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Keeping Cat House Warm

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My neighbour's cat, Charlie is often outside and likes to be in our garden. As the weather is getting cold and wet, I've decided to make him a cat house so that he can be warm and cosy when he's visiting!

I plan to carpet the inside so that it's insulated and there will be a cat flap on it so that there are no drafts. I also plan on making a microwave rice bag - for when I know he will be coming round!

I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas as to how I can keep it warm?!
post #2 of 21
Awwwww Sarah you little angel
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiemac
Awwwww Sarah you little angel
Thank you, Susan!

I can't stand to see him all chilly outside and it's the least I can do - as I can't have him come in the house!
post #4 of 21
I thought of a couple things:

First, mom mom has this hot-seat thing that simply uses your body heat to warm up (no microwaving needed) that you could maybe put in there under some bedding... I believe she got it at a sporting goods/hunting store

Second, I don't know if you're planning on having electricity out there, but if you are, you could use a heat emitter made for reptile tanks - they're ceramic and fit into a regular light socket... they emit heat but no light....

Just a few things I thought of off the top of my head - good luck!!
post #5 of 21
Hurray for you Sarah, for looking out for your neighbor's cat!
Another TCS member (in Oklahoma, I believe) puts "space blankets" into their outside cat shelters. I really like BuzbyJLC's ideas, too - that "reptile heat rock" might do well if you can safely supply electricity and are willing to pay the cost of power.
Also, I use a large, discarded mirror propped up against an old tractor ( my yard would win a prize for being so "Redneck" ) that reflects the winter sun into my chicken yard - the ground nearby will be frozen, but the soil in the hens' yard remains thawed; it's an economical, environmentally-friendly way to keep them warm.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10
I thought of a couple things:

First, mom mom has this hot-seat thing that simply uses your body heat to warm up (no microwaving needed) that you could maybe put in there under some bedding... I believe she got it at a sporting goods/hunting store
That sounds interesting - I'll have to see if they are available in the UK and hope that they aren't too dear! Great idea though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10
Second, I don't know if you're planning on having electricity out there, but if you are, you could use a heat emitter made for reptile tanks - they're ceramic and fit into a regular light socket... they emit heat but no light....

Just a few things I thought of off the top of my head - good luck!!
Sadly I'm not able to put electricity outside - it would be quite and expense and also I don't think my Landlady would take kindly to it!

Excellent ideas though, please do keep them coming! I'll take photos of it once it's done, so that you can all see it! Hopefully with Charlie all cosy inside!
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme
Hurray for you Sarah, for looking out for your neighbor's cat!
Another TCS member (in Oklahoma, I believe) puts "space blankets" into their outside cat shelters. I really like BuzbyJLC's ideas, too - that "reptile heat rock" might do well if you can safely supply electricity and are willing to pay the cost of power.
Also, I use a large, discarded mirror propped up against an old tractor ( my yard would win a prize for being so "Redneck" ) that reflects the winter sun into my chicken yard - the ground nearby will be frozen, but the soil in the hens' yard remains thawed; it's an economical, environmentally-friendly way to keep them warm.
Oooh, so I guess instead of space balnkets, tin foil would be okay - sandwiched between the wood?!! What a great idea!!

Your mirrow idea's great - I bet youe chickens are very thankful for not having to trot around and peck at frozen ground!!
post #8 of 21
Click here to read about the heat disks I use for my ferals. You microwave them for around 5 minutes and they stay warm for 8 hours!

Also, I can't remember whether anyone said this....instead of carpet, you might want to use wood shavings or straw. During the winter, the inside of the house will get wet from tracked in snow and rain. A carpet will quickly become filthy and water logged. Straw and wood chips are great insulators and they are easy to dump and replace.

Don;t forget to have unfrozen water available as well.

And....bless you for being willing to do this for a neighbor's cat!
post #9 of 21
Also Straw is great insulation!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotsocats
Click here to read about the heat disks I use for my ferals. You microwave them for around 5 minutes and they stay warm for 8 hours!

Also, I can't remember whether anyone said this....instead of carpet, you might want to use wood shavings or straw. During the winter, the inside of the house will get wet from tracked in snow and rain. A carpet will quickly become filthy and water logged. Straw and wood chips are great insulators and they are easy to dump and replace.

Don;t forget to have unfrozen water available as well.

And....bless you for being willing to do this for a neighbor's cat!
The heat disks look great! Plus they're a really reasonable price too!

Thank you so much for pointing out that the carpet would get waterlogged and dirty - I really hadn't thought about that happening! I will definitely get some straw!

To provide unfrozen water, should I just change it often to make sure that it hasn't frozen?!

Thank you everyone for your help - I think Charlie's cat house is going to be the cosiest around! I bought the cat flap on eBay last night, so I can get the frame and everything made - then it's just a case of adding the flap and off we go! I can't wait to show you all!
post #11 of 21
Maybe you can microwave and place one of those heat disks under the bowl that will have the water... of course you'd have to check to make sure the disk was still warm and water unfrozen, but that wouldn't be bad if the disks lasts for about 8 hours at a time... the only other thing I could think of would require electricity (places like Drs Foster and Smith sell heated pet bowls and buckets, but they need to be plugged in...) good luck!! keep us updated!
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Good idea! I have 'heat click' pocket pads that might work well for the bowl too - they last for hours too - so I can swap them when the other is cold!

I have been outside working on Charlie's home today! I got most of the cutting done but had to call it a day when I couldn't even feel the srews I was trying to use! I might be able to get most of the screwing done indoors - so there'll be a lit less to do outdoors tomorrow!

Clare (Purity) has also told me of a shop that I can buy the heat pads, so I'll be able to pick some up this week! I also have to get the roofing felt, paint (non toxic and waterproof), straw and the cat flap should arrive tomorrow or the day after!!

Thank you all for your help, I really appreciate it and I'm sure that Charlie will too!
post #13 of 21
I get cold just thinking about you working outside!

This is the mat I saw last night:

http://www.petsathome.com/invt/13052

Could be good if Charlie is in an enclosed space and the walls are insulated etc, he'll be able to get all nice and snuggly
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purity
I get cold just thinking about you working outside!

This is the mat I saw last night:

http://www.petsathome.com/invt/13052

Could be good if Charlie is in an enclosed space and the walls are insulated etc, he'll be able to get all nice and snuggly
Seriously it is literally freezing out there! I got all my stuff ready out there before I realised that the frost was still on the grass!

That looks great! I'll have to get over to Pets At Home and have a closer look at it! It would be great to keep Charlie all snuggly!
post #15 of 21
For unfrozen water I use a bird bath heater placed in a very wide but shallow bowl.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you, all, for your help and advice! I'm still looking into the heatpads, but for now, you can see Charlie's house here!

post #17 of 21
Sarah you are so resourceful! Your cat house is great. I agree that straw is probably the best bet. I think the pocket pack thing for the water would be great if it worked, just be careful to rig it up so the cat can't accidently puncture it, unless there are no harmful chemicals in them. I'm so glad that Charlie went into his house. We bought an insulated dog house for our stray/feral cats (Mama and Mike) but they never used it eventhough we would place the food in there. They would eat with their butts sticking out of the opening most of the time
post #18 of 21
I don't have any advice, jsut wanted to tell you hwo wonderful you are to do this! The house is absolutely adorable!
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by captiva
Sarah you are so resourceful! Your cat house is great. I agree that straw is probably the best bet. I think the pocket pack thing for the water would be great if it worked, just be careful to rig it up so the cat can't accidently puncture it, unless there are no harmful chemicals in them. I'm so glad that Charlie went into his house. We bought an insulated dog house for our stray/feral cats (Mama and Mike) but they never used it eventhough we would place the food in there. They would eat with their butts sticking out of the opening most of the time
Thank you, Chris!

I am still have to get the straw, but for now am using shredded paper - which is working well temporarily!

I'm going to try the pocket pack and put it in a small cardboard box - so that it's more stable too (it goes solid when you click it)

Mama and Mike weren't too keen on thir little house!! At least their food wasn't wet!

Thank you, too, Karen!
post #20 of 21
I was going to recommend shredded paper!!!
But my indoor/outdoor cats get a winter coat (heavier fur) every winter. I try to gauge how cold the weather will be by how much food they eat in the autumn months. But this week has been unusally cold (low of -3 degrees F this am right now 8 degrees F) so grizzly hasn't been going out. Bobber still wants to check out whats going on she has only been staying out 10-15 minutes. Its so funny to watch her in the snow-she uses the tracks she made before. Ox doesn't attempt to go out and for Bakker this is his 1st winter as an adult and I think the cold weather bothers me more than him-he sits under some spruce trees and stares at my neighbor's horses-all day if I would let him!!! I think your neighbor's kitty will be happy to have a nice house!!!
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thank you Gail - so the shredded paper will suffice?! (easier as it's always available!)

Gosh, you have been having cold weather!! I don't think ours is even half as cold as that you, but Charlie's enjoying his house anyway!

I don't blame Grizzly for not going out - I wouldn't either when it's nice and toasty indoors!
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