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Mylar Blankets

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
What are the best websites (and most reasonable) to buy these...is there any stores that sell mylar blankets, other than PetSmart?

We filled the hole under the steps that we made as a place for the cats to feed, with wheat straw and my husband put a little light in there. Ive only seen one or two cats go in there at night. Ive never seen these mylar blankets before but have heard everyone talk about them. Our only stores close are Wal Mart (of course) and Tractor Supply....I would order online but I dont want to wait for delivery. What about those disc everyone talks about...How much are they and where do you get them?
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Friend4Life
What are the best websites (and most reasonable) to buy these...is there any stores that sell mylar blankets, other than PetSmart?

We filled the hole under the steps that we made as a place for the cats to feed, with wheat straw and my husband put a little light in there. Ive only seen one or two cats go in there at night. Ive never seen these mylar blankets before but have heard everyone talk about them. Our only stores close are Wal Mart (of course) and Tractor Supply....I would order online but I dont want to wait for delivery. What about those disc everyone talks about...How much are they and where do you get them?
Do you mean these disks:


http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...18&N=2002+2008

Katie
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wow, expensive ! And I dont think one disk will due considering I have 9 here. For now, they seem to be doing okay. I suppose I worry about them more then necessary. We also have a low lying dog house (look like it could be for a daushaund) filled with wheat straw and I know they go in there because it gets mashed down.

Now what about these mylar blankets? Can you buy a big one and cut it up? What do the rest of you guys do?
post #4 of 16
Hi! Nice to hear you are taking care of ferals!!

I have one outdoor feral...

I couldn't find the Mylar blankies, so for my feral I got a shelter
which accomodates up to 2/3 cats (depending on the size) from Indy Feral (they are a very reasonable
30 dollars if you order 2 shelters, 40 for a single shelter, and you then put together - has a roof and everything).

Here's the address/link:

http://indyferal.org/index.php?page=shelters

I lined the inside with
that stuff you put on your water heaters - a reflective bubble wrap.
Costs like 1.50 or less per yard.... it insulates and reflects heat back and
can be used to make / line structures (like a cardboard box or tupperware
container. Then because I had no hay, I went and raked up pine needles
from the trees around... I made sure they were dry, and placed a thick
layer (about 2 inches or more) inside the shelter. It was free material,
and the kitty seemed to like it plenty!!

Maybe you could use that stuff? You can get it at most ACE, TrueValue, or other hardware store, or at home improvement stores like Home Depots, Lowes, etc I believe? In your area you can also purchase plastic foam board that you can cut to size/shape with an exacto knife and line containers/shelter areas with...


Which is another thing - a large rubbermaid container, with lid attached,
lined with the bubble wrap or with the foam board insulation, filled with hay, put on its side with holes
cut in lids for cats to go in/out works really well... just put a piece of ply
wood or some stiff cardboard and prop it up in front of the entrance holes so the cats can get in/out
of hole, but the wind doesn't enter it...

Supplies will run you about 30-40 dollars
or less (some home imrovement stores will let you
take "left over scraps.. you don't need much!!) and will shelter around 4 or 5 cats depending on the size of the container you use....

Here's instructions/ideas for other low cost shelters and warmer ideas
(using solar pool blankies for example..)

What a stroke of genius! Debbie Peterson of the Chicagoland Stray Cat Coalition uses solar pool covers/blankets to keep her ferals warm during winter. Solar pool covers are used to attract and retain heat from the sun, to keep water in swimming pools warm. Debbie saw them as a way to upgrade her feral cat houses to solar energy! On a 10°F night the temperature inside could easily reach 70°F! Torn but usable solar pool covers can be found curbside on suburban garbage pick-up days. Purchased new, prices vary based on construction and thickness. A 15 mil premium-grade 12' round blanket costs $32. Cut them with standard household scissors. Drape one over your feral cat house silver-side down, and the purring will start. Aim for full exposure to the south. Check the temperature until you know how much heat is generated; it may become too warm inside on milder days! Consider setting up a solar feeding station a distance from the sleeping area

Here's some more good info from this web site;

costing around $15-20 this idea comes to us from a feral cat caregiver in Villa Park, IL.

Finding one plastic bin to fit inside another is the most challenging part of this project.
The larger bin was $6, the smaller was $4. A 4x8 sheet of styrofoam insulation costs about $7, and is enough for 2 shelters with some left over.
Consider surrounding your cats' shelter with bails of straw. Did you know that straw is a fabulously efficient insulator? Homes insulated with 18" wide bails of straw could save 75% on heating & cooling costs. Just think what that could do for your cats!

Place shelters where they will be protected from wind and snow drifts -- particularly those without protective flaps over the door(s) -- otherwise snow could blow in and bury/trap the cats. If there are fixed objects, such as buildings in your feral cat shelter area, pay attention to the way the winds tend to circulate, and place the shelters where there is the least amount of blowing & drifting snow. This could be a lifesaver, particularly for those who endure extreme winter weather, in which roads may be impassable for 1-2 days.

Depending on predators and other animals/hazards in your area, some cats may not use shelters unless there are two exits -- one for them to sneak out should another unwanted animal enter. Consider an emergency exit with a flap that opens from the inside only.


"Cat"illac Ranch

Following the instructions from Alley Cat Allies, Diane & Manfred of Glen Ellyn, IL constructed the this Cadillac of feral cat shelters, complete with a tile floor and stuffed with straw in the winter.

Download Alley Cat Allies' instructions for Building an Inexpensive Feral Cat Shelter to make your own "Cat-illac Ranch".

Here's a few other good ideas:

Originally designed by Karin Hancock of Port Washington, NY, the Feral Cat Winter Shelter shown here has many advantages. The two inch thick hard Styrofoam is excellent insulation and traps the cat's body heat, effectively turning the feline into a radiator. Air space is purposely limited, so there is less volume to be heated. Typically, 3 to 4 cats can fit comfortably inside, although more might curl up on a severely cold night. The plans for the shelter can be downloaded from this site

http://www.neighborhoodcats.org/info/wintershelter.htm

The shelter is lightweight and should be weighed down. Best is to place two shelters about a foot apart with the doors facing each other. Bridge the gap by laying a piece of plywood across both roofs. Now the shelters are fully protected against the elements.

After the cats have begun using the shelters, you might try adding a flap door which can be easily pulled back. A piece of of a clear vinyl mat will do, attached by drilling (or poking) two holes above the door opening and using plastic nuts and bolts (like those used to attach toilet seats). Bowls of food can be placed in the shelter, but never water (which can spill and threaten the cats' health by getting them wet).

The cost of the shelter will vary from place to place, but on average, the 8 foot sheet of Styrofoam will run about $9 (uncut). A few linoleum floor tiles, a tube of silicone sealant, some contact paper for the interior walls and enough deck paint will run the total cost up to somewhere from $15 to $25.

The CSM Stray Foundation Winter Shelter
Here's another idea inspired by the CSM Stray Foundation in Kew Gardens, Queens (email: csmstray@aol.com):

Materials needed are: a large Rubbermaid storage bin, an eight foot by two foot sheet of one-inch thick hard Styrofoam, a yardstick, a box cutter or utility knife, and straw, shredded newspaper or other insulating material. Then assemble as follows:

1. Cut a doorway six inches by six inches in one of the long sides of the storage bin towards the corner. To prevent flooding, cut the opening so that the bottom of the doorway is several inches above the ground.

2. Line the floor of the bin with a piece of Styrofoam, using the yardstick and box cutter to cut out the piece.

3. In similar fashion, line each of the four interior walls of the bin with a piece of the Styrofoam. Perfect cuts are not necessary. Don't make the Styrofoam go all the way up to the top of the bin, but leave a uniform gap of at least three inches between the top of these Styrofoam "wall pieces" and the upper lip of the bin. There needs to be room for an interior Styrofoam "roof" to fit.

4. Cut out a doorway in the Styrofoam where it is lined up with the doorway that has been cut out already in the storage bin. Trace the outline of the doorway on the Styrofoam first before cutting.

5. Stuff the bottom of the bin with straw or other insulating material to hold the Styrofoam interior wall pieces in place.

6. Cut out a Styrofoam "roof" to rest on top of the Styrofoam interior wall pieces

7. Cover the bin with its lid.

This shelter can be cleaned by taking off the lid and the Styrofoam roof. It's also lightweight and may need to be weighed down. A flap over the doorway is optional. Catnip can be sprinkled inside at first to attract the cats.

Other Alternatives
An adequate shelter for one cat can be made from a simple Styrofoam cooler available at any hardware store for about $6. Glue the lid onto the cooler, turn it upside down and cut a hole in one side (anywhere but in the middle of one of the long sides). The Styrofoam containers used to ship meat can be turned into shelters in the same way and can, depending on their size, house 3 to 4 cats. If you want to get fancy, get a large Igloo cooler and, with a jigsaw, cut a hole towards the left or right of one of the long sides. The attached lid will allow for easy cleaning.


Hope these ideas help you out. If you need anymore info the people on this site can help alot.

PS. Are your feral/outdoor kitties fixed yet? That's so you won't
pick up more cats than you can handle, LOL!!
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by opilot
Which is another thing - a large rubbermaid container, with lid attached,lined with the bubble wrap or with the foam board insulation, filled with hay, put on its side with holes cut in lids for cats to go in/out works really well... just put a piece of plywood or some stiff cardboard and prop it up in front of the entrance holes so the cats can get in/out of hole, but the wind doesn't enter it...
this is what i have for mine. i cut a hole in the side, & placed it right side up with lid attached... hole is partially protected from wind/rain/etc by the house. i ordered a mylar blanket online, but it hasn't come yet. wish i'd known about the reflective bubble wrap! i'm also putting rice warmers in mine... just a cotton knit bag, filled with rice or dry beans, heated in the microwave for about 2 minutes. i heated it up this morning, & will do it again this afternoon when i get home.
post #6 of 16
I used blankets to make a "tent" over my back porch table. One on the floor anchored by the table and two chairs. The ends of the blanket on the floor are tied up to the underside of the table and the ends of the chairs.

A second blanket is placed over the table and falls over the blanket on the floor. That provides shelter from the wind, but they are not "closed in tight". Plenty of room to stretch, and run off the porch if needed.
post #7 of 16
Walmart and Meijers has the reflective mylar blankets in their camping section, with the inflatable bed mattresses etc... They are about $1.98 for a very large twin-size bed one. I cut them up as needed, so usually buy a few at a time. I also use styrofoam coolers with a door cut into them, for my feral kitties. They are placed in a old grainmill with an overhang (looks similar to a garage with no door on it, when I have them all placed, right now).
I do use old woolen rags, that I got from Goodwill, and replace them every time I check on them, to make sure they are dry and useable. They have worked out great, and I have about 25 ferals using these shelter boxes. Some are just cardboard boxes with the VERY thick plastic sheets duct-taped onto the outside and styrofoam sheets cut to size on the inside of the boxes.
Here's a pic of a recycled styrofoam cooler I used and my little KatyKitty is checking it out!
post #8 of 16
Just caught this thread...

I bought this 2 seasons ago for a colony I care for....it has "housed" 5 adults through 2 winters so far...



The bottom of the house is lined with my chaise-lounge cushions which are now "their" chaise-lounge cushions, a mylar blanket and a king size comforter...I needed a new one anyway

The door sort-of threw them off so I thumbtacked a heavy towel over the doorway to keep out snow, rain, etc. "Knock-wood"...the colony has survived through the last 2 winters using the doghouse....hoping this winter isn't too harsh for them.

Just an idea...
post #9 of 16
well, my ferals made it thru the 'teens' weather! the mylar 'blanket' [more litk a sheet, if you ask me] arrived - so large that i cut it in half, then taped it into the shelter & put the rice warmers & towel on top of it. but i've seen them both, so i know they got thru okay!
post #10 of 16
Lowes Home Improvement Stores sell Reflective Insulation (plastic bubble wrap encased in mylar foil) in rolls 16" wide X 25' for around $15...you can encase the entire inside of a "cat hut" with it, or make lots of sleeping pads.
post #11 of 16
Rice warmers!!!!
Now THAT is a great idea!!!!!!!!
I am going to make some of them, as I KNOW they stay warm for quite a long time too!!!
Thanks for that idea!!!!!
post #12 of 16
Not sure if you have Freecycle where you are, but I was able to get a HUGE dog house for free from someone. It wouldn't fit in our SUV, so they even got a friend to deliver it! I have it LOADED with hay, and I closed the entrance some so that a coyote can't fit in it. The cats can go way inside the back, and they stay toasty warm.

We put it way back in the yard, close to the woods. We watch them go in and out. We clear the entrance after deep snows, and my husband snow blows paths so they can get to their food.

I have another house - actually it was a Roy Rogers Toy Box I found in a dumpster. We cut a hole in it on one side for an entrance, and put pressure treated lumber on top to keep it dry. That's loaded with hay, and a fleece car seat cover that they can go inside of. It's under the house totally out of the elements.

The third is a small dog house out front, again full of hay - all the houses are painted to match our house.

With a little imagination, you can do a lot for these guys and without spending a ton of money.
post #13 of 16
I have a large cardboard box on my porch that I ducktaped newspapers all around it for insulation. They have a comforter inside and they seem to love it. I keep in on my covered porch so it stays good and dry. Beside that I have a rubbermain container lined the same way with a blanket inside it as well. I have old shelves stacked around both of them so there is a little area by the doors that keep the wind blocked and I keep their food in that area. That way they can eat comfortably. Their water is there as well.

As soon as my husband and I get moved, we are building a real cat house out of wood that is properly insulated on the back of our house. I would like one that the kitty door opens into so I can vent it for heat and cool. And that way my cats can use it as well as any ferals.

A couple of mine really like it outside and if I build this right I won't have to worry about them staying warm in the winter. I have spent many night trying to get a cat in the house worried about them. A great cat shelter is the answer for me.

My grandmother used to put a little heating pad in a shelter that she had made and would keep it on low heat with a towel over it in the winter time.. She was so tender hearted.
post #14 of 16

Hey can anyone help me? I just bought about 15 mylar foil rescue blankets, they are tiny wrapped 52X84... not sure how to use them in the two feral cat houses I have, looks like foil, what cat will get on this? How do I work it, have two cat houses outside with hay in them...  Its wierd only one feral cat has been smart enough to make this his fav home, the other cats come and eat but leave... anyway, how do I use the mylar blankets in their homes, lay it down ,put hay on top???

post #15 of 16

USE OF STRAW WARNING  I saw a vet warning about use of straw because it can cause ~~Aspergillosis

 

One neat option was the use of solar pool covers which could help with a larger area.

post #16 of 16

The mylar blankets are actually thin aluminum sheets you can buy at any sporting goods store (like "Dick's") in the camping section. They are emergency blankets used for people stranded in the cold; they reflect back body heat. There are thicker versions that are regular blankets. I have a mylar sheet beneath straw in my cat's cedar house. I have no idea if it works, but my feral loves his house. They cost a few bucks.

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