outside cat house

I need help with how to keep a stray cat warm in a homemade cat house (plastic tub). What is the best thing to put in it. I'm gonna wrap some gortex around the entire outside. I have a furry mat in there for him too. He now has a hurt back leg (holds it up won't walk on it)and i'm gonna call my vet monday and see if they can help me out (maybe at a discount price)to look at him. I wish i could take him in but I have Gizmo ( male bully) Miss Kitty (scaredy cat) and Katie( mean little old lady). So any help about my situation would be appreciated.

Asked by Member 270637 on Dec 15th 2007 in Health & Wellness
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Izadore (Izzie)

You are a good person for wanting to help this poor guy! The ideal place would be to put him in your garage if you have one. Or, if you could trap him, keep him in your basement in a cage with a litter pan/food in it and keep him isolated from the other three until he's tested negative for those nasty kitty viruses. But, if that's not possible, put the box as far from the weather/wind as you can, like alongside your home in the flower bed right up against the house wall on the side the wind doesn't hit. Try to elevate the box so it's not sitting on the cold ground but not so high that he can't jump up with his hurt leg. If you have an old coat or sweater, you can put that in there also, covering the sides and bottom. Call your police deparment and see if the animal warden has an inside place that maybe he or she could keep him for you until you could get him to the vet's. Would you please message me and let me know how you're doing with him? I'd really like to know!

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 12/15/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You didn't say where you live. Is winter very cold there? Bless you for caring. The best, I think, solution is to get some heating coils that are used for outside plant hot beds. I bought a homemade shelter at a garage sale that had coils mounted on a board.

Also, don't let grumpy cats rule the roost. I have 7 cats right now, all strays at one time. They HAVE to get along, or else.(I haven't figured out the "or else" yet). In my 40+ years as an adult I have learned much about cats. Your male bully and mean little old lady(I have one too, see photo above) will make a show - just because we were here first - but will give up after a week to a month. It takes perserverance on your part and umpteen hours of patience, but it WILL work out if you take this kitty in. I'm assuming the stray is not feral, but is tame? (I've been working with 4 feral cats the last 5 years and they are now part of the household). I'm running out of space, will send another answer to finish...

Tina answered on 12/15/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I bought a thick tent like bed for one of my now inside cats. They probably are still being sold at Pet Smarts. It's only big enough for one cat and can keep the heat in better like a dog house. So maybe once your outside cat gets used to just using the tub, build a little arched roof on it to keep out the wind and see if he stil uses it. It should make him feel even more secure. Make it soft inside and they even sell those self heating mats. Go to a thrift store and look for old scarfs and blankets and towells to buy. If you can put an insulator under the tub to keep it from absorbing the cold from the ground thats good too and if possible pick an area that gets some sun part of the day, close to your home or where the cat is already hanging out is also good. I had to trick my cat into going into my camper for food and water to catch him for the vet visit but you can rent live traps or just continue care outside until it trusts you enough to catch it. Be careful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sage answered on 12/15/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Roux (RIP)

There are some good ideas for shelters here, as well:

Straw seems to be a good insulating material, and/or cat bed material, from what I've read.

Also see


Roux (RIP) answered on 12/15/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Fat Cat

We live in a rural area, so we have several outdoor cats. When it's cold outside, my husband leaves the window to his truck down just enough for our cats to get into. It helps to shield them from the wind, and he usually has sweatshirts, jackets, towels, etc. for them to snuggle up in. However, we live in Louisiana, so we don't get snow or very extreme temperatures (although it's cold to us!). This would be an option for people residing in the South, but probably not very practical for people who live in snowy/icy areas. It is always best to bring animals inside when it gets very cold (freezing or below). If that's not possible, then a shed or garage would probably be your best option. Hope things are comfy for your stray friend!

Fat Cat answered on 12/15/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer