Come wintertime, everything slows down as the weather becomes colder. With it comes hot cocoas, cozy fires, holiday lights, snow angels, and warm socks. However, let us not forget our furry friends when it gets cold. For today, we will focus on our feline companions, cats.
Like us, they also get cold, therefore they need protection from the harshness of the wintertime. During these times, most cats would stay indoors. Nonetheless, as what most cats are known for, there are those that do whatever they want and wander around outside. If your cat just loves the outdoors despite the weather, it is best to build them their personal house outside so that they can take shelter whenever they like.
It is easy to build a shelter for your pet, but making it winter-proof is another story. There are more than a few things to consider other than a roof over their heads. It also needs to be completely warm, which means you need to cover it with objects that promote insulation. Moreover, you can even use recycled materials for cat house construction, which is what the world needs, according to the latest recycling statistics. Continue reading to see our five expert tips for building a winter cat house.
Gather the Right Materials
When it comes to any form of construction, having the right materials is key to ensure durability. The same goes for creating a winter cat house. Having the right equipment is just as vital as the actual construction. With this said, here are the perfect objects that you can recycle or purchase in order to build a winter shelter for cats:
- Large Styrofoam Coolers
- Straw or Other Non-Absorbent Insulation Materials
- Industrial Tape or Any Other Heavy Duty Tape
- Box Cutter or Sharp Knife
- Black Plastic Sheets
- Plywood (if necessary)
Large Styrofoam Coolers
These are perfect for your housing. Styrofoam coolers are already well-insulated and are quite easy to find. You can find them in your local hardware store and at the supermarket. Aside from that, they are also the perfect size for a shelter, and they also already include a cover. If you lost the cover of your cooler, then that is what the plywood is for. Its size, though, will depend on the number of cats you have, but having a large one is greatly recommended.
Straw or Other Non-Absorbent Insulating Materials
Straw is another fantastic insulator. That is because they are full of air pockets, which allow air to pass through freely. This makes the temperature inside the housing balanced so that it is not too hot or too cold for the cats. Add this with your styrofoam cooler and you have a superb winter shelter for your feline friends. Other great alternatives to straw are bubble wrap and plastic wrapper.
Industrial Tape or Any Other Heavy Duty Tape
Of course, to help everything together, you need tape, but not just any ordinary tape. You need industrial tape, such as gorilla tape, so that it is waterproof. This makes it stick longer on the materials.
Box Cutter or Sharp Knife
The sole purpose of your box cutter is to cut out a hole on one side of the styrofoam cooler. This will serve as the entrance and exit of the cats. On top of that, it is vital that the cut out is just big enough for one cat to pass through. That is because this prevents predators from entering the shelter.
Black Plastic Sheets
Black plastic sheets are thick sheets that you can use to cover the entranceway of the cat house. Aside from that, it also acts as another layer of insulation. Make sure that you do not use those black garbage bags since these are quite thin and they easily tear.
Keep the Cat House Above Ground Level
Now that you are done with building your cat house, it is time for placement. When winter comes, the ground becomes cold and wet, making it not ideal for shelter. Rain or snow can easily ruin the housing. So, it is best to keep it off the ground by a few inches by using a wooden platform or the like. This also avoids any insects from crawling into the housing.
Place it On a Safe Place
Aside from keeping the shelter off the ground, it is also best to put the shelter away from the foot and car traffic. This helps keep it away from any immediate danger. On top of that, it ensures the safety of your pets for longer periods of time. This also helps you to rest easy, knowing that when they are outside, they are safe.
Build a Feeding and Watering Station
If you’re caring for cats that live outdoors through winter, having a feeding station can keep them well-fed and hydrated, despite the weather, having a feeding station can keep them well-fed and hydrated, despite the weather. However, do not put it inside the shelter itself, as this can greatly take up space. So, while you are building a winter cat house, also build a feeding station at the same time.
Much like the shelter, you should also consider its placement. It also needs to be above the ground and in a safe place. In addition, it also does not need to be far from the cat house itself. That is because it avoids making your cat from traveling in the cold air, as well as stomping on the ground.
Frequently Check On the Shelter for Maintenance
Lastly, after setting up your winter cat house, it is always best to check on it from time to time. This helps you see if there is a need for maintenance, which helps avoid the complete ruin of the shelter and having to build one all over again. Aside from that, checking on it will also let you see the status of the feeding and watering station, whether or not they need refilling.
In the wintertime, all of us are cold and are looking for ways to stay warm. However, let us not forget that even pets also get cold and also need protection. Fortunately, there are more than a few ways to help them get through the coldest of weather. Our furry friends provide warmth to our lives, so let’s do the same for them, although literally.
About the Author
Brett is a writer at ID-Mag. An enthusiast and expert when it comes to sleep products, Brett dedicates a lot of his time reading, researching, and reviewing about both traditional and emerging sleep brands that manufacture varied types of sleep products – from eco-mattresses, smart pillows to cooling sleep systems, Brett has probably reviewed them all. Brett also finds sleep especially important since he juggles a small business which he runs from home, makes sure he spends time with his daughter and he also writes during his spare time – you can definitely see that he needs a great forty winks all night, every night so he’ll make sure that you get great sleep, too!