Anyone who has spent any time in the Keswick area has probably noticed there are always cats running around. Some of these are strays – cats that are tame but found themselves homeless. Others cats are feral – truly wild cats that will never be pets. The cold weather has started and the worst is yet to come. All of these cats will need to find shelter.
Here is a look inside some of the small cat shelters we have built for our feral colony.
We started with a Rubbermaid container – you can buy similar ones at Walmart, Home Depot and Canadian Tire. Any similar container can be used as long as it is waterproof and the lid makes a nice seal. A hole was cut near the bottom for entrance and exit. We modified the original design to include a small overhang for the door to help prevent blowing snow and rain from getting inside. Then we open up the shelter to insulate the inside.
Next we fit a Styrofoam cooler (also with an entry hole cut to line up with the door) inside the Rubbermaid. Any gaps between the cooler and the inside of the Rubbermaid can be filled with old blankets, towels, straw or anything else that makes a good insulator. Place some bedding on the bottom of the cooler – we used straw but an old blanket or towel would be just as good. Place the cooler lid back on the cooler. If there is space between the cooler lid and the Rubbermaid lid fill it with more insulation, then place the lid back on the Rubbermaid. If possible place the entire shelter somewhere with a wind break where snow is unlikely to pile up in front of the door. If the snow starts to get deep elevating the shelter slightly can be helpful to keep the door accessible. Remember our kitty friends will climb.