Feral Winter Homes
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10 Awesome Winter Shelters for Feral Cats

When cold weather hits, feral cats suffer—and unfortunately there are just too many feral cats for all of them to find safe, warm forever homes. Spaying, neutering, and cat adoption are critical to solving the problem long term, but many cat lovers take the extra step of buying or building outdoor winter shelters for the feral cats in their neighborhood. Check out these winter shelters for feral cats, and get inspired to make a homeless cat’s life more comfortable and safe this winter.

Easy DIY shelter made from a flowerpot

1. Easy DIY shelter made from a flowerpot

The folks at Bushwick Street Cats help further their mission to serve the feral cat population by teaching people how to make winter shelters out of a plastic storage bin and a flowerpot. Check out the DIY instructions.

Insulated, straw-lined DIY feral cat shelter

2. Insulated, straw-lined DIY feral cat shelter

For very cold conditions, Neighborhood Cats has a DIY guide to create an ultra-warm shelter out of Styrofoam and linoleum tiles. Latex deck paint makes it cheerful-looking while sealing out the elements. See how to make one.

Ultra-deluxe heated cat shelter

3. Ultra-deluxe heated cat shelter

Not the DIY type? You can still help feral cats stay warm with this outdoor heated cat house from Cozy Winters. Two exits help make sure cats won’t get trapped by predators. Check it out.

Cat mansion made from wood pallets

4. Cat mansion made from wood pallets

Give feral cats an outdoor shelter—in style! If you’re up for a more serious carpentry project, this A-frame made from recycled pallets will keep feral cats safe from the elements while looking great in your yard. (Note—you’ll have to add insulation to make this shelter suitable for outdoor cats in the winter.) See how on Pinterest.

Super-cozy, super-easy DIY cat shelter

5. Super-cozy, super-easy DIY cat shelter

A jumbo-sized clear plastic bin is the foundation for this winter cat shelter. Loaded up with straw for insulation, this shelter will ensure cozy days and nights for your neighborhood feral cats. See how it’s done.

Converted doghouse

6. Converted doghouse

Halfway between a premade and DIY solution, plywood and straw turn this sturdy doghouse into the perfect winter shelter for feral cats. Take a look.

Best-ever use for your picnic cooler

7. Best-ever use for your picnic cooler

Instead of tossing the cooler in the basement once beach season is over, why not convert it into a winter home for feral cats? (Hint: cat shelter experts suggest using straw instead of blankets for extra warmth and water-resistance.) Get step-by-step instructions.

Adorable outdoor cat hotel

8. Adorable outdoor cat hotel

Why not get a winter cat shelter that’s as cute as the cats inside it? The KatKabin is a sturdy, waterproof structure with an insulated floor, best for locations with more mild winters. Check it out.

Adorable outdoor cat hotel

9. Ultra-simple Styrofoam cat shelter

All you need is a Styrofoam cooler, a box cutter, some straw, and a few boards to create this simple, effective feral cat shelter. Ask a local restaurant or medical office to donate a heavy-duty Styrofoam coolers—they usually end up in the trash, anyway. Read all the tips for making it work.

Totally tubular outdoor cat shelter

10. Totally tubular outdoor cat shelter

Another option for those looking for a premade feral cat shelter, the Kitty Tube is fully insulated and comes in a “feral option” with straw bedding instead of a standard fabric cat bed. Find it on Amazon.

Be sure to place your winter cat shelter in a location that’s protected from dogs and other predators, and keep the entrance clear of snow so cats don’t get trapped inside. And, of course, provide food and water for the feral cats who use your shelter. Whether you buy your shelter or make it, feral cats will thank you this winter!

  • Lori Cote

    PLEASE change these to include emergency exits( 2 doors )! I learned the hard way when the feral cat I made a shelter for was attacked inside by a Tom……..she managed to get away after spraying liquid diarreah all over the interior……but not all will get out unscathed. Coyotes, fox, raccoons, dogs & other cats all pose a risk

  • barbara brandt

    Little Feral cat I have been feeding is Afraid of people and was part of family thatwas hurt by a neighbor. I use a cat igloo from Petsmart with opening on my porch facing a brick wall. The kitty can get into it from the top but not a larger animal. She prefers to crawl up under a VW bus in my neighbors back yard that is stored. Not warm for winter so thinking of a way to get her into a warm basement where human activity might discourage predators. The crawl space did attract a an animal before we put foam insulation into it but not since. it has a wire fence to separate it from the basement. Water heater and dryer and large heating system provide a good winter refuge. old 1950 window that can easily have a pain removed might be useful when using a long cardboard tube from a home improvement store. They can be large in diameter and TuffSTuff around the opening and the tube keep cold out and that is also used on other basement windows. Have shelves in this basement and many options for a good place to take a nap. Even the stairs are popular with my own cats. I would like to take cat to vet for shots since she has caused a virus with my cats and they are doing well at this point and I assume she is probably survived that virus. Keep this in mind when you expose your cats to abandoned kitties.

    , access to shelfs and boxes and cabinets that I use for tools, supplies of all sorts and closed boxes. Lots of good places to lie down and cozy up. So Hopefully I can protect the kitty is she is brave enough to come inside.