In autumn-winter, the weather conditions are harsher, and wild animals then become direct victims of the sometimes negative temperatures. We can nevertheless help stray cats to overcome the cold by taking care to make them an outdoor shelter at a lower cost. It’s not much and the construction takes a few minutes (even if you’re not very handy!), but it brings them comfort and comfort! And remember, your stray cat shelter doesn’t have to be pretty. Waterproof and insulating, this refuge above all keeps them out of danger (road, predators, etc.) and sheltered from the wind, humidity and cold which can kill them. And of course, it can also help if your pets tend to spend the night outside. Animal friends, it’s up to you!
The basic technique for making a stray cat shelter
What’s needed :
-A good size polystyrene cooler (enough for a cat to be comfortable in)
-A bath towel or straw (easy to find in pet stores)
-Basic equipment: cutter or utility knife, screwdriver and screws
The steps to make an easy stray cat shelter:
1) First, cut the polystyrene to create a door large enough to let the cat in. Ideally, do it on an off-center edge of the cooler so that the feline can take refuge there without ending up in front of the opening (and therefore cold).
2) Next, line the inside of your cooler with a towel or straw (even better, as it’s less likely to freeze with humidity and cold). This filling will allow bothimprove insulation in the shelter, but also to provide additional comfort.
3) Close the lid and secure it by screwing the four corners. This will ensure good support and prevent the cover from blowing off in strong winds.
4) Finally, place this shelter sheltered from the windwhich will ensure that the cat will stay even warmer.
This technique is the simplest and most basic way to create a makeshift shelter. However, we can work on creating an even more effective refuge. It will then suffice to use more material and follow a few additional steps. We reassure you, it remains very simple and above all inexpensive!
To make a stray cat shelter even more protective, if the winters are harsh
If the winters are particularly harsh and cold where you live, you can take a even warmer shelter taking a plastic tub slightly larger than the polystyrene cooler. You can then slide the latter inside the tray and fill the space between the walls with straw. Then, you can make an off-center door on the bin and the cooler, making sure to match them. (If the plastic is difficult to cut, use a hair dryer to soften it before cutting.) Consider sand the plastic a little to avoid injuries.
Good to know: In the absence of a plastic box, you can also use pallets, a litter box or even thick cardboard covered with a tarpaulin for waterproofing.
Choosing the right insulation and adding comfort
Adding insulation will guarantee warmth and better temperature conservation within the shelter. In addition to polystyrene or straw, you can also try bubble wrap or a sun visor. Banish the hay which will quickly become waterlogged and rot. Otherwise, think of the wool sweater (the one that no longer fits you and has been lying around in the back of the closet for months!). Avoid other textiles for insulation, however, as other fabrics may become waterlogged and freeze. Finally, you can line the whole thing with a scrap of quilt, straw or even moss so that he can snuggle up comfortably.
The little extra tips for a successful and solid stray cat shelter
Do not hesitate to raise it slightly with two wooden slats, bricks or even an openwork pallet. This will protect it from the cold and dampness of the soil. If the roof isn’t attached with screws, a brick or something heavy will hold the hut securely in place.