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Igloo Houses For Cats

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey Everyone,

Ive seen those indigo igloo houses for dogs at the store here. I was wondering what you all thought about them as far as using it a a shelter for my cats in the winter. I thought I could get one and set it up on the porch, pile some wheat straw in it too. I even see where they have a little heater disc you can put in there also. Our porch has wooden railings around it. We've put a few more slats to keep any dog from getting up there and getting into their food, but the cats can come and go as they please. We rarely have snow here, but the temps do dip at night to below 30 at times. So, what do you think?
post #2 of 16
I think they'd work just fine, for the kitties! I know I take care of a feral colony at an abandoned grainmill in our town. The neighbors near there, have a doghouse set up for some kitties they take care of (also from the grainmill). They have it set up next to a feeding station and the kitties house is set up on a wooden pallet, so it is not on the ground. They have styrofoam on the floor, covered with woolen cloths and they check them twice a day, to make SURE they are not damp from the weather. That is very kind of you, to think of the little stray kitties out there. Is there a cat and kitten rescue operation in your town, who'd help you catch them, to at least get them spayed or neutered? If they are too wild, they will release them, after getting them the medical attention. We have a couple in our town and they are wonderful to work with!
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
We've had these ferrals for about 2 1/2 years now...all spayed/neutered. They are actually pretty domesticated, so I suppose they arent "true" ferrals. We had many more at first, but then had stray dogs issues, which reduced our numbers, also some were adopted out prior. Eventually had the sheriffs department step in and take action with the dog problem. No animal control here in these parts. We finally have peace here once again.

We already had remodeled an old dog house (for a dauschaund type dog)...put insulation in it for last winter. My husband even created a cubby hole under our porch all closed in with wheat straw and put a light in there for cold nights. But for some reason they seem to perfer the porch next door. Thus the idea of getting one of those igloos. I was wondering if anyone else on here has tried one, and how the cats reacted to it.

Ive been pricing them and they are rather expensive but it would certainly give me peace of mind during those cold nights knowing they were warm. By the way, we have only one animal group in this area (I had checked that out thoroughly when i was looking to have them spayed). All we have is a two person Humane Society who shelters the strays at their house!!!! Very kind, loving people, but very little money coming in as far as donations. I really dont know how they keep going.
post #4 of 16
There are amny pages out there that show different small shelters that can be made relatively inexpensively. Below is a link to one that I think is probably better insulated and much cheaper than the igloos of which you speak.
http://indyferal.org/Literature/out_cat_shelter.pdf
post #5 of 16
Hi!
Do you know of anyone who has access to those styrofoam coolers that the online food businesses send their food in, to their customers? (Such as Omaha Steaks, or A La Zing etc...) They are terrific and CHEAP too, for great cat shelters. I am including a picture of one I made. It was given to me, and all I used was some good duct tape, and some woolen rags. I got them free from Goodwill, when I told them what I needed them for! I hope this helps! (Oh, and you can make "beanbags" made of dry rice and warm them in the microwave. Then you put them under the blankets and they stay warm a LONG time!!) Oh, and when I was making it, my KatyKitty was watching closely, to make SURE I did it correctly!!
post #6 of 16
The larger coolers can be used to make great winter nests - but blankets really aren't such a great idea for feral kitties. Parasites love them. Straw is a great insulator, cheap, and easily replaced weekly (or more often if needed). Here's a great link to making the larger coolers into effective winter shelters for outdoor cats: http://www.all-creatures.org/ak/feral-shelter.html

As it doesn't often get below 30 degrees, the igloo dog houses could work - but plastic is not a good insulator, and it just transmits the cold.

Lots of links to winterizing for outdoor ferals here (in addition to the indy site): http://www.alleycat.org/resources_care.html#5

Finally, if you have the money to spend, you can purchase already made kitty condos: http://www.kittycathouses.com/

Thanks for caring for these kitties!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #7 of 16
Oh! Gosh, I DID forget to add, that although I DO use woolen rags, (They wick moisture away), I check them EVERY day, and when they need to be washed, they are washed in bleach and detergent. When they go back to the kitty shelters, they are clean and bug-free!!!! THAT is important, like poster, LDG said! If I could not check them daily, I would use straw.
post #8 of 16
Check into IndyFeral's houses for cats. They're only $40...shipping can be rather high depending on where you live, if you're near Indianapolis you can pick them up. Google IndyFeral.
post #9 of 16
I have a fantastic mesh tent structure big enough for a german shepherd with puppies...the brand is PupQuarters...its housed a few ferals. I can't buy them here anymore and recently had a disaster with a different brand though (if you buy one make sure you check the zippers as well as the mesh...my zippers opened easily and I found out the hard way and lost a cat on the way into the vet, and now she's had kittens on a street somewhere near there (a long way from my place) and I cant find her.
But my PupQuarters one has been great...apparently they are from Canada.
Naomi
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Sorry, Ive been away. A lot of different things going on here been human family and cat family. My one ferral apparently hooked herself on something outside and tore a gash in her side. Sliced right through the skin through to the muscle...a good 6 inches long. No bleeding however. She didnt even act like anything was wrong. Vet sewed her up and she is almost brand new

Ive tried making one of those homemade shelters for ferrals that were online, but they didnt seem to be attracted to it. Filled it with wheat straw and everything. What DID work was my husband enclosing our little porch off of our trailer and putting wheat straw and a light bulb in there. Even though we only have five cats now (1 male/5 females) they dont like to share LOL

When I bought that doghouse recently my male cat went right in it before I could even have the chance to put wheat straw in it. Once I did I noticed two spots in there where me and somebody must have slept the night before. Its gotten colder now and I went to put on the see thru vinyl door on there...put him in and he just sat there and meowed not realizing all he had to do was walk forward to get out. It was hysterical So, I picked up one flap and pulled it up to the roof and anchored it. He still doesnt want to do in there now So now Im looking online to locate a place I can buy one or two of those discs that you heat in your microwave and stay warm for 12 hours....

I tried the rice socks by the way and they dont stay warm that long....I need something that will retain the heat at least during the overnight. We are about 2 hours east of Memphis,TN and its tends to warm up during the day.

Thanks for all your help.....we're still working on it.
post #11 of 16
Whatever you end up using, buying, or building or building as a shelter, be sure it has a second entrance - especially if it's for ferals. They need to be able to make a quick getaway in case of an intruder!
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi Laura!

Actually we have had these guys for sometime now and my husband put up some extra planks plus a gate on the porch of the trailer next door to keep the dogs out and so that they would feel safe. Its their favorite place to be. Thus the reason I put the dog house over there.

I actually have found the Snuggle Safe Heating Disks, but only online. Seems like the most popular stores dont carry them...PetSmart online was sold out and Petco didnt sell them at all. I called the PetSmart here and the manager never even heard of them. I hate to have to pay that darn $7 plus shipping though. I suppose I'll have to think of something else.
post #13 of 16

leah here, i have one of those indoor outdoor heating pads for cats in my outdoor shelter. and my shelter sits ontop of an old wooden dresser by my back door so it's up away from the cold damp ground. the door way stares to the wall of the house to avoid rain and wind. my shelter is made basically from an old very sturdy wooden box that was made to haul something? it has those metal braced sides on the corners too.  but it had gaps between the boards so i nailed more wooden sides to it on all sides to stop that. then i put large thick rubber sheets all around it and weighed them down with more wood sides. the floor i put another floor about four inches from the first base just to keep avoiding dampness. my ferals are there every night to warm up. i wish none of them had to be outdoors ever.

post #14 of 16

Amazon has the Snuggle Safe discs - I just ordered two.  I purchased my first one at PetSmart and paid $35 for it, so the $56 I paid for two seemed like a bargain!  I've used my one for about three years and love it.  PetSmart didn't have them anymore, so I was happy to find them on Amazon.

post #15 of 16

PS - I know a lady with about 40 ferals on her farm - all fixed and happy.  She uses the igloos and has about ten of them, scattered around the woods.  We got some donated for her and she stuffs them with straw.  The kitties really use them but she did say she needed to keep lots of straw in them - the plastic does tend to stay cold.  I think she uses the discs and/or rice packs too.

post #16 of 16
Hi everyone. My cat bell loves his igloo . I put a outdoor heating pad and the micro way snuggle dis in there to. He has been using this for 6 years now. I do put a lot of blankets in than I put the heating pad on top and put the dis on the side. I also put a heavy blanket on top and around the igloo and put the igloo on my Porch.we have had a blizzard and Hurricane sandy and bell was just safe in his igloo. It is so worth the money and peace of mind. I bought everything on amazon .
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