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Architects for Animals: Feral Cats in New York City Get Cool Shelters

The architects consulted with cat-colony experts and caretakers to build the structures.

 |  Jan 14th 2013  |   6 Contributions


Some leading New York architects added “building feral cat shelters” to their professional dossiers this week. Eight groups of talented designers participated in the third annual Architects for Animals: Giving Shelter, held Jan. 10 at the Steelcase Showroom at Columbus Circle in New York. 

The fundraising event was sponsored by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals and supports the alliance’s feral cat Initiative, which focuses on controlling the city’s feral cat population through trap, neuter and return. 

The teams of architects donated their time and talents to build feral cat shelters worthy of NYC feral kitty hipsters. They worked for months, tapping into the knowledge of cat colony caretakers and experts, to build practical, welcoming structures that would keep some of the city’s street cats warm and safe. 

The structures were on display at the event and will soon be installed in feral cat colonies throughout the city. 

Photos are courtesy of Tamar Aslanian of I Have Cat, except where indicated.

This elevated structure by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture will keep cats warm, dry, and out of harm’s way.

Francis Cauffman Architects’ cat shelter mirrors the look of many city buildings, complete with a “fire escape.”

The bright and cheerful two-level Cat Coop by M. Moser Architects shouldn’t be hard for the kitties to find in the snow!

Callison Barteluce’s creation offers safe climbing and resting options in this sleek, two-story shelter.

Designer Kathryn Walton, founder of The American Street Cat, created the Tin Hut, made of 300 individually insulated aluminum cans.

This camouflage shelter by the Zimmerman Workshop is made of Spanish and sheet moss on the outside, with an igloo cooler inside to keep cats as warm as little Eskimos. 

Photo by Shari Cartun

Designed by Stonehill Taylor with a team of students from City College, this shelter is appropriately called the Swiss Cheese Urban Outfit House because its foam panels resemble the popular sandwich topper.

Photo by Sherri Cartun

Instead of creating a prefabricated building, Pilot Project created instructions for a DIY structure based on traditional Native American shelter-building, using primarily natural materials likely to be found on site.

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