Baby, It’s Cold Outside if You’re a Feral

Save a cat’s life today. If you have feral cats or tend a colony, and you live within the wide swath of the midwest that’s getting hit by the Polar Express, provide them with a shelter. It need not be fancy, can be created in less than an hour, and might not even require a trip to the hardware store.

It can be challenging to get ferals to use a shelter. My hubby spent nearly six months getting a feral cat of ours to come into the garage and sleep in a heated cat cup. But with temps rendering a landscape similar to that featured in The Day After Tomorrow, ferals are going to seek any refuge pawsible. And you can help.

Here are some examples of how to build a shelter for feral cats to keep them safe during freezing weather:

We previously published a DIY Rubbermaid option that’s affordable and quick to pull together:

E-rubbermaid Subsidizes DIY Feral Cat Shelters

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Category: Featured, News

About the Author ()

Mousebreath Magazine is an award-winning online magazine that celebrates cats and the cat-centric lifestyle. Editor Karen Nichols is a popular conference speaker and writer, whose current project is The Cat Scout Handbook. She is also the denmaster at

Comments (6)

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  1. Mom Nora says:

    PSA – check with your local hospital to see if they receive blood products in coolers. We just found out recently that our hospital gets four or five big Styrofoam coolers once a month. They are about 2‘ x 3‘ with a separate lid. We asked for permission to take them as they were out for trash, and they were thrilled to have them go somewhere to be used. We donated them to a local group that takes care of lots of feral colonies. We also use a smaller one in our barn for our barn cats.

    • Mousebreath Magazine says:

      Excellent idea! We have several large styrofoam containers in the garage — left over from being shipped various food items — and I was trying to think of where stuff like that ends up (and am loathe to send it to landfill.)

  2. The ‘O’ Cats have a custom-built wooden house, that’s insulated and full of straw. On the bottom floor is a warming pad. We also added wind blocks at both entrances. I know they are keeping warm; I just know that they are bored with being cooped up so much! Bet it’s hard to go out to take a pee, tho…

  3. Ellen Pilch says:

    I have been praying for all strays and ferals. There are none right near me- I grab every stray I find.

    • Mousebreath Magazine says:

      When disasters like this polar freeze and the wildfires happen, my first thoughts immediately go to the ferals and other affected animals. We don’t currently have any neighborhood ferals (unless you count Tripper who was one long ago) — too many coyotes, but if we did, we’d do whatever we could to keep them safe. Heck, I even saved a skunk suffering from hypothermia by bundling her up and putting her in a carrier with a heated cat cup, so you know I’ll do whatever it takes to help our furry friends.

  4. messymimi says:

    This year it’s not so bad here, but last year, when even we had snow, the ferals were a huge concern. Thanks to our TNR programs, though, there are fewer of them every year.


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