There are an estimated 600 million cats worldwide with around 150 million in the U.S. alone. Many of these cats are feral. Feral cats, unlike their domestic counterparts, do not live inside homes, but survive outdoors. These cats are incredibly independent and can have a drastic ecological impacts on the wildlife surrounding their home ranges as they are not only skilled hunters, but they often carry diseases that can have a detrimental effects on other animals. The Feral Cat Project, however, is doing its best to combat the negative impacts of feral cats in a humane way. The goal of this organization is to provide spay/neuter and basic vaccines to as many feral cats as possible, thus keeping feral cat populations small and healthy.
As we progress into the coldest months of the year, feral cats are searching for places to stay warm. Often these cats will seek shelter in unsafe locations, such as engines of cars. You can help these cats without the commitment and stress of trying to bring them inside. Here are the instructions for building an easy and inexpensive cat shelter to help all your neighborhood cats make it through the winter. For more information on how to help feral cats in your neighborhood, call your local humane society or visit The Feral Cat Project website.
Step 1: Cut a hole in the front side of your plastic storage container.
Step 2: Add a bottom layer of straw.
Step 3: Purchase insulation material and cut out a piece for the bottom of your shelter.
Step 4: Place the insulation on top of the straw.
Step 5: Cut two pieces of insulation for the sides of your container.
Step 6: Cut two more pieces for the other sides of your container. Cut a hole in the insulation that aligns with the one in your container. You can use duct tape to hold the insulation walls together as you work.
Step 7: Stuff straw in between the walls of the container and your insulation.
Step 8: You can tape around the entry hole to prevent straw from sneaking out.
Step 9: Add some straw to the inside of your insulation to act as a bed for the feral kitties.
Step 10: Add a top layer on insulation.
Step 11: Put the lid of the container on.
Step 12: Place the new cat shelter somewhere quiet. You can add a few cat treats or food inside so your local cats know the house is for them.
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