This blog entry was originally posted 1 year ago. I have added additional commentary and photos that I thought may be helpful.
We did it! We did it! We made Smokey, our outdoor cat a winter shelter. I was/am so concerned about her welfare outside that I did some internet research and I found instructions on the Spay and Stay website. While we were making the shelter, my husband suggested making a video of the process. So here it is. I hope this is helpful for other cat lover's that are in need of the same information. Credit for the original instructions goes to Jim and Nancy at Spay and Stay.
Additional Comments to the Original Blog Post on 12/9/10
So we had this shelter out last winter and Smokey would not go in it. I think we may have made the tube opening too small for her. That or she was just too spooked to try it. I have had feedback from other cat owners, though, that have had their outdoor cats use it. My sister in NY told me she had a female cat that just had kittens and that the whole family stayed in the shelter for the winter. So it does work.
Here are some photos of my cat Motor, showing us how it works.
First, we have to have our older cat Tiger, make sure his younger brother Motor has made it inside safely.
Yes, he sure did.
And he is looking pretty comfortable in there.
But now it is time to come back out.
You can see that the original outdoor shelter has a lot of insulation to it to keep a cat warm.
I had a comment left on You Tube by Catweedhigh that I thought might be helpful:
"I use plastic flower pots, for the tunnel in, the vinyl bigger ones plants come in from nurseries, and cut the bottom out, leaving about half inch around the perimeter in the bottom. That lip left in the bottom can be used to secure it with screws or bolts to a wooden feral housing unit or even a plastic storage container. Or, you can reverse it, since they're usually tapered, bigger at the top than bottom, and insert the bottom through from the inside, which makes it also easy to secure."
Since Smokey is spending this winter in our yard again, I had to come up with something, at least to protect her from the winds and rain.
So here is outdoor shelter #2. No styrofoam and hay for insulation, and no tube entrance. But a larger opening and lots of dry blankets to sleep on. This one seems to be working out better for Smokey. She is actually using it.
And here is Motor again, modeling how the newer shelter looks.
And hanging out with our 3rd indoor cat K.C. on a sunnier day.
Hope this is helpful information for all you cat lovers out there.