The life of an undomesticated and untamed cat can be quite pitiful, especially those that live in cold places. Snow and rain can cause the death of many cats, particularly those that are too scared to go into people’s warm homes. Stray and feral cats usually have significantly reduced life expectancies, compared to domesticated cats. Death and injuries are usually caused by extreme weather, communicable diseases, roadkill and from territorial fights.
Should you feel the need to care for some of the stray cats that are living in the vicinity of your home, you can make them an improvised cat shelter.
- Prepare the materials. First of all, you need to prepare some materials for this project. You will need some plastic totes, some pieces of Styrofoam, a bunch of wool and some bedding materials like old towels, straw or blankets. Also, keep your staple gun and knife handy.
- Build the cat shelter. Cut a hole on the side of the tote. The hole doesn’t really have to be big, as a cat has the ability to fit through spaces that are just a little larger than the width of its head. Take the pieces of wool and staple them just above the hole inside the tote. This will act as the door to the cat shelter and keep the wind out.
Put Styrofoam lining inside the tote container to serve as insulator. Cut the Styrofoam into pieces to get it inside the tote. Use glue to secure the Styrofoam inside. Keep in mind that your aim is to line the inner portion of the tote completely. As Styrofoam is used to keep cold drinks from getting warm, it is also great for keeping a cat warm inside the tote.
You can now put the bedding. Look around the house to see if you have anything lying around that can be used as beddings. These bedding materials must be clean and don’t smell like people as this might frighten the skittish cats away. Hay and straw also work well. Anything and any material that will allow the cats to curl up on will surely be appreciated. Place Styrofoam on top of the tote and put back the tote lid.
Keep in mind that the cat shelter you make should be placed and positioned somewhere it will generally be protected from rain, wind and snow. Even if the cat shelter you made has a door-like protection on it, rain might still seep in and soak the insides of the tote.
It would be a nice complement to your homemade cat shelter if you could also put a place for the cats to eat in. You can make another tote for this. But instead of putting beddings and Styrofoam, put containers for food and water instead.
If you want your cat shelter to be able to accommodate more cats, you can use a bigger tote. You can also make several totes as cat shelters. These shelters will be very helpful to stray cats especially during the cold seasons.