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Placement of winter shelter

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

We made a shelter for Patches tonight (the spayed momma cat for the litter of kitties we found this summer)- did the 2 nested Rubbermaid containers with straw insulation. It fit perfectly against the house in the little space between the house and the bushes where she sits when I put food out for her (where she retreats when I come outside). Was that a stupid place? I thought it was PERFECT since she hangs out there (I'll see her take a bath there) but now I'm worried she is terrified of the big thing and won't want to use that as her safe spot. (She came out for dinner like usual but didn't go near it - I figure she's scared of it, not knowing what it is.)

How long does it take for them to get used to it and figure out what it's for? If there's a certain amount of time that's passed by and I think she hasn't used it, should I try to move it somewhere else? I really like the current placement because it's inconspicuous, it's in a spot she rests in, and I think it's pretty good placement as far as avoiding wind drafts etc.

post #2 of 4
I would keep it there for a bit longer. Try putting her food near the door and maybe throw a little food in, (if there are no raccoons you don't want to encourage them to enter it) Maybe on a nice day, remove the top if that is how it is designed and place it crosswise. She may not be so hesitant to enter if she sees an escape route. Then gradually, as she is more comforatable, put the top back on. I could tell when the ferrals were using mine by looking with a flashlight to see if the straw is matted down. I think keeping her food near it will eventually entice her to enter. Also, throw a couple of really tasty treats inside. She won't be able to resist and realize that "hey, this ain't so bad a place". I think she will eventually use it. Good luck and God bless you for taking pity on this little one!
post #3 of 4
Your location says you're in SW Ohio - it's probably not cold enough for her to want to use it yet!

I'm not so sure about the treat idea - unless there aren't other animals around.

But if you have Feliway spray, you may want to consider giving the inside one spritz and some on the corners outside!
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I think she kinda hates the shelter.. she's not even hanging out as much on the porch now! She used to sit for hours and hang out nearby.

She's getting pretty darn fat. She can't fit through the fence/poles around the porch, so the other morning she ran from my husband, went to the fence pole to go to the bushes, got STUCK, and so had to run towards him to run away from him, which probably terrified her. She used to fit through that just fine... I'm only feeding her 1/3 cup dry daily, so either she is getting food from someone else too or she's realllllly getting winter weight or she's super bloated from worms?
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