One of our volunteers designed this amazing shelter which fits together without fasteners. Outfitted with insulation and our custom-made cat beds, it will keep feral cats warm and protected throughout winter.
Cost is $60 and includes everything noted below (except the webcam!) Please contact us to order one (sorry, we can’t ship the shelters but we can deliver them locally).
The finished product
The roof is 3/4″ plywood covered in shingles. There is a 1″ layer of insulation tacked to the bottom (either polyiso or styrofoam), effectively creating a solid box of insulation to surround the cats. We’re painting them “low-profile grey” but encourage custom paint jobs.
Our friend designed the shelter using 3d software, then cut the lumber using a CNC router. We used OSB from the salvage shop Build-It-Green in Gowanus, Brooklyn. They liked the shelter concept so much they gave us a grant for materials! http://www.bignyc.org/
The parts slide into place (some easier than others). It was designed so it doesn’t need any additional fasteners to keep it together (although we have been using some caulk to seal it up).
The corner ‘tabs’
When the walls are aligned, there are ‘tabs’ that are tapped into place, ensuring a snug fit.
Consturction adhesive on the bottom
We added some heavy duty adhesive caulk along the edges of the base.
Cats enter one of two doorways (near the top), then pass through the wind break in the middle to reach the entry to the upper chamber.
Inside the chamber
We lined the inner chamber with styrofoam (I know there are other rigid insulation types with higher r-value but it was all free!) These have been covered in contact paper, and a limited number of the shelters have Reflectix on the floor to add a little more insulating power.
The custom cat-bed
Bushwick Street Cats has been making these special cat beds for a while to go in winter shelters. They are made from fleece and Hollofil, a synthetic sleeping bag batting. They don’t lose their insulating power if they get wet and dry quickly if they do.
Another genius innovation by our designer, these small feet lift the entire structure off the ground. This keeps the wood from freezing to the ground and allows water and debris to pass under. It also hold the bottom edges of the shelter together
We put a thermometer probe and an ip cam to monitor things. The cats took to it immediately as you can see. When one cat is inside the average temp in in the mid-50s. Two cats bumps it up to mid-60s!