Building an outdoor shelter for your feline friends can be a great way to care for the community cats in your neighborhood during the colder months.
Thinking about Building an Outdoor Cat Shelter?
Cats are independent animals, but they still need a safe and comfortable place to rest, especially in harsh weather. If you have outdoor cats or want to provide shelter for strays, building an outdoor cat shelter is a wonderful way to offer them protection and warmth during the colder months. Here, we will walk you through the steps to create a cozy and cost-effective shelter for our feline friends.
Materials you will need:
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- A Plastic Bin: Choose a large plastic storage bin with a lid. The size should be suitable for your cat to move around comfortably. We recommend a minimum of about 15 gal. for size.
- Insulation Materials: You’ll need insulation to keep the shelter warm. Consider materials like foam board, straw, or old blankets.
- A Heated Mat (Optional): If you live in an extremely cold climate, a heated pet mat can provide additional warmth.
- A Jigsaw or Utility Knife: To cut an entrance hole in the plastic bin.
- Duct Tape or Sealant: To secure insulation and prevent drafts.
- Pillowcase or Towel: To line the shelter for extra comfort.
- A Hammer and Nails or Cable Ties: To attach the lid and create a stable structure.
How to Assemble the Outdoor Shelter:
Once you’ve gathered all the materials, it’s time to start putting the shelter together. Here is a video that will help show you how to do it.
- Prepare the Plastic Bin: Start by cleaning the plastic bin thoroughly. Remove any labels or stickers. The bin will act as the main structure of the shelter.
- Cut the Entrance: On one side of the bin, cut a cat-sized entrance hole using a jigsaw or utility knife. Make sure it’s large enough for a cat to comfortably enter and exit, but not so big that it allows larger animals to enter.
- Add Insulation: Line the interior of the bin with insulation materials. You can cut pieces of foam board to fit the walls and floor. Ensure that it’s snug but not too tight.
- Create a Roof: Place the lid on top of the bin to create a roof. Secure it using nails, screws, or cable ties, or heavy duty duct tape making sure it’s firmly attached.
- Seal Drafts: Use duct tape or sealant to cover any gaps or seams in the shelter, ensuring there are no drafts that could make it colder inside.
- Add Bedding: Place a pillowcase or towel inside as bedding. This provides a cozy spot for the cat to rest.
- Optional Heated Mat: If you live in a particularly cold area, consider adding a heated pet mat. These mats are designed to be safe for pets and can provide extra warmth.
Place the shelter in a quiet, sheltered spot, away from strong winds and potential predators. Ensure it’s elevated slightly to prevent moisture from seeping in.
By following these steps, you can provide outdoor cats with a safe and comfortable shelter, especially during colder months. Remember to check the shelter regularly, clean it, and replace the bedding when needed. Your outdoor feline friends will surely appreciate the warm haven you’ve built for them.