Friday, March 4, 2016

A Cheap House for Feral Cats

I got this idea for a cheap and easy house for stray cats from a small picture on the web of an animal welfare group in Turkey. There were no instructions included but it looked super simple so I tried it out.
Couldn't find which group was doing this but it's a great idea!
I bought two plastic wash basins from the Q3 store for Q6 each. I wanted to get bigger ones but I found that the larger sizes were not level on the top edge. They have raised plastic bumps for your hands to hold the basin. To be able to attach the two basins together, I needed flat edges. The size I got is good for one adult cat. I chose light-colored basins because the weather here is hot, whereas if you're making a shelter for feral cats in a colder zone, a dark-colored basin would gather more heat.
The hardest part -- cutting a door out of the top basin.
It was hard to cut the plastic! The basin was very sturdy and the lip on the edge was quite thick. We used a combination of a serrated kitchen knife, a small retractable box cutter, and scissors. Please be very, very careful if you attempt this!
The two basins on top of each other.
Our door opening is a bit crooked but our cutting tools were pretty inadequate. Next time I make one, I'm going to find a better knife or something to cut cleaner and more evenly.

I put the two basins together so I could line up the holes through the edges. I heated up the end of a screwdriver on the gas stove and slowly pushed it through the lip of the basin so it melted right through and made the holes. Very effective... but be careful with the hot screwdriver. Don't put it down on any wooden counters. I speak from experience!
Used four cable ties to attach the basins together.
I had brought a bunch of cable ties with me from Canada so I used them to attach the basins together. Worked brilliantly! I clipped off the excess plastic ends. This also makes it easy to cut the ties and open the cat house if necessary.
House of Cats!
Once it was all done, we put an old shirt in the bottom and placed it out in the yard for The Kittens to check out. We tossed in a bit of dry kibble to entice them. We tried a few different areas to see which appealed to them the most. The final location is under the edge of our pila right next to the grass.

After a few days of them checking it out, Sombra claimed it as her own! She goes in there to relax and sleep, and fights off her brother when he tries to get in! So I'm thinking I need to make another cat house for him. :D
We jokingly started calling the male kitten, Dos Equis, and it's kinda stuck!
Here he is being The Most Interesting Cat in the World.
(If you don't get the reference, click here to see the commercials.)
Lovely Sombra. This is on the grass right next to the cat house.
BONUS PHOTO! Bert at the spay/neuter clinic held by Ayuda Para la Salud de los Perros y Gatos. He sat down and puppies crawled into his lap. We wanted to take them all home!
Bert the Dog Whisperer.

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