How To Get A Feral Cat To Use A Shelter

How to get a cat to use a shelter

How to get a cat to use a shelterPosted by on 10/16/2018The majority of times, cats will figure out to use shelters on their own. That said, here are things to consider if it doesn’t seem like the cat is using its shelter:
  • The weather is warm enough that the cat does not feel the need to spend the night in the shelter. BE PATIENT WITH THE PROCESS! Some cats just require a significant amount of time to become acclimated to a new environment. Make it appealing to the cat by using straw and catnip
  • The cat actually prefers another type of shelter. In some cases, outdoor cats are just household pets who wander outside and then return home to be brought inside. The cat may also have a barn, crawlspace, or other type of shelter that it chooses
  • However, food must not be kept close to the shelter. The instinctual reaction of cats is to avoid sheltering near food since food attracts other cats and wildlife
  • Therefore, the location of the shelter might be critical. Cats who are more wild or less friendly tend to seek refuge in areas that are farther away from humans. The majority of the time, cats will prefer to walk around walls, hedges, or other natural barriers and limits
  • Therefore, maintain a shelter near natural cover rather than out in the open where the cat may feel vulnerable. If all else fails, try a different place. It should be done sparingly and only after the cat has had the opportunity to investigate and become acclimated to the new environment.
  • It’s warm enough outside that the cat doesn’t feel the need to spend the night in the shelter any longer than necessary. WATCH OUT FOR OTHER GUYS. The fact is that some cats just require a significant amount of time in their new environment. Straw and catnip can be added to make it more appealing to the cat, who already has a favorite shelter. Some outdoor cats are actually simply pets who go outside and then return home to be brought back inside by their owners. Additionally, the cat may have a barn, crawlspace, or another shelter that it likes
  • Food should not be kept next to a shelter. The instinctual reaction of cats is to avoid hiding near food since food attracts other cats and wildlife. Therefore, the location of the shelter might be critical. Cats that are more wild or less friendly tend to seek refuge in areas that are more far from humans. The majority of the time, cats will prefer to go around walls, hedges, or other natural barriers and limits
  • Thus, maintain a shelter near natural cover rather than out in the open where the cat may feel vulnerable
  • When everything else fails, try a different place. It should be done sparingly and only after the cat has had the opportunity to investigate and become acclimated to its new surroundings.
CategoriesRecent PostsCondensation inside shelters How to get a cat to use a shelter Replacing Insulation on a Feralvilla Shelter User’s Photos Heating the Feralvilla (and perhaps other) Shelter Other options for outdoor cat shelters Raccoons and feeding feral cats Frequently Asked QuestionsArchivesNovember 2018 October 2018 September 2017 December 2012

Feral and Stray Cats: How to help and take care of outside kitties

When it comes to feral and stray cats, there are a lot of questions. People frequently inquire as to what the distinction between the two is, where to take them if they are injured, and how to assist them survive the winter months in the wild. In this post, we will address a variety of issues and provide information on how you might assist a homeless cat. In a nutshell, here’s what we’ll be discussing:

What’s the difference between stray and feral cats

As soon as you come across an abandoned cat and realize you are unable to save it, call your local animal shelter or rescue group to inform them that you have discovered a homeless or feral cat. If you are unable to assist the animal, they may send a volunteer to assist you. If you are interested in adopting the cat, click on the link below to see how you can make the transition easier for the cat. The book provides answers to frequently asked questions concerning cat diet, litter, introduction to other animals, and other topics.

The difference between stray and feral cats

Stray cats are pets that have been abandoned or lost. Despite the fact that they are accustomed to human contact, stray cats are often sociable, despite the fact that they may appear hesitant or puzzled at first. Aside from that, they are frequently observed alone near houses, calling out for attention. Feral cats, on the other hand, are born in the wild and shun contact with humans. They are not tame, and they do not tolerate human contact. The majority of feral cats are afraid and will go into hiding if they are approached.

Additionally, they may have a “tipped” ear to indicate that they have been repaired and returned.

What to do if you find a cat

If you come across a stray cat, the first thing you should do is determine whether or not the animal is lost. If you are able, offer the cat with food, water, and shelter, and then call your local animal rescue agency. Using Petfinder’s search function, you may locate such organizations and adoption groups in your region. Inquire about putting the cat on the “found” list, as it is possible that it is someone’s pet. Also, inquire as to whether the animal’s microchip, which contains an ID number, can be scanned by the shelter’s personnel.

Even if the cat does not have a microchip, you may be able to track down its owners.

  • Is there a bulletin board, either traditional or digital, where you could put a photo and some information? What other organizations might be able to do to assist you
  • Was it possible for them to take the animal if it was still on the street? Is there anything more they can suggest?

Once you have spoken with the local animal shelter, you should contact your local law enforcement department to report the cat. Put your testimony in writing because, even if police are unsuccessful in their efforts to locate the owner, the event may make its way into the local media. Finally, don’t forget to talk to your neighbors and put up posters around your neighborhood. You could even come across someone who is interested in adopting the cat while looking for a potential owner. And keep in mind that if you are taking the animal into your house, you should keep it isolated from your other pets until you are convinced that the animal is healthy.

If you have a sick or injured feral cat, contact a feral cat rescue organization that specializes in gently trapping and transporting the animal to a veterinarian.

How to catch a feral cat

You should check with groups that work with wild cats if you need to trap a cat since they are the most reliable source of practical advice. Here are a few things to think about when preparing:

  • Traps can be purchased or borrowed. Feral cats are caught in the same traps that are used to catch other small animals such as raccoons and skunks. This type of trap may be acquired from a variety of hardware stores or rented through community organizations. Begin by establishing a feeding schedule for the cat and placing food in the trap itself so that the cat becomes accustomed to stepping into it
  • Don’t feed the cat for at least 24 hours before catching it to ensure that it is hungry. Bait your trap with a sufficient amount of food to attract the animals. Ideally, you should have some food at the entry and more food at the exit point of your trap. It is preferable if the meal has a strong fragrance that will draw the cat’s attention. If you catch a cat in the trap, cover it immediately with a thick towel to help calm the animal down. Place the imprisoned cat in the back of your vehicle along with you. It is not a smart idea to transport a terrified animal in the trunk of a car. When relocating the cage, always use the trap’s handle and strong gloves to protect your hands. Notify the veterinarian if you want to release the cat back into the wild so that he or she can use dissolvable sutures

WATCH: How to trap a feral cat

You can check with your local shelter for low-cost neuter services if you decide to retain the stray animal despite the fact that it has not been spayed or neutered. Make an appointment with the doctor in advance. Of course, you may also consult with a veterinarian of your choosing. You should call a local shelter to find out which groups participate in the trap-neuter-return program if you believe the cat is feral and doesn’t have a tipped year collar (TNR). TNR is a method of capturing feral cats, neutering them, and releasing them back into their natural environment.

  • This is critical because our feline companions breed regularly and with large litter sizes, resulting in an overpopulation of our feline friends (very well illustrated by the infographic below from theEast Tennessee SpayNeuter center).
  • This is significant since a TNR program will only be effective if the entire colony is sterilized, which is unlikely to happen.
  • If you plan to spay or neuter your cat, remember that you must make arrangements in advance to transport the cat home once surgery has been completed.
  • Please make sure that all of the doors and windows are properly closed before the cat arrives.
  • Keep the cat indoors throughout the night, and make certain that the cat is entirely cognizant before allowing it to return to its previous location.
  • This will be expensive, but you may be able to negotiate a lower price because it is a rescued cat.
  • Once you’ve delivered the trap to the location, simply open the door and walk away.
  • TIP: If a wild kitten is properly socialized, it has a good chance of being domesticated.

How to take care of a cat that lives outside

It is possible to adopt an abandoned stray cat if it has been neutered and vaccinated. Don’t be concerned if you are unable to keep it indoors all of the time. Cats can survive outside provided you provide them with a shelter that is warm, dry, and adequate in size.

You could make it yourself — there are lots of guides available online – or, if you are not like DIY, you might look for choices at a pet store. Several considerations should be kept in mind when building an outside cat house:

  • Straw is an excellent insulator, and it helps the animal remain warm during the coldest nights of winter. If you don’t have access to a straw, pillow covers filled with shredded newspaper should suffice. Blankets, towels, or old clothes should not be used as shelter insulation since the animal will not be able to crawl beneath them, and these materials will absorb the body heat of the cat. They also have the ability to absorb moisture. It is not recommended to use hay. The reason why this is a bad idea is that hay is made up of a variety of plants, any of which might jab the cat. In the event of severe weather, cover the walls and floor of the house with BoPET plastic sheets (available under various brand names such as Mylar, Melinex and Hostaphan). The sheets will help to keep the heat in the shelter trapped. Keep the doorway as tiny as possible (to prevent larger predators from getting in) and secure it with a plastic flap. Warmth should be retained while wind, rain, and snow should be kept at bay. Food and water should not be brought inside the shelter. A scavenging species such as raccoons might be drawn to the food, and the water could spill and freeze. Maintain the cleanliness of the shelter: When the straw or the pillowcases become soiled or damp, they should be replaced. To ensure that the animal feels comfortable, try to locate the shelter in a hidden portion of your yard rather than a prominent location in your neighborhood.

How to pick а cat shelter’s material

When selecting the materials for your shelter, keep in consideration the weather conditions in your city. If the weather is chilly and damp in the winter and hot and humid in the summer, wood is probably your best choice for heating and cooling your home. In addition, it is suited for use in all four seasons and can tolerate both freezing and scorching temperatures. Plastic also has its advantages, such as the fact that it comes in a wider range of colors and is less costly. Plastic shelters, on the other hand, may not endure as long; they might fade in the sun and fracture in windy conditions.

Apart from that, this sort of wood is anti-fungal and has a pleasant scent.

How to choose the right size cat house

People frequently inquire as to whether stray cats can survive the winter or whether wild cats can survive the winter. In this case, the size of the cat shelter is critical: the cat shelter should not be excessively large. You should choose a shelter that provides enough space for your cat to walk about comfortably, but not so much space that chilly air may seep in and prevent the cat from accumulating heat. When building or purchasing a housing for your outdoor cat, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • At least three-quarters of your pet’s shoulder height (measured from the base of the cat’s neck to the ground) should be accommodated by the shelter’s door height. The length and breadth of the home should be at least as long as the distance between the cat’s snout and the base of its tail’s root. It should be noted, however, that the length and width of the cat’s shelter should not be more than 25% greater than the distance between the cat’s snout and the base of its tail. When the cat is standing erect, the height of the cat shelter should be at least 25% more than the height of the pet in question. The height, on the other hand, should not be greater than 50% of the pet’s total height.

How to get a cat to use an outdoor shelter

It is one of the most often asked topics concerning cat shelters, namely how to encourage a cat to really utilize one. Listed below are some suggestions for enticing a cat to use its new residence:

  • Permit the cat to examine the new home for a period of time. Alternatively, locate the shelter in a more peaceful and secluded location, such as among vegetation and away from traffic. Allow for accessible departure routes for the cats – if the cats believe they are in danger of being ambushed, they will avoid the shelter. The most effective cat shelters feature two entrances. Keep food close, or even treats inside the house. Catnip should be sprinkled
  • Install a heated water bowl to ensure that the water does not freeze
  • Provide a heated pad cover for the mattress

Keep in mind that gaining the trust of a stray cat may be a challenging process, and that a cat may not want to spend the night at a shelter at first. Generally speaking, food is the most successful method of gaining the animal’s trust and subsequently gaining its cooperation. TIP: Although feral cats are wary of humans, the majority of them are responsible for the well-being of the rest of the cat colony. In other words, you may have a cat shelter that can accommodate more than one cat at a time, and the animals will appreciate the opportunity to cuddle up together.

How to find a home for a stray cat

A homeless cat might be adopted through numerous methods if you are unable to take care of it yourself. Some of these methods include:

  • Take the initiative and call a few nearby veterinarian clinics – they may know individuals who are seeking for a pet or those who have just lost a pet and would be willing to accept a cat into their home. Make contact with breed-specific organizations. If the stray cat is of a recognized breed, an organization like this may be able to swiftly locate the animal. Information and photographs should be posted on the bulletin boards of pet-supply stores, rescue groups, and social media channels. Inform your relatives and acquaintances about the situation

Prepare to conduct interviews with possible adopters and do not give the animal away for free. Because some people acquire animals for horrible purposes like as study, dogfight training, and other gruesome activities, it is important to be selective. Ask persons who work for a rescue organization for assistance with the interviews — they are well-versed in the process and are typically willing to assist.

When interviewing potential adopters, the questions and answers provided below will assist you in gaining a better understanding of each applicant’s background. Make use of your common sense — if something doesn’t seem right, it most likely is.

  • Have you ever had another animal as a companion? What exactly happened to it? What kind of preparations are you going to make for the animal
  • Is this cat a personal purchase or a gift for someone else? Who will be the primary carer for the cat
  • Do you have any animals at the moment? Are you aware of the need of introducing the animals one at a time? What will you do if they are unable to communicate? Is it true that you have children at home? What if they are allergic to anything
  • Are you aware of the typical lifetime of a cat (which may be up to 20 years) and are you prepared to provide it with a home for the rest of its life
  • Whether you can afford to take on the financial and physical obligation of caring for this cat depends on you. Vaccinations, veterinarian examinations, suitable food, time, and care are all required. Are you willing to enable a house inspection to take place? Could you please share some references?


In the infographic below, we have depicted the most crucial factors to consider while selecting a cat sanctuary for your pet. About the authorViva Bolova graduated with honors from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism. She worked for large companies for 14 years and wrote for a variety of media throughout that time. She now focuses on writing about travel and pets, and she has previous experience working as a public relations specialist for an international airport. Don’t forget to spread the word about this content!

Winter Weather Tips for Cats

When the weather drops, it’s natural for people to wonder how they might assist cats who live outside. During cold weather, it’s vital to remember that community cats’ natural habitat is the big outdoors, so don’t be anxious about them. Kittens have traditionally been an outdoor animal, surviving and thriving in a wide range of environments, including a variety of weather conditions and temperatures. Animals that have successfully adapted to their habitats are aware of where to locate food and protection from the weather.

Best practices for caring for neighborhood cats can go a long way toward assuring their comfort and safety when they are left outside during the coldest months of the year.

DO NOT bring cats or kittens to animal shelters.

Many shelters do not have rules and practices that are compassionate and nonlethal. No matter how cold the weather is, bringing cats and kittens to shelters where they may be murdered does not serve their best interests. Unless there is a sickness or injury, in which case a veterinarian should be consulted, allowing cats to remain outside is the most effective method of protecting them. It is possible to keep cats comfortable and secure in their outdoor habitats, which is where they belong, by taking a variety of precautions.

Food and Water—How to Feed Community Cats in Winter

Provide additional food and water to keep cats warm throughout the winter. If you want to assist your cats preserve their energy throughout the winter, increase the amount of food you give them each day. Canning and cooking food requires the least amount of energy to digest, allowing for greater energy to be expended in combating a chill. Rather than allowing leftovers to freeze, make sure to supply new food and water every day or twice daily. These approaches will help you to keep food and water from freezing.

  • Wet food should be served in plastic containers. Providing mostly dry food, which will not freeze, is effective in chilly weather as well as in warm climates. Dry food, on the other hand, requires more energy to digest. Use heated electric bowls to serve canned food and water that has been warmed up before serving. Deep bowls rather than wide bowls should be used, and they should be placed in sunny regions to prevent water from freezing. Take a look at several bowls that have been put through their paces by carers. Metal bowls should be avoided at all costs. Food and water bowls made of plastic should have insulating foam sprayed on the underside to assist prevent food and water from freezing as rapidly. Alternatively, you may place a microwavable heating pad under the bowls, such as a Snuggle Safe. You may even build your own DIY heating pad by filling fabric pouches with rice and heating it in the microwave
  • However, this is not recommended. If you have access to a water source, such as a spigot, flow the water slightly to prevent it from freezing as quickly as motionless water. Another option is to make use of a water fountain or a water bowl that has a fountain function

Create a cat feeding station for your neighborhood. During the colder months, constructing a feeding station is the most effective method of providing food for neighborhood cats. It will provide protection for food, water, and the cats from the weather. Improved results can be obtained by constructing an insulated feeding station in the same manner as a cat shelter. Prepare in advance for bad winter weather by reading this guide. Make sure the neighborhood cats have enough food and water to last more than a day if a snowfall is expected that might keep you cooped up in your house for many days.

Once you’re able to get outside again, spend some time to shovel snow away from locations where cats congregate, particularly near cat shelters and feeding stations.

How to Make anCatShelter

You may give more alternatives for your cats to sleep, rest, warm up, and be secure in addition to providing them with a place to locate shelter on their own. Consider some of the possibilities on our list of outdoor cat houses, which includes ready-made shelters that you can purchase as well as DIY options! Don’t be concerned; creating your own outdoor cat shelter may be simple, economical, and even enjoyable! Learn what to look for in a high-quality cat shelter. Shelters do not have to be large or complicated in order to be effective.

  • Two by three feet and at least 18 inches high, a good-sized shelter should be able to house three to five cats, depending on the size of the cats.
  • The entryway should only be large enough for cats to pass through.
  • As a final precaution, raise the entrance door a few inches above the ground level to keep out rain and snow.
  • Avoid using hay, as well as items such as blankets and towels, since they will absorb moisture like a sponge, making the shelter damp and chilly.
  • Ascertain that the shelter is level and raised before using it.
  • Face the entrance path away from the wind, preferably against a wall, so that only cats may enter and exit the house via it.
  • Check to see that they are in good working order.
  • Make it visually attractive.
  • Provide more than one sort of refuge to those in need.
  • Shelters should be modernized.

Precautions to Protect Cats in Winter

Before you get in your automobile, inspect it. Before you go behind the wheel, look beneath the hood of your vehicle. Animals, especially cats and kittens, have been known to crawl up underneath automobiles or inside engines in order to find warmth and protection. Remember to look between your tires and your wheel wells as well! Antifreeze, salt, or other chemicals should not be used in an area where cats can get to them. Avoid storing antifreeze in locations where cats may get to it, and avoid using salt or chemicals to melt snow if you want to keep your cat.

It is possible that these toxins will be licked off of paws or fur, which can be damaging and even lethal. Animal-friendly deicers are available at most pet supply stores, and you may even try putting down sand or gravel to offer traction instead if you want to be extra cautious.

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) in Winter

Spaying and neutering enhances the general health of cats, and healthier cats are better prepared to withstand the colder months of the year. Even in cooler temperatures, it is feasible to safely do TNR, but you should exercise your best judgment. Don’t practice TNR if the weather is too bad for you to be out in the elements. Trapping at warmer periods of the day and changing the cats’ feeding schedule so that they are out and about at the best times of the day are recommended when performing TNR during the winter months.

It is necessary to keep cats recovering from spay or neuter surgery in a temperature-controlled environment all year long; however, in cold weather, it is especially important to be mindful of temperature at every step of the process, including transport.

For example, ask if they may shave as little of the cat’s fur as possible during the spay and neuter procedure so that the cat can preserve the maximum amount of heat-retaining fur.

How To Get Outdoor Cats To Go In Warm Cat House

Many cats like the comfort of a warm, caring environment. Other cats, such as those that live on the streets or who just prefer being outside, are not in this situation. It’s entirely acceptable for them to remain in their current location until the winter wind blows in. Regardless of how delighted they are to be outside, they still require some protection from the tough and often unpredictable weather conditions that we are experiencing at the moment. In this post, we will explain ways to get outside cats to go into a cozy cat home during the winter.

  1. Every animal lover wonders how the strays, outdoor cats, and feral cats who live on the streets day in and day out are faring in their daily lives.
  2. Even if you make or purchase a cat home to keep them warm and cozy, what happens if they don’t want to go in?
  3. What Happens to All of These Cats?
  4. So, where do wild cats go to stay warm during the cold months?
  5. They travel anyplace and everywhere that they can get their hands on.
  6. Do not approach them or even attempt to engage in conversation with them.

One of the most beneficial things you can do for them is to provide them with an outside cat shelter or cat house where they can retreat when the weather becomes too cold for them. Learn how to encourage outdoor cats to go inside a warm cat house in this article.

Outdoor Cat Houses

Outdoor cat homes or shelters are tiny, house-like buildings that provide a safe haven for stray, feral, and outdoor cats during the colder months of the year. Cat homes and shelters come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, and you may choose one that suits your needs. This product is easily obtained either online or at your local pet store. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a cat home, you can always turn it into a personal project and build your own from the ground up. Some people have made their own, using a variety of materials that are suitable for the freezing conditions.

Create and construct your own outdoor cat shelter for many cats, or simply one cat that roams the streets of your neighborhood, with very little effort.

What You Can Do To Get Them In The Cat House

The majority of us are familiar with the care and feeding of the cats who live with us in our homes. The most difficult part is figuring out how to live with an outdoor cat. We need to provide them with a little extra care and attention since they are dealing with a variety of challenges outside that indoor cats aren’t always aware of. You cannot ensure that your outdoor cats will come inside once you have built up a cat home for them, even if you believe it will be better for them. Here are some strategies you may use to try to get them to enter your home.

Heated Beds

If you want to keep them warm, you might put a heated cat bed inside the cat home. This will undoubtedly make their stay more pleasant and comfortable. They will return to it on a regular basis now that they are aware that they will be kept warm inside by the heated cat beds. A heated cat bed, in our view, is the ideal type of bedding for outside cat enclosures. Warming pads for cats can also be used as an alternative. Warming pads are an excellent method to keep your cats feeling secure and comfortable during the cooler months of the year, especially during the winter.

Mylar Blankets For Cats

In space, a mylar blanket (also known as a space blanket) is a lightweight, low-bulk blanket made of heat-reflective plastic sheets that is used to keep astronauts warm. It is the primary function of mylar blankets to limit the amount of heat lost by a person or animal that would otherwise occur as a result of thermal radiation or convection. Mylar blankets for cats can be used as a liner for the flooring and walls of the cat home to help prevent the loss of heat during the winter months when the weather is very chilly.

Warm Meal and Water

Ultimately, access to food and water may be the deciding factor in whether or not they enter. Because they have no one to look after them, the most important thing they require is a hot meal and some water to get them through the winter. When you notice a wild or stray cat in your area, the best thing you can do is demonstrate to them that there is food and water available inside the cat home. You may also set up outside cat shelters and feeding stations throughout your community to provide them with the nutrition they require to survive.

Maintain the temperature of the water so that it does not freeze, or else they will be left with nothing to drink once more. The most effective method is to be aware of where they reside and when they are in the area so that you may provide food and water for them while they are there.

Our Final Thoughts

All in all, all you must do is make them feel comfortable with the thought of entering inside the cat enclosure. Prepare them for a safe, comfortable, and protected environment. You may accomplish this by providing them with necessities such as a warm bed and blankets, as well as food and water. This will definitely get their engines revving on the inside. Soon enough, you will see them coming inside the house on their own, and they will be the ones who are looking forward to your arrival to feed them.

Neighborhood Cats

The provision of winter shelter is essential for feral and stray cats living in cold climes, since it allows them to survive and grow despite the freezing weather. It is intended that the samples provided here serve as examples of affordable DIY shelters that may be constructed in a couple of hours or less. All of the designs have three important characteristics in common: they are well insulated, have limited air space, and are watertight. They must be well-insulated in order to retain the cats’ body heat, have a minimum amount of air space so that there isn’t too much empty space to heat up, and be waterproof in order to keep the inside dry.

More information on winter preparation may be found at how to keep water from freezing.

Neighborhood Cats Winter Shelter

Neighborhood Cats was developed in New York City, which is known for its frigid winters in the Northeast. The first person to teach us how to make a winter shelter was Karin Hancock of Port Jefferson, New York, who showed us how to transform a Styrofoam sheet used for wall insulation into a beautiful winter shelter that can easily accommodate three or four cats. A single sheet (8 ft long, 2 ft wide, and 2 in. thick) is cut into all of the components required from a single piece of material. Installing adhesive linoleum tiles on the floor is followed by applying silicone glue to the joints to hold everything together.

This sanctuary has seen a lot of cats through some very difficult winters!

It is advised that you use a table saw to chop up the Styrofoam so that the edges are straight.

CSM Stray Foundation Winter Shelter

With this concept, which was inspired by the CSM Stray Foundation, you can transform a robust storage container (like as theHusky Heavy Duty 54 Gallon Storage Tote) into a cozy winter hideout. The inside walls, floor, and ceiling are lined with pieces of 1 inch thick Styrofoam that were cut from a sheet that was 8 feet long by 2 feet wide and chopped into pieces. Because precise edges are not required, the pieces may be cut by hand without causing damage. Stuffing straw into the bottom and cutting a hole on the side complete the construction.

The shelter, like other winter shelters, is made of lightweight materials, and it should be weighted down with a board or large rock. Build in accordance with the directions (photo by Carole Milker, CSM Stray Foundation).

Feralvilla (for purchase)

Feralvilla makes the most popular outdoor cat shelter on the market, the Feralvilla Cat Shelter. Built of wood composite, it comes pre-primed for painting and can be put together in 15 to 30 minutes with only a screwdriver. There are two levels of difficulty. Cats enter the lower level from the outside and then climb up via an inner aperture to reach the fully insulated top floor through which they entered. The use of shingles on the roof is optional. LP’s SmartSide is a wood composite material that is ecologically friendly and employs a low-toxicity glue to bond the fibers together to form a composite material.

Styrofoam shipping boxes

Perishable goods such as meat and fish are frequently delivered in Styrofoam containers. The containers that are used to export Omaha steaks are a good illustration of this. Supermarkets, seafood markets, and butcher shops are all good places to find Styrofoam shipment boxes. Even vaccinations are packaged in them, so your veterinarian may be a useful source as well. These well-insulated boxes may be quickly and cheaply converted into winter homes for stray cats: (1) Using a utility knife or box cutter, cut a 6-inch-by-6-inch doorway into one of the box’s short sides, allowing the box to expand.

(2)Use silicone glue to permanently connect the top cover to the main body of the box.

(3)To hide and better protect the shelter, paint it with a coat of deck paint in a color that matches its surroundings.

Emergency Shelter

An suitable temporary shelter can be swiftly constructed when time is of the importance, such as when a severe storm or unexpected cold snap is expected to arrive shortly afterward. Duct tape and shredded newspaper are required, as is a cardboard box, a plastic drop cloth that is at least three millimeters thick or contractor trash bags that are three millimeters thick, and a drop cloth that is at least three millimeters thick. Follow these steps to get started: (1) Begin by taping all of the seams of the cardboard box together using duct tape.

  • (2)Use the drop cloth or garbage bags to thoroughly cover the box, ensuring that there are as few seams as possible.
  • The shelter will become waterproof as a result of this.
  • Duct tape can be used to hold the loose plastic in place around the aperture you just created.
  • Burrowing into the newspaper will provide the kitties with additional warmth.
  • This will provide additional insulation.
  • When placing your cardboard shelter, try to locate it behind anything that will provide protection, such as a porch or tree.

Weigh down the shelter with a large boulder or a few bricks, but don’t use anything too heavy that it will destroy the roof. Once the crisis has passed, the temporary shelter should be replaced with a more permanent one.


The location and design of your cat shelters can have a significant impact on whether or not your feline patients choose to utilize them. For starters, locate the shelters in areas where the cats are already accustomed to visiting, such as near their feeding station or in an area where they are known to congregate. Placement near the feeding station has the advantage of decreasing the distance the cats have to travel to eat when it is snowing or otherwise inclement weather occurs. Do not place the shelters in the open, such as in the middle of a yard or lot, but rather under or against something, such as a building, fence, tree, porch, shrub, or any other form of overhanging structure.

  • The front entrances of two shelters should be facing one other, and they should be roughly one and a half feet apart.
  • Cover the space between them with a board that spans their roofs (as seen in the photo above) to prevent wind, snow, and rain from getting through.
  • If you want to go this route, be certain that the shelters are solid and will not wobble when elevated.
  • Placing bricks or other heavy things on the tops of your shelters will help to weigh them down if they are constructed of lightweight materials, such as Styrofoam.
  • Encourage your cats to begin using the shelters by distributing catnip around the perimeter of the building.

Interior insulating materials

Providing your cats with the opportunity to burrow into the insulating materials you’ve put within their shelters can keep them warmer and cozier. Straw is an excellent choice since it is loose, dry, and provides additional insulation. It is also possible to use shredded newspaper. What you should avoid placing on the floor are goods such as towels, blankets, folded newspapers, and other such items that are lying flat. When cats sleep on top of these materials, their body heat is sucked out, resulting in them being colder rather than warmer.

  • Unlike straw, hay should never be used as an insulating material because, unlike straw, it attracts and retains moisture.
  • A variety of big garden retailers, such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, have straw for purchase.
  • Another alternative is to look for retailers, restaurants, and banquet halls that utilize bales of straw to decorate their fall displays.
  • You may also get a 4 lb.
  • There is a free delivery option available.
  • Wrapping Snuggle Safe Microwave Heat Pads in fabric and putting them into the shelter is another option to offer warmth.
  • The Snuggle Safe pads may also be used to keep water from freezing in the event of a power outage.
  • When a cat lies down on it, the peanuts will mold to her shape and envelope her in insulating warmth.

Using a plastic bag, seal the peanuts to keep them from getting wet and melting away. Place the bag inside the pillow cover to keep them from getting wet and melting away.

Extreme cold (Mylar blankets)

Shelters may be made warmer by covering the inner walls, floor, and ceiling with Mylar blankets, which are especially useful in far northern locations where extreme cold is typically the norm throughout the winter. Body heat is trapped and reflected back to its source by mylar, which is a thin polyester material. The most popular application for Mylar blankets is in winter survival packs, where wrapping one over one’s body may keep one warm in freezing weather conditions. Their cost is low, generally less than a $1 or two per item, and they may be purchased from a number of sellers on Amazon.

Weldbond glue may be found on Amazon by searching for it.

Flap doors

A cover or flap over the entryway of your shelter will assist to keep cold air out and warm air in during the winter months. A piece of strong vinyl or rubber, such as the floor mat from a car, would suffice. The material must be thick enough to give some insulation while yet being lightweight enough for the cats to readily pull or push it open with their claws and claws. The method through which the flap is fastened will vary depending on the type of material used to construct the shelter. Drill two holes through the mat and above the doorway with a Styrofoam drill bit, and then place plastic nuts and bolts, such as those used to attach toilet seats to toilets, into the holes.

Alternatively, duct tape can be used to connect the flap, at least temporarily.

Otherwise, they may be discouraged from entering and investigating the space.

10 Outdoor Cat Houses

Returning to the abode Feral and stray cats sometimes struggle to find a comfortable spot to rest their heads at night, no matter what time of year it is. Unfortunately, there are simply too many of them for all of them to find secure, warm permanent homes. While spaying, neutering, and cat adoption are all important steps in long-term solutions to the problem of feral cats, many cat lovers go the extra mile by purchasing or building outdoor shelters for the feral cats in their neighborhood — especially during the winter months — to provide them with a safe haven.

10 GREAT OUTDOOR Shelter ideas for stray or feral cats

A winter shelter made of a plastic storage container and a flowerpot is being taught by the folks at Bushwick Street Cats, who are working to enhance their objective of serving the wild cat population in the neighborhood. Take a look at the step-by-step instructions.

2. Insulated, straw-lined DIY feral cat shelter

Neighborhood Cats provides a DIY tutorial for creating an ultra-warm shelter out of Styrofoam and linoleum tiles for cats living in really cold climates.

Latex deck paint gives it a lively appearance while also protecting it from the weather. Find out how to create one.

3. Ultra-deluxe heated cat House

Not the do-it-yourself type? With this outside heated cat housing from Cozy Winters, you may continue to assist stray cats in staying warm. Predators will not be able to catch cats if there are two exits available. Take a look at it.

4. Cat mansion made from wood pallets

Provide outdoor refuge for stray cats in a fashionable manner! A more serious carpentry project, such as this A-frame fashioned from salvaged pallets, would keep stray cats protected from the weather while also looking wonderful in your backyard. (Please note that you will need to add insulation to this shelter in order to make it acceptable for outside cats in the winter.) See how it’s done on Pinterest.

5. Super-cozy, super-easy DIY cat shelter

For this winter cat shelter, a large, clear plastic container serves as the core of operations. This shelter, which is filled with straw for insulation, will provide your neighborhood’s wild cats with comfortable days and nights. Take a look at how it’s done.

6. Converted doghouse

Wood and straw transform this robust doghouse into the ideal winter home for wild cats, bridging the gap between a ready-made and a do-it-yourself alternative. Take a look at this.

7. Best-ever use for your picnic cooler

What if, instead of storing the cooler in the basement once beach season is over, you used the space to house wild cats throughout the winter months instead? (Hint: cat shelter professionals recommend using straw instead of blankets to provide additional warmth and water resistance.) Find out how to do it step-by-step.

8. Adorable outdoor cat hotel

Why not invest in a winter cat shelter that is just as adorable as the kitties who will be housed within it? The KatKabin is a robust, waterproof building with an insulated floor that is best suited for places with milder winters than the rest of the country. Take a look at it.

9. Ultra-simple Styrofoam cat shelter

In order to build this basic yet efficient wild cat shelter, you will just need a Styrofoam cooler, a box cutter, some straw, and a few boards at hand. Inquire with a nearby restaurant or medical office about donating a heavy-duty Styrofoam cooler—they’re normally thrown away anyhow. Read over all of the suggestions for making it work.

10. Totally tubular outdoor cat shelter

For those seeking for a readymade feral cat shelter, the Kitty Tube is a good alternative. It is fully insulated and comes in a “feral variant,” which includes straw bedding instead of a conventional fabric cat bed, making it an excellent choice. You may get it on Amazon. Make sure to locate your outdoor cat shelter in an area that is safe from dogs and other predators, and to maintain the entrance free of material (such as snow) so that cats do not become trapped within the shelter itself. And, of course, you should give food and water for any wild cats that come into your refuge.


It is possible to construct a winter shelter for your outside cats that is both simple and affordable. The following are two of the most common designs:

  • Packaging made of Styrofoam, such as that used to carry perishable food and medical goods
  • RubbermaidTM storage containers, for example, are made of plastic and have detachable lids.

When constructing a shelter, here are a few basic ideas to keep in mind.

All effective shelter designs have two characteristics in common:

  • In order to trap body heat, effective insulation is required, which transforms the cats into little radiators. Instead of hay or blankets, straw should be used. There is very little air space within, which means that less heat is required to keep the people warm.

The size of the shelter is really essential.

  • A single or two cats can provide enough heat for a smaller shelter. More spacious facilities that just have a single cat or two inside will stay frigid. Two smaller shelters are preferable than a single large shelter. Don’t underestimate the quantity of cats that exist in your neighborhood. One or two may be seen at a time, but there are most likely more. Make an effort to provide more shelter area than you anticipate being required

When it comes to keeping cats safe from predators, the location of shelters is critical.

  • As a precaution, if dogs are a danger, build your shelter behind a fence so that the dogs cannot get in. Make the entrance to the house face a wall so that only cats can get in or out. It is essential that all shelters and feeding stations are out of sight, no matter how nice the surrounding environment appears to be.

It is not recommended to set the shelter directly on the chilly ground. Raising it off the ground with two 2x4s or other materials will allow you to pile straw below it. Because of this, the cats have an easier time heating the inside with their body heat. Reduce the size of the door as much as feasible. Cats just want an aperture that is approximately five and a half or six inches in diameter, or about the breadth of their whiskers, to be comfortable.

  • Using a tiny entrance inhibits larger, more aggressive creatures from entering, such as raccoons. A narrower hole allows for more heat to be retained. If an escape door is required, avoid cutting holes that are exactly across from each other since this will produce a draft.

Place the door a few inches above the level of the surrounding ground.

  • A door that is above ground level will not be splashed by rain. When it snows, it is less probable that the cats may become trapped by blocking an above-ground entryway.

An awning that covers the opening, constructed of roll plastic or thick plastic waste bags, gives greater insulation, helps to keep the rain and wind from entering the shelter, and helps to make the cats feel secure. Avoid the back of the shelter slightly higher than the front of the shelter to keep rain from pooling inside and snow from building up on the roof. Preventing moisture

  • Rainwater can be channeled away from the shelter through a tiny hole bored into the side or bottom of the structure. The use of a sloped roof may help deter predators from using the roof as a stalking platform.

Despite its little weight, lightweight shelters must be secured against the wind.

  • Place a pair of flat barbell weights weighing between five and ten pounds on the floor of the shelter beneath the mattress. Place hefty, flat boulders or pavers/bricks on the lid or the top of the container. Two shelters should be placed side by side with their doors facing each other, with a thick board placed on top of both shelters — this will weigh the shelters down and offer a covered entryway

The cats’ comfort and warmth will be enhanced by the use of insulating materials within the shelter itself.

  • If you want to employ insulation, only materials that cats may burrow into should be used. Blankets, towels, flat newspapers, and other materials that absorb moisture should not be utilized. They will actually make the cat colder since they will absorb the heat from the cat’s body. Straw is an excellent insulating material to employ. Straw is preferable to hay because it has a greater ability to absorb moisture and is less susceptible to mold and decay. Only if the shelter can be examined on a regular basis to determine whether the insulation materials have become wet or unclean and should be replaced should they be utilized. Additionally, do not install water dishes within the shelter since they may be knocked over
  • Additionally,

One of our favorite designs uses two storage bins with removable lids.

As a result, an earth-tone bin is more visually pleasant to you and your neighbors, and it appears more natural to the cats since it mixes in better with the surrounding environment. Container sizes that are commonly used include 30-35 gallon (22-32 inches high x 16-20 inches wide x 16-20 inches long) and 20-22 gallon (16-26 inches high x 20 inches wide and 17-22 inches long). Because exact measurements vary from brand to brand, be sure that the smaller bin will fit entirely within the bigger bin while both bins are closed with their lids on.

In order to assemble:

  1. One of the long sides of the bin, towards the corner, should have a six-inch-by-six-inch opening cut into it. To prevent flooding, cut the hole so that the bottom of the doorway is several inches above the ground. A piece of Styrofoam will be used to line the floor of the bin, and the piece will be cut using the yardstick and box cutter. It is not need to be an exact match, but the closer the match, the better
  2. The Styrofoam should be lined along each of the bin’s inner walls in the same way as it was along the outside walls. Perfect cuts are not required in this instance. Three inches should be left on top of these Styrofoam “wall pieces” between them and the top of the bin’s upper lip. The doorway in the Styrofoam internal wall should match the one that has previously been cut out in the storage container. Measure the length and breadth of the inside area, and then insert a second, smaller-size bin into the open interior space to complete the measurement. This container should be as close to the Styrofoam wall pieces as feasible in order to be effective. Create a gateway into this container where the entrances into the Styrofoam and outside bin have already been created
  3. Pile straw or other insulating material (but not blankets or towels!) in the bottom of the inside bin to give insulation as well as a comfy place to lie down
  4. Make a “roof” out of Styrofoam that will lay on top of the Styrofoam wall sections. The lid of the trashcan should be closed

One of the long sides of the bin, at the corner, should have a six-inch-by-six-inch opening cut into it. To prevent flooding, cut the hole so that the bottom of the doorway is several inches above the ground level. A piece of Styrofoam will be used to line the floor of the bin, and it will be cut with a yardstick and a box cutter. It is not necessary for it to be an exact match, but the closer it is, the better it is. The Styrofoam should be lined along each of the bin’s inner walls in the same way as it was on the outside.

Three inches should be left on top of these Styrofoam “wall pieces” between them and the top of the bin’s upper lip; The doorway in the Styrofoam internal wall should match the one that has previously been cut out in the storage bin; Measure the length and breadth of the inside area, and then insert a second, smaller-size bin into the open interior space to complete the set.

Make a doorway into this bin where the openings into the Styrofoam and outer bin have already been cut; and Pile straw or other insulating material (but not blankets or towels!) in the bottom of the interior bin to give insulation as well as a comfy place to lie down.

Lid the trash can to keep out the elements.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *