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need feedback on feral shelters

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  • stacy_zacher
    Hi - does anyone have any experience with building a feral shelter/ I bought one from www.thekittytube.com for my 3 ferals I feed. I feed them on someone
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 27, 2012
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      Hi - does anyone have any experience with building a feral shelter/ I bought one from www.thekittytube.com for my 3 ferals I feed. I feed them on someone else's wooded lot so I don't have the liberty to heat it or put it wherever I want to locate it. I was wondering if you had any feedback on this shelter or the type you make yourself out of rubbermaid, boxes, styrofoam containers etc. I'll need to make another one because I don't think all 3 cats will fit in the one shelter and the two girls don't really hang around with the male cat. I'm crossing my fingers the skunks stay out of it, we have quite a few skunks in the area. The kitty tube comes lined with hay.

      Thanks
      Stacy
    • Nikki Hronis
      Hi Stacy-I m in Oshkosh, WI, and manage a colony of about 10 in the city limits. Since you cannot heat your shelters, insulation is key-I ve had friends who
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 27, 2012
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        Hi Stacy-I'm in Oshkosh, WI, and manage a colony of about 10 in the city limits. Since you cannot heat your shelters, insulation is key-I've had friends who insulate rubber made containers with styrofoam, and have a thicker piece on the flooring, then line with hay or old blankets. it's key for them to have a smaller "escape" hole in the back, or they won't use them. I found some "igloo" type dog houses (smallest ones) marked down at Petco awhile back, and with padding and blankets seem to suit my outside crew-I also had to cut a small hole in the back of those. They also seem to favor those "covered" if they are in a more open area, like with a tarp wighed down with rocks or logs.
        I hope this helps. Good luck with your efforts!
        Nikki Hronis
        Oshkosh, WI

         


        --- On Thu, 12/27/12, stacy_zacher <stacy_zacher@...> wrote:

        From: stacy_zacher <stacy_zacher@...>
        Subject: [WisCats] need feedback on feral shelters
        To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 1:17 PM

         
        Hi - does anyone have any experience with building a feral shelter/ I bought one from www.thekittytube.com for my 3 ferals I feed. I feed them on someone else's wooded lot so I don't have the liberty to heat it or put it wherever I want to locate it. I was wondering if you had any feedback on this shelter or the type you make yourself out of rubbermaid, boxes, styrofoam containers etc. I'll need to make another one because I don't think all 3 cats will fit in the one shelter and the two girls don't really hang around with the male cat. I'm crossing my fingers the skunks stay out of it, we have quite a few skunks in the area. The kitty tube comes lined with hay.

        Thanks
        Stacy

      • Pam Norman
        Nikki, blankets are not a good idea as they tend toget wet & then freeze or stay wet.
        Message 3 of 16 , Dec 27, 2012
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          Nikki,  blankets are not a good idea as they tend to get wet & then freeze or stay wet.  


          On 12/27/2012 2:30 PM, Nikki Hronis wrote:
           
          Hi Stacy-I'm in Oshkosh, WI, and manage a colony of about 10 in the city limits. Since you cannot heat your shelters, insulation is key-I've had friends who insulate rubber made containers with styrofoam, and have a thicker piece on the flooring, then line with hay or old blankets. it's key for them to have a smaller "escape" hole in the back, or they won't use them. I found some "igloo" type dog houses (smallest ones) marked down at Petco awhile back, and with padding and blankets seem to suit my outside crew-I also had to cut a small hole in the back of those. They also seem to favor those "covered" if they are in a more open area, like with a tarp wighed down with rocks or logs.
          I hope this helps. Good luck with your efforts!
          Nikki Hronis
          Oshkosh, WI

           


          --- On Thu, 12/27/12, stacy_zacher <stacy_zacher@...> wrote:

          From: stacy_zacher <stacy_zacher@...>
          Subject: [WisCats] need feedback on feral shelters
          To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 1:17 PM

           
          Hi - does anyone have any experience with building a feral shelter/ I bought one from www.thekittytube.com for my 3 ferals I feed. I feed them on someone else's wooded lot so I don't have the liberty to heat it or put it wherever I want to locate it. I was wondering if you had any feedback on this shelter or the type you make yourself out of rubbermaid, boxes, styrofoam containers etc. I'll need to make another one because I don't think all 3 cats will fit in the one shelter and the two girls don't really hang around with the male cat. I'm crossing my fingers the skunks stay out of it, we have quite a few skunks in the area. The kitty tube comes lined with hay.

          Thanks
          Stacy


        • Nikki Hronis
          Hi Pam-my shelters are all in a protected area, so this hasn t been a problem for me. Thanks, tho! Nikki   ... From: Pam Norman
          Message 4 of 16 , Dec 27, 2012
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            Hi Pam-my shelters are all in a protected area, so this hasn't been a problem for me. Thanks, tho!
            Nikki

             


            --- On Thu, 12/27/12, Pam Norman <pam_norman@...> wrote:

            From: Pam Norman <pam_norman@...>
            Subject: Re: [WisCats] need feedback on feral shelters
            To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 2:50 PM

             
            Nikki,  blankets are not a good idea as they tend to get wet & then freeze or stay wet.  


            On 12/27/2012 2:30 PM, Nikki Hronis wrote:
             
            Hi Stacy-I'm in Oshkosh, WI, and manage a colony of about 10 in the city limits. Since you cannot heat your shelters, insulation is key-I've had friends who insulate rubber made containers with styrofoam, and have a thicker piece on the flooring, then line with hay or old blankets. it's key for them to have a smaller "escape" hole in the back, or they won't use them. I found some "igloo" type dog houses (smallest ones) marked down at Petco awhile back, and with padding and blankets seem to suit my outside crew-I also had to cut a small hole in the back of those. They also seem to favor those "covered" if they are in a more open area, like with a tarp wighed down with rocks or logs.
            I hope this helps. Good luck with your efforts!
            Nikki Hronis
            Oshkosh, WI

             


            --- On Thu, 12/27/12, stacy_zacher <stacy_zacher@...> wrote:

            From: stacy_zacher <stacy_zacher@...>
            Subject: [WisCats] need feedback on feral shelters
            To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, December 27, 2012, 1:17 PM

             
            Hi - does anyone have any experience with building a feral shelter/ I bought one from www.thekittytube.com for my 3 ferals I feed. I feed them on someone else's wooded lot so I don't have the liberty to heat it or put it wherever I want to locate it. I was wondering if you had any feedback on this shelter or the type you make yourself out of rubbermaid, boxes, styrofoam containers etc. I'll need to make another one because I don't think all 3 cats will fit in the one shelter and the two girls don't really hang around with the male cat. I'm crossing my fingers the skunks stay out of it, we have quite a few skunks in the area. The kitty tube comes lined with hay.

            Thanks
            Stacy


          • Julie K.
            1) do not use blankets. Use straw (not hay). Use A LOT of straw. Fill it up, they ll mush it down and lay on it. 2)I made rubbermaid ones. In theory you want
            Message 5 of 16 , Dec 28, 2012
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              1) do not use blankets. Use straw (not hay). Use A LOT of straw. Fill it up, they'll mush it down and lay on it.

              2)I made rubbermaid ones. In theory you want an escape hatch but I find it looses too much heat to have 2 doors. Most online instructions call for just 1 door and my guys used them just fine with 1. Get sheets of insulation, cut walls, floor and ceiling to size to line the rubbermaid. Use a hairdryer to soften the plastic of the tub before cutting! it helps! Then line with straw. You can spraypaint it too if it needs camo.

              3) If you use a dog house, make sure to do 2 things. Drop the ceiling and make the door smaller. Do this with sheets of insulation. Basically build a hut within the dog house. They are too big for cats really. The cats heat cant heat up the house, so you want to make the ceiling lower with a sheet of insulation, and block the door with another sheet of insulation, then cut out a cat sized door. This will hold a lot more heat in! Line the walls too if you can, as many are not insulated to start with.

              --- In WisCats@yahoogroups.com, "stacy_zacher" <stacy_zacher@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi - does anyone have any experience with building a feral shelter/ I bought one from www.thekittytube.com for my 3 ferals I feed. I feed them on someone else's wooded lot so I don't have the liberty to heat it or put it wherever I want to locate it. I was wondering if you had any feedback on this shelter or the type you make yourself out of rubbermaid, boxes, styrofoam containers etc. I'll need to make another one because I don't think all 3 cats will fit in the one shelter and the two girls don't really hang around with the male cat. I'm crossing my fingers the skunks stay out of it, we have quite a few skunks in the area. The kitty tube comes lined with hay.
              >
              > Thanks
              > Stacy
              >
            • stacy_zacher
              Thanks everyone for your feedback! THe kitty tube comes with straw inside of it. I also bought extra straw as I m going to make a rubbermaid storage type
              Message 6 of 16 , Dec 28, 2012
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                Thanks everyone for your feedback! THe kitty tube comes with straw inside of it. I also bought extra straw as I'm going to make a rubbermaid storage type shelter as well.


                --- In WisCats@yahoogroups.com, "Julie K." <kisluvkis@...> wrote:
                >
                > 1) do not use blankets. Use straw (not hay). Use A LOT of straw. Fill it up, they'll mush it down and lay on it.
                >
                > 2)I made rubbermaid ones. In theory you want an escape hatch but I find it looses too much heat to have 2 doors. Most online instructions call for just 1 door and my guys used them just fine with 1. Get sheets of insulation, cut walls, floor and ceiling to size to line the rubbermaid. Use a hairdryer to soften the plastic of the tub before cutting! it helps! Then line with straw. You can spraypaint it too if it needs camo.
                >
                > 3) If you use a dog house, make sure to do 2 things. Drop the ceiling and make the door smaller. Do this with sheets of insulation. Basically build a hut within the dog house. They are too big for cats really. The cats heat cant heat up the house, so you want to make the ceiling lower with a sheet of insulation, and block the door with another sheet of insulation, then cut out a cat sized door. This will hold a lot more heat in! Line the walls too if you can, as many are not insulated to start with.
                >
                > --- In WisCats@yahoogroups.com, "stacy_zacher" <stacy_zacher@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Hi - does anyone have any experience with building a feral shelter/ I bought one from www.thekittytube.com for my 3 ferals I feed. I feed them on someone else's wooded lot so I don't have the liberty to heat it or put it wherever I want to locate it. I was wondering if you had any feedback on this shelter or the type you make yourself out of rubbermaid, boxes, styrofoam containers etc. I'll need to make another one because I don't think all 3 cats will fit in the one shelter and the two girls don't really hang around with the male cat. I'm crossing my fingers the skunks stay out of it, we have quite a few skunks in the area. The kitty tube comes lined with hay.
                > >
                > > Thanks
                > > Stacy
                > >
                >
              • Stacy Zacher
                Well I made a shelter out of a styrofoam cooler and a rubbermaid storage container and straw. They won t go near it.  The kitty tube shelter hasn t arrived
                Message 7 of 16 , Dec 31, 2012
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                  Well I made a shelter out of a styrofoam cooler and a rubbermaid storage container and straw. They won't go near it.  The kitty tube shelter hasn't arrived yet but I'm not sure how to get them to at least investigate it.  I can try some catnip.  The longer they aren't using it, the more likely another animal is likely to take up residence in it. 

                  Thanks
                  Stacy
                • Laycock Designs
                  Give it some more time. They will find it! Michelle Laycock Product Designer Our Daily Bread Designs, North Coast Creations and Partner Companies My Blog:
                  Message 8 of 16 , Dec 31, 2012
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                    Give it some more time. They will find it!

                     
                    Michelle Laycock
                    Product Designer
                    Our Daily Bread Designs, North Coast Creations and Partner Companies

                    My Blog: http://laycockdesigns.com
                     
                    =^..^=   =^..^=   =^..^=   =^..^=   =^..^=
                     "They're only crayons. You didn't fear them in kindergarten, why fear them now?" ~ Hugh MacLeod





                    From: Stacy Zacher <stacy_zacher@...>
                    To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Mon, December 31, 2012 2:25:59 PM
                    Subject: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters

                     

                    Well I made a shelter out of a styrofoam cooler and a rubbermaid storage container and straw. They won't go near it.  The kitty tube shelter hasn't arrived yet but I'm not sure how to get them to at least investigate it.  I can try some catnip.  The longer they aren't using it, the more likely another animal is likely to take up residence in it. 

                    Thanks
                    Stacy

                  • Heidi Blank
                    Stacy:  I would agree give it some more time and trust me, they will quickly find it.  It took some time for my newcomers to find their house once I moved it
                    Message 9 of 16 , Dec 31, 2012
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                      Stacy:  I would agree give it some more time and trust me, they will quickly find it.  It took some time for my newcomers to find their house once I moved it on my deck when it started getting colder. 
                       
                      Heidi

                      From: Stacy Zacher <stacy_zacher@...>
                      To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Monday, December 31, 2012 2:25 PM
                      Subject: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                       
                      Well I made a shelter out of a styrofoam cooler and a rubbermaid storage container and straw. They won't go near it.  The kitty tube shelter hasn't arrived yet but I'm not sure how to get them to at least investigate it.  I can try some catnip.  The longer they aren't using it, the more likely another animal is likely to take up residence in it. 
                      Thanks
                      Stacy
                    • Nikki Hronis
                      Hi Stacy-agreed-give them some time. Where are you placing your food in relation to the shelter? Catnip is a good idea, too. :) Nikki   ... From: Heidi Blank
                      Message 10 of 16 , Dec 31, 2012
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                        Hi Stacy-agreed-give them some time. Where are you placing your food in relation to the shelter?
                        Catnip is a good idea, too. :)
                        Nikki
                         


                        --- On Mon, 12/31/12, Heidi Blank <heidiblank@...> wrote:

                        From: Heidi Blank <heidiblank@...>
                        Subject: Re: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                        To: "WisCats@yahoogroups.com" <WisCats@yahoogroups.com>
                        Date: Monday, December 31, 2012, 3:35 PM

                         
                        Stacy:  I would agree give it some more time and trust me, they will quickly find it.  It took some time for my newcomers to find their house once I moved it on my deck when it started getting colder. 
                         
                        Heidi

                        From: Stacy Zacher <stacy_zacher@...>
                        To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Monday, December 31, 2012 2:25 PM
                        Subject: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                         
                        Well I made a shelter out of a styrofoam cooler and a rubbermaid storage container and straw. They won't go near it.  The kitty tube shelter hasn't arrived yet but I'm not sure how to get them to at least investigate it.  I can try some catnip.  The longer they aren't using it, the more likely another animal is likely to take up residence in it. 
                        Thanks
                        Stacy
                      • Debra Dhillon
                        This is the 2nd year I ve had my shelter up.  They won t stay in it.  They go in to eat the food and leave.  I don t understand why cause I even have a
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jan 1, 2013
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                          This is the 2nd year I've had my shelter up.  They won't stay in it.  They go in to eat the food and leave.  I don't understand why cause I even have a heated bed in there for them.


                          From: Nikki Hronis <nikkihronis@...>
                          To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Mon, December 31, 2012 5:53:58 PM
                          Subject: Re: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters

                           

                          Hi Stacy-agreed-give them some time. Where are you placing your food in relation to the shelter?
                          Catnip is a good idea, too. :)
                          Nikki
                           


                          --- On Mon, 12/31/12, Heidi Blank <heidiblank@...> wrote:

                          From: Heidi Blank <heidiblank@...>
                          Subject: Re: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                          To: "WisCats@yahoogroups.com" <WisCats@yahoogroups.com>
                          Date: Monday, December 31, 2012, 3:35 PM

                           
                          Stacy:  I would agree give it some more time and trust me, they will quickly find it.  It took some time for my newcomers to find their house once I moved it on my deck when it started getting colder. 
                           
                          Heidi

                          From: Stacy Zacher <stacy_zacher@...>
                          To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Monday, December 31, 2012 2:25 PM
                          Subject: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                           
                          Well I made a shelter out of a styrofoam cooler and a rubbermaid storage container and straw. They won't go near it.  The kitty tube shelter hasn't arrived yet but I'm not sure how to get them to at least investigate it.  I can try some catnip.  The longer they aren't using it, the more likely another animal is likely to take up residence in it. 
                          Thanks
                          Stacy

                        • Stacy Zacher
                          Hi I will give it time and hopefully they ll find the shelters.  I put one about 20   from where I feed them and the other one will be near where they stay
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jan 1, 2013
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                            Hi
                            I will give it time and hopefully they'll find the shelters.  I put one about 20'  from where I feed them and the other one will be near where they stay at night (they huddle in my neighbor's covered window well behind bushes).  I'll try to put some catnip inside the shelters too. They are some tough cats - out meowing at me today in the snow in 5 degree weather waiting for their food. It is amazing.

                            Thanks and Happy New Year to everyone!
                            Stacy
                          • Laycock Designs
                            Stacy, you are doing great work by caring and feeding those beautiful cats. Blessings to you! Keep us updated! Michelle Laycock Product Designer Our Daily
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jan 1, 2013
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                              Stacy, you are doing great work by caring and feeding those beautiful cats. Blessings to you!

                              Keep us updated!

                               
                              Michelle Laycock
                              Product Designer
                              Our Daily Bread designs, North Coast Creations and Partner Companies

                              My Blog: http://laycockdesigns.com
                               
                              =^..^=   =^..^=   =^..^=   =^..^=   =^..^=
                               "They're only crayons. You didn't fear them in kindergarten, why fear them now?" ~ Hugh MacLeod





                              From: Stacy Zacher <stacy_zacher@...>
                              To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Tue, January 1, 2013 3:51:05 PM
                              Subject: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters

                               

                              Hi
                              I will give it time and hopefully they'll find the shelters.  I put one about 20'  from where I feed them and the other one will be near where they stay at night (they huddle in my neighbor's covered window well behind bushes).  I'll try to put some catnip inside the shelters too. They are some tough cats - out meowing at me today in the snow in 5 degree weather waiting for their food. It is amazing.

                              Thanks and Happy New Year to everyone!
                              Stacy

                            • Nikki Hronis
                              My friend has the same poblem-we think it may be the scent of her dog in the yard area that makes them want to leave. Even tho the dog isn t ouththere, his
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jan 1, 2013
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                                My friend has the same poblem-we think it may be the scent of her dog in the yard area that makes them want to leave. Even tho the dog isn't ouththere, his scent remains.
                                Nikki
                                 


                                --- On Tue, 1/1/13, Debra Dhillon <debra.dhillon@...> wrote:

                                From: Debra Dhillon <debra.dhillon@...>
                                Subject: Re: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                                To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                                Date: Tuesday, January 1, 2013, 2:40 AM

                                 
                                This is the 2nd year I've had my shelter up.  They won't stay in it.  They go in to eat the food and leave.  I don't understand why cause I even have a heated bed in there for them.


                                From: Nikki Hronis <nikkihronis@...>
                                To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Mon, December 31, 2012 5:53:58 PM
                                Subject: Re: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters

                                 
                                Hi Stacy-agreed-give them some time. Where are you placing your food in relation to the shelter?
                                Catnip is a good idea, too. :)
                                Nikki
                                 


                                --- On Mon, 12/31/12, Heidi Blank <heidiblank@...> wrote:

                                From: Heidi Blank <heidiblank@...>
                                Subject: Re: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                                To: "WisCats@yahoogroups.com" <WisCats@yahoogroups.com>
                                Date: Monday, December 31, 2012, 3:35 PM

                                 
                                Stacy:  I would agree give it some more time and trust me, they will quickly find it.  It took some time for my newcomers to find their house once I moved it on my deck when it started getting colder. 
                                 
                                Heidi

                                From: Stacy Zacher <stacy_zacher@...>
                                To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Monday, December 31, 2012 2:25 PM
                                Subject: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                                 
                                Well I made a shelter out of a styrofoam cooler and a rubbermaid storage container and straw. They won't go near it.  The kitty tube shelter hasn't arrived yet but I'm not sure how to get them to at least investigate it.  I can try some catnip.  The longer they aren't using it, the more likely another animal is likely to take up residence in it. 
                                Thanks
                                Stacy
                              • mccrellgen@frontiernet.net
                                I don t remember if I responded on this thread. If I have and repeat myself..sorry!!! My mom passed away in June and I am moving my disabled sister to my home
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jan 7, 2013
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                                  I don't remember if I responded on this thread. If I have and repeat myself..sorry!!! My mom passed away in June and I am moving my disabled sister to my home in upstate NY and I feel as though my brain is glue.
                                   
                                  I had one of the tube shelters and our feral mama cat would not use it at all. I kept finding snails in there and spiders and nothing else. I am not sure why.  In snowy areas, some of these shelters sit too low or are too unstable or cold-feeling for cats.  Wood seems to be the preferred material here.  I built one -- not well, but it sufficed LOL -- based on the Alley Cat Allies design from years back, and have used a FeralVilla or whatever it's called (order out of Indiana) on the covered porch.  Mama cat loved the FeralVilla and did use the alley cat allies one depending on her mood.  I filled it with a small outdoor animal heated pad (which covers just a part of the floor so they can get off the heated part if they wish) and fleece. Fleece holds heat even when wet.  I put a piece of berber carpet in the entry to knock some of the snow off the feet before the cat entered the sleeping area.  The Alley Cat-design house I set up on cement blocks with sandbags around the perimeter to block the cold wind, and I placed a set of garage floor cushion under the house to further insulate it. 
                                   
                                  Sometimes scents which aren't apparent to us are unpleasant to cats.  Glues, or detergents, etc.  They may not like the placement -- exposed to the wrong wind direction, exposed to other animals, etc.  If there's too much traffic around they won't use it, either.  I avoid adding catnip because it attracts other cats, and if there's only one entry door the cat could feel trapped.  If there are raccoons around, they often will enter cat shelters and the cat would feel threatened.  Someone once suggested that raccoons wouldn't climb to get in and they set a cat shelter on a picnic table and that solved it.  I'm not convinced that would work all the time.
                                   
                                  I never feed the cats in the shelter I'd like them to sleep in.  My cats don't like to use litter or sleep or eat in the same places.  Food also attracts other animals, even the lingering scent of it.
                                   
                                  I built a three and a half sided box with a slanted lid, up on 1' legs, and used that for food.  when the food was taken in sometimes the cats would use that for shelter on warmer nights.

                                  From: Debra Dhillon <debra.dhillon@...>
                                  To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 3:40 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                                   
                                  This is the 2nd year I've had my shelter up.  They won't stay in it.  They go in to eat the food and leave.  I don't understand why cause I even have a heated bed in there for them.

                                  From: Nikki Hronis <nikkihronis@...>
                                  To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Mon, December 31, 2012 5:53:58 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                                   
                                  Hi Stacy-agreed-give them some time. Where are you placing your food in relation to the shelter? Catnip is a good idea, too. :)
                                  Nikki
                                   


                                  --- On Mon, 12/31/12, Heidi Blank <heidiblank@...> wrote:

                                  From: Heidi Blank <heidiblank@...>
                                  Subject: Re: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                                  To: "WisCats@yahoogroups.com" <WisCats@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Date: Monday, December 31, 2012, 3:35 PM

                                   
                                  Stacy:  I would agree give it some more time and trust me, they will quickly find it.  It took some time for my newcomers to find their house once I moved it on my deck when it started getting colder. 
                                   
                                  Heidi
                                  From: Stacy Zacher <stacy_zacher@...>
                                  To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Monday, December 31, 2012 2:25 PM
                                  Subject: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                                   
                                  Well I made a shelter out of a styrofoam cooler and a rubbermaid storage container and straw. They won't go near it.  The kitty tube shelter hasn't arrived yet but I'm not sure how to get them to at least investigate it.  I can try some catnip.  The longer they aren't using it, the more likely another animal is likely to take up residence in it. 
                                  Thanks
                                  Stacy
                                • stacy_zacher
                                  Sorry about your mom. My brain often feels like glue as well! Oh those snails! I find them in the storage container at night if I don t pick up the dishes in
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Jan 8, 2013
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                                    Sorry about your mom. My brain often feels like glue as well!
                                    Oh those snails! I find them in the storage container at night if I don't pick up the dishes in time and it is wet out. Blech!!!!

                                    I put out the kitty tube and am not sure if they are using it or not. I've seen them exit the home made shelter on two occasions when they were waiting for me to feed them so I'll give it some time. The area is very wooded and there are ravines and not many flat high spots to try so hopefully they'll use the kitty tube soon. I put it far away from the food on a route I know they use to get to the food through the woods.

                                    As far as racoons accessing it, it's too cold out right now and they haven't been around so hopefully it is a good season to put the shelter out and I've read that Skunks won't climb more than 18".

                                    I like the 3 sided box idea for a feeding station. That I need to put legs on 18" or higher because the skunks are always in the dishes when it is warmer out.

                                    Thanks everyone!


                                    --- In WisCats@yahoogroups.com, "mccrellgen@..." wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I don't remember if I responded on this thread. If I have and repeat myself..sorry!!! My mom passed away in June and I am moving my disabled sister to my home in upstate NY and I feel as though my brain is glue.
                                    >  
                                    > I had one of the tube shelters and our feral mama cat would not use it at all. I kept finding snails in there and spiders and nothing else. I am not sure why.  In snowy areas, some of these shelters sit too low or are too unstable or cold-feeling for cats.  Wood seems to be the preferred material here.  I built one -- not well, but it sufficed LOL -- based on the Alley Cat Allies design from years back, and have used a FeralVilla or whatever it's called (order out of Indiana) on the covered porch.  Mama cat loved the FeralVilla and did use the alley cat allies one depending on her mood.  I filled it with a small outdoor animal heated pad (which covers just a part of the floor so they can get off the heated part if they wish) and fleece. Fleece holds heat even when wet.  I put a piece of berber carpet in the entry to knock some of the snow off the feet before the cat entered the sleeping area.  The Alley Cat-design house I set up on cement blocks
                                    > with sandbags around the perimeter to block the cold wind, and I placed a set of garage floor cushion under the house to further insulate it. 
                                    >  
                                    > Sometimes scents which aren't apparent to us are unpleasant to cats.  Glues, or detergents, etc.  They may not like the placement -- exposed to the wrong wind direction, exposed to other animals, etc.  If there's too much traffic around they won't use it, either.  I avoid adding catnip because it attracts other cats, and if there's only one entry door the cat could feel trapped.  If there are raccoons around, they often will enter cat shelters and the cat would feel threatened.  Someone once suggested that raccoons wouldn't climb to get in and they set a cat shelter on a picnic table and that solved it.  I'm not convinced that would work all the time.
                                    >  
                                    > I never feed the cats in the shelter I'd like them to sleep in.  My cats don't like to use litter or sleep or eat in the same places.  Food also attracts other animals, even the lingering scent of it.
                                    >  
                                    > I built a three and a half sided box with a slanted lid, up on 1' legs, and used that for food.  when the food was taken in sometimes the cats would use that for shelter on warmer nights.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ________________________________
                                    > From: Debra Dhillon
                                    > To: WisCats@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Sent: Tuesday, January 1, 2013 3:40 AM
                                    > Subject: Re: [WisCats] Re: need feedback on feral shelters
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >  
                                    >
                                    > This is the 2nd year I've had my shelter up.  They won't stay in it.  They go in to eat the food and leave.  I don't understand why cause I even have a heated bed in there for them.
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > ______________________
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