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building a small cat shelter

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have a friend who wants to build a small shelter for cats. One that can be heated in winter - let's say with a heat lamp or two. And one that can stay cool in the summer - ie has windows.

Does anyone out there have designs they can share?

BEST! / jan www.smallthings.ca

post #2 of 6
Here's our enclosure. It is not terribly large but the cats sure enjoy their time in it. In the winter, if it gets that cold, we will place a sheet of tin on the north side and hang a heat lamp up with an extension cord right outside the enclosure on the south side where the heat can reflect back.
This is about as do-it yourself as it gets!
post #3 of 6
That is a roof, btw...and three platforms at different levels for climbing. The wire is chicken wire, we used fence staples to put it on the frame, which is made of 8 foot long 2 x 2's. We have brackets at all intersections and wood screws of course for the framing. The roof is vinyl, again we used wood screws to attach it to the frame. the door has one simple wood lever and a brass slide lock which can be really "locked" if we feel the need.
the climbing platforms are cut from one sheet of plywood, there is a big one at the bottom and a small one in the middle and a medium one at the top.

We intentionally incorporated the only interesting plant matter available in the yard, a large tree stump, into the enclosure. Periodically i have tried to add plants like catnip or climbing vegetables but these are quickly disposed of.
post #4 of 6
I think the best shelter is whatever sturdy materials you can piece together and anchor with several cat heating pads on the bottom, then use some wrought iron deck chairs and cover with 2 solar pool covers anchored with bricks.

We purchased some cat houses with the red light bulbs used for heating lizard homes. We put 2 pool covers over them and deck chairs in the middle so they had a little den with a walkway between their little houses, and 2heating pads on the ground. It was toasty in there all winter long. One cat used the house and the other was warm enough (and so big) to use the cat pad on the ground and just soak up the heat from the solar covers and pad.

I know this isn't what you are asking exactly, but if you end up with a less than perfect solution for the actual house, the pool covers compensate very well.

I would not use hay or stuff like that unless you can really get in there frequently and clean it. Good luck!
post #5 of 6
Here are good winter shelter building links from alley cat allies site too, you can go to their site and type winter shelters in the search area.



post #6 of 6
is your friend building this for outside feral cats ?

or her cats that she wants to be able to bring outside from time to time ?

that would probably make a difference on what is suggested.

but in the meantime, if she makes any kind of an enclosure, let her know
that cats should never be left in that enclosure when she is not there.

wild/loose dogs and other wild animals have been known to break into the
wire/screen enclosures and kill the cats inside.
so if that is the type she is inquring about she must always be outside with

otherwise, the other kind for feral cats would not be a wire or screened
in enclosure... those would just be insulated houses.
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