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Cat Shelter – D.I.Y.

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Not film or horror related ,but I noticed a lot of horror,sci-fi,fantasy,etc lovers are are also major animal lovers.

Now with winter coming, it is time to worry about ferals that many have been feeding and caring for. First off, I hope that everyone has had the animals TNR’ed (Trapped Neutered,Released ). If you need to do so, read this link https://www.petfinder.com/helping-pets/feral-cats/caring-for-feral-cats/ .

Now for the rest, you can build individual cat shelters for as little as $30 each.
You can ,of course, buy pre- made , but you will end up paying so much more and they may not be as well insulated.

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First , get some inexpensive plastic storage bins (I went to Target ,which had a superb selection). I bought mine due to the size (two medium size cats could fit comfortable within )and the bright color makes it easy to see if you need to dig out when it snows.

I also bought an exacto-knife, and masking tape there. Then I ordered some MYLAR Rescue Blankets. They are inexpensive but can be life savers. MYLAR RESCUE BLANKETS provides compact emergency Protection in all weather condition
Made of durable insulation Mylar material,Retains/reflects 90% of body heat ,and are
Waterproof and weatherproof .

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Finally, I bought some inexpensive Turkey basting pans (24lbs size). I also pulled out some old plastic bags from various stores that I had saved, some old cloth material that I tore up,and a bunch of old vhs tapes that I was going to toss out (you will be able to substitute other items for this).

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First, I took the old cloth,and stuffed them into the plastic bags. I saw that two would fit comfortably into the basting pan . I then tightly sealed and then taped them carefully shut. The reason for this is to provide bedding for the cats, but te plastic will prevent the material from getting wet and moldy.

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(2 bags filled with cloth,sealed and taped to prevent moisture)

 

Then I took the container and the exacto , & I cut a hole/door large enough for the largest cat to get though, but not too large as to prevent wind and water pouring in. Roughly 6″ x 6″ .

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Then I took the Mylar ,and cut it into sheets to line the interior walls of the shelter.The black masking tape was used to keep the strips in place . The mylar would be a great help as it will reflect the body heat of the cats back to them.

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Then taking the masking tape,I lined the opening of the box with black masking tape to protect the cats from any jagged edges as well as to reduce the cracking of the plastic .img_20161017_104619833

Next ,I put the old video tapes in the bottom of the container. This served three purposes, to act as extra insulation against the cold, to raise the beds should any water get in , and act as weight for the shelter in case of high winds . You can use other material to help serve the same purposes .

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Onto this I placed the turkey pan. I bent the lip a bit so that moisture was less likely to pour into the pan ,keeping the cats dry .img_20161017_104733213

I then placed the two bags of cloth into the pan. The cats now had comfortable beds.

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I taped the top part of the box to the container, and tried to seal any space between lid and box with black masking tape .

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(By the way, are parents really trying to store their babies?)

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I also took some strong plastic that was used to ship packages, and attaching it above the opening, it made an easy to move curtain for the cats. They could move it and enter with little effort and this would also serve to prevent rain from getting in .

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Cat tested and approved.

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The first one proved a great success and was used the inaugural night by at least one of the feral cats. I had completed the shelter one just in time ,as we were hit with high winds, a 30 degree temperature drop in two days and massive rains.

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Putting my hand into the shelter after I saw one of the ferals exit it,I found it was
completely dry, and actually a bit warmer than the outside air . The insulation had worked.

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You can play around with the designs a bit.

My second shelter,I decided to cut the door 3/4 ,and bend the plastic up into a sort of porch roof . Again ,this would provide more shelter for the cats entering and exiting.

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For the door flap,I took the plastic bag from cat food which was very strong ,plastic, waterproof ,and re-enforced , and used that as a cat flap.img_20161024_125121589

My own cats had no trouble checking out the shelters and getting in and out.

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The shelters placed outside ,next to a feeding station and water.

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Please observe local regulations about the feeding of cats (clean up and dispose of food, etc ).

You may of course have to take the shelters in every once and awhile to clean them up and perhaps replace damaged mylar or cat beds. That is simple to do by just cutting off the tape sealing the lid, and reach in to do your repairs. If weather is bad, you can always bring it in to your work areas, and then return it when done.

I do wish to raise the cat shelters off the ground , but am at present looking for inexpensive material that is safe and will not endanger the cats or the shelters if placed upon them.

The idea of raising is to prevent predators from trapping the cats and the animals becoming trapped in a huge snowstorm.

If you have any comments and suggestions ,please feel free to do so.

Also feel free to share this how to guide if you feel it can help save animals.

Kevin G Shinnickcatscarf

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