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How to make a

Feral Cat Shelter: What's Inside?

Cheap, Easy to Make, and Easy to Handle
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Cat Food for the Kitties

  Winter is the only season to "fill" the shelter with straw.  Make it about 1/4-1/2 way up the container, then check again in a week--add a little more.  Push the straw down a little near the entrance and the cat will find his/her way inside.  Leave the straw "fluffy"--the cat will take care of that and fashion a swirl pattern bed.
  Why not leave the straw in all year long? The bare plastic is cooler in the warm/hot months and fleas like to play in the straw.  Probably the only time the cats will be inside will be when it's raining.
  Stores like Tractor Supply and Royal King sell chopped straw in a compressed bale that is shrink wrapped in plastic.  It is small enough to fit in your trunk or even in the back seat!  Some places offer straw in a smaller bag, but you always need a little extra to replace the straw when it gets wet or the cat gets sick.  Also, local farmers may have some regular bales of straw for sale.
Do NOT use hay (animal fodder) for bedding instead of straw.  Also, do not use old towels/rugs for bedding unless it is temporary until you can get some straw.
  You can put the entire bale in a large garbage bag (the construction type), then slit the straps/plastic. It will expand quite a bit. Just fold the bag and use the straw as needed.
  Yes,

fleas/ticks

are a fact of life for house cats/dogs as well as ferals.  Flea collars aren't practical on feral cats and they don't like to be sprayed with flea spray!
Fleas???????.... in the new shelter!
  I sprinkle some (a heaping tablespoon) food grade diatomaceous earth  powder (not the pest control stuff used in the garden and not the pool grade stuff used in pool filters) on the bottom of the shelter before I put in the straw.  The diatomaceous earth will get mixed as the cats make their bed.  It works on the insect mechanically rather than chemically.

  I tried adding it to the straw and mixing it up with mixed results.  Some cats didn't care, but some got a little in their eyes and it irritated them for awhile.  Now, I just leave it on the bottom--the fleas will find it, and it will find them--eventually. 
It is more effective if applied directly to the fur, avoiding the face.  Your house cat might permit this but a feral "probably" won't!
(If it gets wet, it loses it effectiveness--just dry out and add more.)

  It's okay if the cats eat the powder, and some caretakers even add some to their food twice a year for about a week to help worm them.  Talk to your vet about using food grade diatomaceous earth.

 
It is beyond the scope of this article, but if you have an interest, look up the many uses for food grade diatomaceous earth powder for pets!
For more information on using diatomaceous earth
Where to place the shelter?
  Depending on the environment, you may want to place a brick or two, or a equal size flat stone on top of the shelter to help keep it from moving in occasional wind gusts.  Also, it helps reinforce the latching lock handles on the container in case the critters get to playing and become curious (like a raccoon).
Do not use large concrete blocks or heavy stones that might cave in the roof (top).  This container is strong, but can weaken over time.
Optional
This stone looks a lot heavier than it is.  I weighed it--12 lbs! Weight is not a problem when placed inside on the floor!
  If you are concerned with stronger winds, you can place a nice larger flat stone inside on the container floor (bottom) center, and cover it with the straw (in the winter).  Leave the brick(s) on the roof even if you place a stone inside.  Of course, bungee cords always come in handy to wrap around the container or attaching it to a tree.
  Depending on your area and where you place the shelter, you may not need weight inside or the use of bungee cords!  I always place a brick on top regardless of where I place the shelter.
Good Luck and Thank You for Taking Care of the Kitties!
  In summary,try to

place the shelter in a protected area

, e.g., behind a large tree, bush, wall of the house, yard barn.  Find out what direction the wind blows most often at your location and place it facing away from the wind if possible.
Two on a porch...close for "friendly" kitties! Note two concrete blocks (standing up) behind each shelter in this rather open area to help block direct wind.
It's Powder--a very affectionate feral. She was born here before her mother had the "operation." The brick in the photo is going to another shelter, but I didn't want to disturb her. This shelter location required a larger flat stone.
FERAL CAT SHELTER
www.EducationDx.com
>>PHOTOS and ILLUSTRATIONS on this site<<
Research it and form your own opinion!
  If you are going to use a stone, make sure it is a "flat shape" type that will distribute the weight over a broad area.
Preferably, behind a larger stable object, that will help block the wind, e.g., house, tree, shed, wall, barn, large bushes. Despite being made of plastic, I have never had one blow over or lose its lid. 
Note:  For those living in more urban areas, adaptations/modifications can be made.  Be creative and stay within the law/regulations in your area.  Always be a good neighbor; unfortunately not everyone is compassionate and/or likes cats!
Concrete blocks can be purchased at Home Depot and other building supply stores.
>>PHOTOS and ILLUSTRATIONS on this site<<
FERAL CAT SHELTER
How to make a
This is a FREE information site!
www.EducationDx.com
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Feral Cat Shelter: What's Inside?
Cheap, Easy to Make, and Easy to Handle
Note: You can right click on some items to view an enlarged version
Enjoy!
  Winter is the only season to "fill" the shelter with straw.  Make it about 1/4-1/2 way up the container, then check again in a week--add a little more.  Push the straw down a little near the entrance and the cat will find his/her way inside.  Leave the straw "fluffy"--the cat will take care of that and fashion a swirl pattern bed.
  Why not leave the straw in all year long? The bare plastic is cooler in the warm/hot months and fleas like to play in the straw.  Probably the only time the cats will be inside will be when it's raining.
Speaking of food, DO NOT PLACE food or water in or near the shelter. You do not want to attract other critters to the shelter--especially when the cat is sleeping!
  Stores like Tractor Supply and Royal King sell chopped straw in a compressed bale that is shrink wrapped in plastic.  It is small enough to fit in your trunk or even in the back seat!  Some places offer straw in a smaller bag, but you always need a little extra to replace the straw when it gets wet or the cat gets sick.  Also, local farmers may have some regular bales of straw for sale.
  You can put the entire bale in a large garbage bag (the construction type), then slit the straps/plastic. It will expand quite a bit. Just fold the bag and use the straw as needed.
Speaking of food, DO NOT PLACE food or water in or near the shelter. You do not want to attract other critters to the shelter--especially when the cat is sleeping!
Do NOT use hay (animal fodder) for bedding instead of straw.  Also, do not use old towels/rugs for bedding unless it is temporary until you can get some straw.
It must say "FOOD GRADE"
Product that works through a
mechanical reaction, rather than chemical
Powder in different size bags
Optional
Fleas???????.... in the new shelter!
  Yes,

fleas/ticks

are a fact of life for house cats/dogs as well as ferals.  Flea collars aren't practical on feral cats and they don't like to be sprayed with flea spray!
  I sprinkle some (a heaping tablespoon) food grade diatomaceous earth  powder (not the pest control stuff used in the garden and not the pool grade stuff used in pool filters) on the bottom of the shelter before I put in the straw.  The diatomaceous earth will get mixed as the cats make their bed.  It works on the insect mechanically rather than chemically.
Powder in different size bags
Product that works through a
mechanical reaction, rather than chemical
It must say "FOOD GRADE"
Research it and form your own opinion!
For more information on using diatomaceous earth
  I tried adding it to the straw and mixing it up with mixed results.  Some cats didn't care, but some got a little in their eyes and it irritated them for awhile.  Now, I just leave it on the bottom--the fleas will find it, and it will find them--eventually.   It is more effective if applied directly to the fur, avoiding the face.  Your house cat might permit this but a feral "probably" won't.  (If it gets wet, it loses it effectiveness--just dry out and add more.)

  It's okay if the cats eat the powder, and some caretakers even add some to their food twice a year for about a week to help worm them.  Talk to your vet about using food grade diatomaceous earth.

It is beyond the scope of this article, but if you have an interest, look up the many uses for food grade diatomaceous earth powder for pets!
Do not use large concrete blocks or heavy stones that might cave in the roof (top).  This container is strong, but can weaken over time.
Where to place the shelter?
Preferably, behind a larger stable object, that will help block the wind, e.g., house, tree, shed, wall, barn, large bushes. Despite being made of plastic, I have never had one blow over or lose its lid. 
  Depending on the environment, you may want to place a brick or two, or a equal size flat stone on top of the shelter to help keep it from moving in occasional wind gusts.  Also, it helps reinforce the latching lock handles on the container in case the critters get to playing and become curious (like a raccoon).
  If you are going to use a stone, make sure it is a "flat shape" type that will distribute the weight over a broad area.
This stone looks a lot heavier than it is.  I weighed it--12 lbs! Weight is not a problem when placed inside on the floor!
  If you are concerned with stronger winds, you can place a nice larger flat stone inside on the container floor (bottom) center, and cover it with the straw (in the winter).  Leave the brick(s) on the roof even if you place a stone inside.  Of course, bungee cords always come in handy to wrap around the container or attaching it to a tree.
  Depending on your area and where you place the shelter, you may not need weight inside or the use of bungee cords!  I always place a brick on top regardless of where I place the shelter.
  In summary,try to

place the shelter in a protected area

, e.g., behind a large tree, bush, wall of the house, yard barn.  Find out what direction the wind blows most often at your location and place it facing away from the wind if possible.
Note:  For those living in more urban areas, adaptations/modifications can be made.  Be creative and stay within the law/regulations in your area.  Always be a good neighbor; unfortunately not everyone is compassionate and/or likes cats!
Two on a porch...close for "friendly" kitties! Note two concrete blocks (standing up) behind each shelter in this rather open area to help block direct wind.
Concrete blocks can be purchased at Home Depot and other building supply stores.
It's Powder--a very affectionate feral. She was born here before her mother had the "operation." The brick in the photo is going to another shelter, but I didn't want to disturb her. This shelter location required a larger flat stone.
Good Luck and Thank You for Taking Care of the Kitties!

Cat Food for the Kitties

Next>>>
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer
EducationDx
    ©2018