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How to get cat to go into dog house?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I live in an area with a lot of stray cats. I feed a few of them that hang out in the alley behind my house. I have a little feeding station but that's it and the cats go all over the place and don't hang out right here all the time. But with fall and winter coming I want them to have proper shelter so I got a dogloo from a neighbor. My plan is to insulate it, put straw in it and make the opening smaller for the winter. But for now while it's fairly warm I'm just going to put straw in it and hope that the cats start using it. I want them to be used to using it before winter comes. My question is though, how do I get them to go into it and use it to sleep in? How do I attract them to it?
This is a residential area with many vacant and abandoned houses and many of the cats hang around by these houses. I want them to come here though where they will be warm and where I can keep an eye on them. So does anyone have any idea how I get them to use the dogloo? Would putting cat nip in it help atract them?
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
post #2 of 5
I'm not sure if this will help, but I will offer what I think. Is the dogloo cleaned? Some lingering scents may keep them away. After cleaning, use a very dilute solution of bleach to rinse and let air dry. Then you could try feeding them close to it and see if that helps. We have used catnip before so that might help. Maybe leave the straw out at the beginning then add it after they get accustomed to it being there. That's all that comes to mind. You are so kind to do that for the cats. I hope it works.
post #3 of 5
I also used a dog shelter for a stray cat. I wrapped and taped the outside with plastic drop cloths, purchased at Home Depot to keep it dry. I kept the shelter directly off the ground by using a waterproof crate liner. When the temperatures dropped, I bought Purr Pads, from Petco and put one on the bottom, one on the back and two on each side. The inside was completely insulated. Then I put in straw and on top of the straw I put a reflector heat pad, also purchased from Petco. At first he was leary, but every morning he emerged from his shelter, warm and dry. Hope this helps, it's great that you want to take care of these cats. Have they been trapped and spayed/neutered?
post #4 of 5
Does the dogloo have a back door? I know my ferals won't go into a space unless there is an escape hatch.
post #5 of 5
Wet food works wonders. Catnip is wonderful for attracting as is catnip spray.
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