We have lived in the country until recently moving to the wonderful city of Wyandotte. Our family is used to the stray animals and feral cats that can become a sad sight to the animal lover in most of us. In the past we have built structures much like this, with different materials, that are wind and water resistant. Due to the economical decline, people being forced to leave animals outdoors and set free when moving, and a million other reason.... I thought I would post a DIY on how to make a shelter, one I have used for years.
Please note: This is not my design, I also found this online and shared it.
I am not a rescue, I do NOT take in feral/strays/unwanted animals. I am just an individual that cannot watch animals decline in front of me without doing something to help. Most people have these products just laying around the house, but if you do not the cost is only around $20-$30. It can be used all winter, and will help keep a stray/feral animal out of the elements this winter.
What you will need is:
- Rubbermaid or equivelant 28 gallon tote ($12 at walmart or less sometimes)
- 18 Gallon Plastic tub (or rubbermaid tub , about $6-$8)
- Old Blankets/towels (nothing crocheted)
- Styrofoam cooler or sheet of styrofoam
- Scissors (kitchen quality)
- Duct Tape
Remove the top on both of the rubbermaid containers and cut a hole in the front of the containers that a cat can fit into. The size of the hole should be relatively large in both containers for the cat. (some are skittish and will not enter a small hole)
Cut all of the sides off of the styrofoam cooler to fit around the perimeter of the larger plastic tote. Insert smaller plastic tote into the large tote. Place styrofoam cooler around the outside of the smaller tote, around the inside of the larger tote. I add in straw or blankets to fill in gaps and make a nice snug fit.
Place Straw and blankets into the smaller tote. Place cover on the containers.
Once the covers are on the containers, you can add more blankets to create a warmer structure for the animal.
Duct tape any sharp edges you may see/feel on the entrance (if you are actively watching this shelter and can make daily checks on it.... you may add in undertank heating elements (found at the pet supply for reptiles) to the bottom of the plastic container to help keep it warm. You can also duct tape blankets or styrofoam to the top (lid) on the inside to help keep the heat in that the body will produce. That will help maintain the body temp of the animal.
You can see more photos and information here: http://www.orphankittenrescue.com/~ASSETS/img/upload/Shelter1-a.jpg
I also try and place these out of the elements as much as possible. Near a porch, garage wall, etc. I place food near it to attract the use, once they see it is safe, they use it all winter.