Shelter from the storm–every cat deserves one.
Community Cats of Owosso is offering a do-it-yourself workshop to make winter shelters for outdoor cats. Participants will take at least one shelter home with them, or may just come to make shelters for others. The workshop will take place Sunday, Dec. 10 from 2 to 4p.m. on the lower level of Owosso City Hall. This event and materials are free and open to the public. Space is limited, so please RSVP by calling (989) 723-0064.
There are many types of shelters, but here are some general tips:
Larger shelters are not necessarily better, since heat disperses quickly, leaving the inside as cold as the outside. Something the size of a 30-gallon storage bin will hold two cats.
Make the door as high as possible and no bigger than six to eight inches wide to keep out other animals. Placing the opening close to a building will allow a cat to access it, but keep larger animals out.
A small “awning” or flap over the door will help keep snow, rain, and wind out. Soft plastic plant pots can be cut down to create this awning.
Insulate the shelter with straw (not hay!) to repel moisture and keep cats warm and dry. Blankets and hay may seem like a good idea, but since they are also extremely absorbent, they make bad bedding.
Raise shelters off the cold ground to conserve warmth. Wooden pallets stuffed with insulation work well for elevating shelters and keeping out drafts.
Tip shelters slightly and drill a hole or two in the bottom to drain away moisture.