Community Cat Shelters
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HSBC Community Cat Shelters

Winter conditions can lead to frost bite and death for community cats who don’t have proper shelter. HSBC holds workshops which provide the materials and allow the public the opportunity to come out and learn how to assemble these shelters. Excess shelters are available at HSBC for community members that need them for their community cats. These shelters provide a warmer environment for community cats and allow some relief from cold and damp conditions. 

After trying a few different styles, HSBC determined that we could utilize donated foam coolers from hospitals and pet stores. Coolers are collected year-round so we can build enough during the winter months for our community.  At the workshops volunteers cut the entrance holes, and line the coolers with mylar which reflects the cats body heat within the coolers making it substantially warmer. They then tape that into place with reflective foil tape (both available at Home Depot and Menards). Finally, we fill them with straw because it is one of the best forms of bedding due to its ability to insulate and shed moisture. Items like blankets hold moisture and freeze which can be deadly to these community cats. Since straw sheds moisture it is the safest material to provide warmth.

 If the shelter is completely exposed to the elements it is recommended to add a 6-inch piece of pvc pipe to act as an entranceway. You can either tape or silicone the pipe into the opening to keep the snow and rain out. The pipe is just used for the coldest months and extreme weather; it should be removed during warmer months. A simple plastic tote with an entrance and exit hole will suffice to switch out during summer to provide shelter if desired.

 Although we try to have these available for the community all winter long, they do go very quickly. If you are interested in creating your own shelter, please click the button below. You will find printable instructions for a simple cat shelter. 


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