive Wooden Shelter
Wooden cat shelter by Feral Villas
To build an inexpensive wooden cold weather cat shelter, use exterior grade plywood or wafer board. The roof should be slanted to drain off rain and snow. Use hinges to attach the roof to the shelter so you’ll have easy access when it's time to replace the cats' bedding. Remember to cut holes in two sides so the cat will have an escape route, and place the entrances several inches above the ground to prevent flooding.
Keeping Them Cozy And Warm
Try these tips for keeping your outdoor cats cozy and warm all winter.
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Cold Weather Essentials For Outdoor Cats