by Elisa Black-Taylor
Homemade cat shelter
The picture shown above of a homemade cat shelter is the brainchild of North Toronto Cat Rescue. From the moment I saw the unique design I decided I had to share this with the readers of pictures-of-cats.org.
This shelter is simple to make as well as inexpensive and is perfectly designed to keep an outdoor cat during the cold weather.
Supplies needed are two large storage containers, one being large enough to hold the smaller container and still have room for the Styrofoam insulation. Styrofoam is placed in the space between the two containers as well as on top of the smaller container. Straw or pine needles are needed to make the bedding in the smaller container.
Don't use old rags as these will only get damp from the weather.
This is really simple to make. Cut a hole in the front of both storage containers that is large enough for the cat to enter but not so large that another animal could sneak in. In other words, don't make the hole large enough for a dog or fox to enter.
There is a variation of this design where holes are cut on opposite ends of the storage containers in case a predator should manage to enter. Hopefully this shelter can be placed in a spot that makes it difficult for anything except a cat to enter. I feel sure one entrance is preferable to two as far as warmth is concerned.
Place the insulation between the two storage containers.Then line the smaller container with the bedding. Place the smaller lid on top of the smaller container. Next lay a layer of the styrofoam insulation on top of the smaller cover. Then place the lid/cover to the larger container on top of everything and seal the cat shelter.
This setup will run around $12-$14 in the U.S. if the large containers are purchased at a discount store. It may also be possible to find used containers at a charity store such as Goodwill or Hospice. Perhaps even at a yard sale. Even at full price this is an almost indestructible homemade cat shelter.
Thank you SO much, North Toronto Cat Rescue. This idea was genius!
Now for some information on this wonderful cat rescue.
North Toronto Cat Rescue is 100% volunteer run charity, genuinely concerned with the welfare of needy animals. They rescue and provide veterinary care to injured and homeless felines, and follow through on recovery and adoption.
Every day they get calls from people who have found wandering cats or kittens. Some cats are abandoned by their owners, others are allowed by their owners to roam the streets, and the rest are born on the street. Many of the abandoned and lost cats are not spayed or neutered, thus contributing to the already over-population of strays. There are too many colonies of cats who live short and difficult lives, ending in equally miserable deaths.
They would like to see all these animals come in from the cold, and ultimately find their "forever" homes.
Most rescue organizations in this area employ the use of foster homes to house rescued animals, NTCR is unique in that NTCR cats live in the NTCR shelter.
Since they are a no kill facility, this means their kitties get to stay with them until they find their forever homes. This can take a while, because more often than not, they do not come t into the shelter in an "adoptable" condition. It is through hard work, patience, and a lot of love and compassion that volunteers are able to help these cats transform into "respectable" pets!
Most of their cats have either been evicted from their homes or are children of "evictees". They arrive after having experienced varying degrees of hardship, both at the hands of uncaring and abusive owners, and while trying to cope on their own out in the hostile street environment, where they suffer hunger, frostbite, injuries - often fatal, and even poisoning - by humans who view them as mere pests.
NTCR is also unique among other shelters. Their no cage policy means their kitties are free to romp and play; they are provided with the opportunity to learn to "play nice" with others, animal and human, and to experience a life style that is as close to the home life they will have when they find their forever homes. The cats live in compatible groupings, each group having its own room in the shelter.
In addition to providing a home for our cats, this shelter is also a community project, where school children come to experience hands on caring for the animals. It is through this type of community service, that they learn the value of giving and caring.
This community project needs your help! By giving a home to one of their cats, you become part of the animal rescue effort! An added benefit - each adoption makes room for another desperate animal to be brought in from the cold. If you do not live in their area, they are always in need of monetary donations.
Their website is at www.northtorontocatrescue.com
Let's all enjoy making a homemade cat shelter for our outside cats. Our cats will thank us and it's great knowing we created a little bit of comfort with our own two hands.