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How you can build a stray cat shelter for these freezing nights

Stray cats die more from hypothermia than from starvation. You can save a life easily.

Over the last couple of years I rescued and adopted four stray cats.  Two males required medical attention:  one had giardia and needed weeks of medication; the other was badly beaten and cut up and required a vet to patch him up.  Of course, all four were taken to the vet and given shots, cleaned up, treated for feas, and--ouch--fixed.

What rewards we have reaped by rescuing these four little guys and gals!  They are now very loving members of our family, very appreciative of us and our home.

I feel for all of those little guys and girls out there on these subzero freezing nights.  Today I once again erected my cat shelter for a stray cat to come in and keep warm.  How?  Easily.

I took a box that formerly housed a computer; turned it on one of its sides and placed five (5) pillows within, on its floor, top, back, and two sides; and then inserted an electric blanket within the interior, draping the box opening like a tee-pee, allowing the cat to go in and out.  And it works:  it saved Murphy's life two years ago.  We were eventually able to trap him and bring him inside our home.  Murphy and I are now inseparable buddies.  He sits by me at work and sleeps on my legs every night.  He just jumped up on my printer:  he must be psychic.

I put my cat shelter in the garage, leaving the garage door up just enough for a cat to crawl in.  I believe heated cat shelters are now sold for about $70.  And there are a number of shelters that you can build with plywood and place outdoors with straw as a bedding for feral cats.  More important than food is providing shelter for feral cats since they are more likely to die from hypothermia than starvation.

Yes, I know, I am certifiably nuts to go to all this bother about stray cats.  Yes, I know, I deserve to be put away or put to sleep for feeling sorry for those poor strays out in the cold without food and water.  But the precedent has been established and I find myself doing it every winter, in hopes of helping another little guy or girl make it through another very cold winter.

Hey, if St. Francis could do it, so can I.

The Barefoot Accountant

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Lucy December 31, 2012 at 12:41 AM
There is a great video on youtube showing one how to build feral cat shelters for the winter months: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSwLZTp9mf8
Fairfield Old Timer December 31, 2012 at 03:45 AM
You can also cut an opening in the side of a large styrofoam cooler (I use the ones I get from Omaha Steaks) for the stray Kittehs! Instant insulation!
William Brighenti, CPA December 31, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Great idea! Thank you for sharing it.
Connecticut Feral & Stray Cat Association January 01, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Please help all the homeless kitties out there in the cold without any food, water, or shelter. They bring so much love and joy to children and families.
bogs101 January 01, 2013 at 10:50 PM
i've been looking for a kitten for my daughter but have to say the process to get one, from places like Pets Smart and Paws is horrific. The grilling they employ to the potential owner only makes me interested in seeking out a private owner.
Connecticut Feral & Stray Cat Association January 02, 2013 at 12:18 AM
I was unaware of the "grilling". Would you be kind enough to provide more details regarding the grilling? And how much, if anything, they were charging? Thank you.
Leslie Yager January 02, 2013 at 01:51 AM
to bogs101, I have been impressed with PAWS, but you might try your local animal control, Cat Assistance or Friends of Felines. Don't give up. For what it's worth, I was grilled by the rescue group that placed my black lab with me. It was worth it. Don't take it personally.

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