Materials you will need:- Rigid Foam Insulation - 1 in. x 2 ft. x 8 ft (Product Link)
- Reflectix (Product Link)
- 30gal/120qt Plastic Storage Bin (Product Link)
- Gorilla Tape (Product Link)
- Utility Knife (Product Link) - This what I have but I would suggest one with a longer blade.
- Straw (not hay or blankets)
- Two heavy bricks/stones to put on lid to keep the top secure and keep heavy winds from knocking it over when empty.
3a) After you have these measurements, or rough approximations, take one of the long side pieces and place it on the foam, lining up the edges. Draw a line across the top onto the uncut foam. Now you have the correct height for the side pieces.
3b) Using either you're measurements or your rough approximations, mark them with the marker onto the uncut foam. Remember to center the bottom measurement in relations to the top measurement.
Place the foam pieces onto the Reflectix, and trace the shapes and cut them out, one by one. If you need to use two smaller pieces of Reflectix to cover a foam piece, that is fine. You can see in the one picture where my two long sides have a seam because I was trying to minimize material waste.
6a) Use your knife to cut out the openings in the bin. The plastic may crack a bit. Using a hairdryer on the plastic for a few minutes first helps soften it and make it easier to cut. I find the Sterlite bins to be easier to cut than some of the harder plastic. If you end up cracking the door some, its ok.
Your cat shelter is now almost ready! The final thing is to get some straw (not hay) and lightly fill the interior with the straw. This provides a warm bedding that repels water. Hay and blankets do not repel water, and if a wet cat comes inside, they will absorb the water. Imagine being in the cold wrapped in a wet blanket vs a dry blanket. Not fun!
9) Fill the shelter with straw, pushing the straw up on the sides somewhat, making a nest. Keep the doorways clear as you can. Once the cat comes in, they'll rearrange the straw as they like.
10) Place the shelter where you'd like. Try to take into account the direction the wind blows most of the time and keep the doorways facing away from the wind as much as possible. Put the bricks or stones on top to help weigh down the shelter and keep the lid in place.
And you're done! You've just made a cozy little place for a feral/homeless kitty to hide and warm up when the temperatures are low. Thank you for helping out a feral kitty or two. Don't forget to Spay and Neuter!
Here is a picture of two of the shelters at my Mama's house currently still in use.