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Low- (or Zero-) Budget Shelter for a Stray Cat

| 2/13/2019 10:41:00 AM

Front view of cat shelter

When winter cold arrives, stray cats need a place to stay warm too. We have a stray cat with an injury hanging around our place. He or she won’t let us get close to it to treat it’s limp so we provide a meal a day and a warm place to sleep. But how to do that on a budget?

One solution came to us from a couple who also care for a stray cat. They built a double wall house by nesting two plastic storage containers, one inside the other, with straw for insulation between the walls. The lids were tied closed with cable ties to keep everything in place. A hole cut through the double wall allows the cat in and out. I thought that was a good idea but I didn’t want to spend the money on two storage containers so we repurposed a damaged ice chest. Cutting a hole through the wall at one end was easy with a reciprocating saw.

To make it a little more comfortable on those sub-zero nights, we put some loose straw inside. Opening the lid makes cleaning easy.

Top view of cat shelter

Bob Post is a mechanical engineer working in the waste-to-energy field. By day, he designs process machinery. By night, he is a recycler, composter, gardener and inventor. He contributed to the book How to Build, Maintain and Use a Compost System. Read all of Bob’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

2/12/2020 6:11:09 PM

I didn't have any old ice chests but I did have some old plastic tubs and some thick styrofoam sheets I'd saved from packaging. I turned the bucket on its side, used a little glue to turn the styrofoam into a liner (cuts great with an electric knife) for more warmth and stuffed the space between the plastic and the styrofoam cube liner with some other soft foam (or bubble wrap as I made several of these) for even more warmth. Then I cut a fairly large flap and bent it back so the flap would angle down keeping the snow out but letting kitty easily enter/exit. I put some old t-shirts and other soft items down as a snuggly bed and, voila! Warm spot for the poor strays that are so scared they won't let me save them (but they eat the food [with dewormer in it] and sleep in the bed [with diatomaceous earth to kill fleas] so it's all good :-).

2/12/2020 8:59:36 AM

Great idea! I want to make one for my barn cats!

5/13/2019 11:34:48 AM

Repurpose other household items like this:

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