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Where to put feral cat shelter?

October 11th, 2006, 08:35 AM
OK, so I built this great shelter for my feral cat, Ted. It is really thick styrofoam, lined with mylar and stuffed with straw. Normally I feed him right outside the back door, so I now put his food in there and he's getting used to eating in it. However, I want to put the shelter under the back porch where it will be more protected from the wind and snow. My only concern is that I don't want any snow blowing in it so I'd have to put it with the opening facing the house in which case I'd have to move the shelter every time I want to feed him. I don't want to freak him out by moving it so I can get the dish in and out of the box. As it is now, he comes to the door to be fed every night. Should I just feed him outside the door and leave the shelter alone under the porch, or should I try to figure out a way to feed him inside the shelter? He won't come into the house. He really seems to prefer to sleep under the porch and I'm worried he wouldn't use the shelter if I put it anywhere else. Any ideas? I am new to all of this feral cat stuff.

October 11th, 2006, 09:20 AM
maybe if you could post pics of the setup - shelter, porch, etc.. it'd give us some ideas for you.

btw.. great job helping out this kitty!!

October 11th, 2006, 09:45 AM
I'd put the cat box under the porch, as planned, well back for maximum protection. Raise it off the cold ground on a board or a wooden pallet. If you prop some kind of barrier - such as several overlapping boards -against the porch, in front of the cat box - to provide extra protection against wind and blowing snow - you can use the space between them for feeding. Provide something for the cat to crouch on, I always hate to think of them freezing their little toes while trying to grab a bite.
Don't know if you can visualize this, my tongue is in my pocket this morning, coated in lint.
I wouldn't put food into the box itself. Especially if you serve water (essential) it wouldn't be practical. Also might get buggy.
Count on a few extra visitors...
Sorry to ramble on, this is a small passion of mine: where can I put a cat box where it will be useful and last as long as possible before possibly being destroyed by people who believe in 'natural selection'. Every year I try to outdo myself. This year's edition has TWO chambers and a window. Ahem.
Can I ask you where you purchased straw in Montreal?

October 12th, 2006, 08:31 AM
Thanks for the input! I can't post pictures of the porch because I've loaned my camera to someone for a few weeks (they went on a trip). Hopefully when they get back I can post some pics.

Badger, I got the straw at a farmer's market near Hudson, it's called Daoust market, exit 26 off the 40. It cost me $4.50 for the whole bale of it. They are seasonal though, and only open until the end of October. Where do you live exactly? It's a good idea for me not to feed him in the shelter because I'm not sure how I'd crawl under the porch to get his food into the box. I'm 6 months pregnant and due in February so my ability to fit into small places is decreasing. ;) I think I'll put the shelter under the porch right next to the house so he can maybe get a bit of warmth from the wall. Our furnace is near there so it should be a bit warm I would think. Poor guy, I'd bring him in but I don't think he'd come and I can't risk getting bit. He's been eating twice a day though and has gained quite a lot of weight. This isn't his first winter outside either so I think he'll be fine.

October 12th, 2006, 04:34 PM
My parents house has two different cat condos. One is on the porch, its a three door rowhouse... With a 'storm door' panel with smaller doors cut out of it for the winter. The other one is an old butter box that is under the side porch protected from the elements.

Here's the three door row house... I built and painted it myself!