All Natural Feral Cat Shelter

Using natural products that can be sourced and “gathered” in time honored fashion, a community of like-minded people who want to have some fun together while doing something good, can now help to make the feral cats of New York a bit more comfortable in winter. The materials for this project are to be gathered from Central Park we are told. Sounds intriguing.

This is a project, “Giving Shelter”, organized by Architects for Animals in what appears to be a collaboration with the Mayor’s office under a scheme called Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. A group of architects who call themselves Pilot Projects were asked to get involved in the creation of a cat shelter for a colony of feral cats living in Central Park. Other architects were assigned other locations in New York. If I have that wrong, please correct me.

I am unsure about the planning requirements etc of building feral cat shelters in New York. I am sure it is completely acceptable. It should actual improve the environment. Although all people who help feral and stray cats should be aware that some people hate feral cats and therefore dislike people who help them.

Pilot Projects came up with a Native American wigwam design as a cat shelter that inspires the imagination. You can see the full specification in this interesting and excellent drawing on this page (when you get to the page you can click on the drawing to see the full spec in a downloadable PDF file). Here is an extract which I have taken the liberty to publish here:

Feral cat shelter New York

Feral cat shelter New York. Part of a superb drawing by Anne Chen who is an intern at Architects for Animals as I understand it.

What I really like about this design and project is that it does more that help cats who need our help and for whom we are responsible.. There is an educational element and it should help to create teamwork in children. The fact that it is made from naturally occurring items also appeals. I like recycling and sustainability.

I presume it has already been built and we are told that it is in a secret location. Is it possible to have a secret location in Central Park? Perhaps it is construction.

Examples of the superb efforts of other architects involved can be seen in the picture below:

Feral cat shelters designed by architects

Feral cat shelters. Photo: Tarmar Arslanian

Kathryn Walton is a member of The American Street Cat. I particularly like her design as it is partly made of recycled aluminium tin cans that have been filled with insulating material.

I feel that these projects to provide shelter for NY’s feral cats is an example of what the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, would call “the big society”. It is a collaborative effort from business and people unconnected with business and also younger members of society. It appears to pull together all the elements of society positively including feral cats, who are a part of our society whether we like it or not.

The motto for Pilot Projects is “Co-create a better world“. I like that. I’d like to thank Dorothy Wandruff (dw) for pointing this project out to me.

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All Natural Feral Cat Shelter — 7 Comments

  1. Great stuff! I love this. In a way I wish there were feral cats here so that I could make myself useful with such projects, but at the same time no feral cats is a good thing in of itself. I should move to another country where I would be more useful maybe. When I move to the countryside I will build something so I can take in barn cats and cats who are stuck in the shelter for more than a year. I even can go accross the border to France to a shelter I know there where they have many long term resident black cats who are never adopted. I’d like to be able to give a few of them a better life before they get old. I’ll make cat doors around my house and build little shelters on the land. This is a long term project for me but somethng I really want to do.

    I am suprised something can be hidden in Central Park! There are may great organisations in NY that care for cats – but the pounds there are the worst. Plus they have HSUS and the ASPCA trying to disable no kill shelters abilities to take animals out of kill shelters by making un clearly defined rules so that the pound people can deny saving healthy animals. They hire community spokespeople who are famous for not reading the bills they are passing to get it done. Its a horrible political mess BUT luckily alot of people in NY do their best to expose all these bills and actions and make them harder to pass.

    I see you got the photo from Tamar, she’s a New Yorker 🙂 I read about the exhibition of different cat shelters as per the photo and it seemed like a really interesting great idea. Anywhere that it gets so very cold in winter will profit from as many of these shelters as can possibly be made. They should become regular things done as school projects and community activities. Educating the young is the key to making a difference to cats that will last.

    • Thanks for the comment. Marc. It is a mess and there are two camps: those who care about cats and those who don’t. And a lot of shelters don’t in my opinion. Many are very good but a lot can do better and kill less often. I’d like you to write more about this comment you made:

      Plus they have HSUS and the ASPCA trying to disable no kill shelters abilities to take animals out of kill shelters by making un clearly defined rules so that the pound people can deny saving healthy animals. They hire community spokespeople who are famous for not reading the bills they are passing to get it done.

      • Yes, this is to do with a bill that was passed some time ago nicknamed the ‘quick kill’ bill or something like that. This was shortly before the peta infiltration of Caboodle. I will have to go back and see if I can find out the exact names. It is a bill that basically allows shelters to deny holding an animal for a no kill shelter to come and pick it up based on the rather unclear statement that it is ‘feral’ or ‘antisocial’ or some such – basically they can scare a cat a bit and say no just because thewy feel like it. The opposition was fighting to put a mandatory hold on these same animals and they wanted to pass a further law which states that if a no kill shelter steps up then it is illegal for the animal to be euthanised – therefore they must hold it til picked up. Of course pounds don’t want this. They would rather just kill them all right away and save time and effort looking after them. Now they can just say the animal was dangerous or unadoptable and bypass the holding time – something like that. The woman who brought the bill to action is some lady who has nothing to do with anything but is famous for being paid to carry off things like this without reading what she is actually passing since she clearly doesn’t care. Sorry – i am vague and have no immediate names for you. I will look into it. just ‘Quick Kill Bill’ in NYC but I will have a re-search.

          • People tend to forget that the big organisations like HSUS and ASPCA are multi million dollar businesses at heart. They get so many donations – they are the mainstream and they have alot of power to do good and bad. It’s not possible to label them either way obviously but I think it’s important to see the downsides of the fact that they spend a fortune on publicity in order to get those donations. If only people would donate to their local no kill shelter. Its like corporations versus small companies in my opinion. I think it would be much better if the money were spread around. When companies get that big they can no longer be trusted because they are made up of so many parts and people and there is big money involved. Whoever get the the advertising jobs from them have a huge paying client. I’s big business. I don’t like the idea of cutting costs when it comes to lives. I don’t like the fact that probably hundreds of thousands of dollars go to advertising when it could be saving cats and educating or training people to save lives and so on. Plus with all the little no kill shelters struggling for every penny to make a tiny difference it hardly seems fair.

  2. Appreciate that this project helps bring more awareness to the needs of community cats. Interesting to see what designs are created, but they aren’t exactly unobtrusive 🙂

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