Shelter from the storm – every cat deserves one, said Lori Bailey of Owosso.
In celebration of National Feral Cat Day (Oct. 16), Community Cats of Owosso is offering a Do-It-Yourself Workshop to make winter shelters for outdoor cats. Participants will take a shelter home with them.
The workshop will be 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18 on the lower level of Owosso City Hall. It is free and open to the public. “Please RSVP by calling (989) 723-4465 or (989) 723-0064.
There are many types of shelters, but here are some general tips, said Bailey: *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. *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.