Are Cat Houses Needed For Your Indoor Cat?
Today cat houses seem to be popping up all over the place, especially in areas where a stray cat problem exists. It is a very sad commentary, when our cats run away and get lost, but it is downright unforgivable when an owner.abandons or ditches their pet. Maybe the cat has destroyed the furniture or scratched them or urinated where he shouldn't, but abandonment is not an option, in my book. Unfortunately rather than taking these misbehaving pets to a shelter or finding another home for them, these people will just drop them off away from home. Today, their is an increasing amount of this behavior mainly due to the weak economy. It is hard to understand the thought process, but there are people out there who leave their pets behind just because they can't afford them anymore. To me. this is a form of animal cruelty, but that's a story for another day.
Unfortunately, if your area has a large stray cat population, you can't find a home for all of them. Additionally, bringing in a stray involves many challenges for your other cats, such as fleas, ticks, lice or even HIV or feline Leukemia. One way to help these animals though, is to build or purchase a cat house for your yard. Outdoor cat houses provide temporary shelter for strays on a freezing night or during rainy weather. They will also provide your cat with a temporary shelter if he decides to bolt from your house or roam the neighborhood. If he's a full time or part time outdoor cat and you don't want to spend the night searching for him, this convenient dwelling will provide him some comfort for the night.
The Following is a list of things to consider before building your cat houses. These items will help you decide what you need to purchase and the amount of effort that will be involved
How many cats do you need to house? Remember that not all cats are likely to use the shelter, or at least not all at the same time. This shelter should probably house no more than 5 to 7 cats simultaneously.
Make sure that you make the shelter small enough for storing in your vehicle, if transport is required.
If you live in a climate that gets very cold it is recommended that you use insulation
Use only exterior paint to reduce weather exposure (preferably dark green or dark brown, or something that matches the surroundings).
The floor should be tiled instead of carpeted to reduce the chance of flea infestation and combat moisture inside the shelter.
Use screws instead of nails for better durability.
The roof should be hinged so bedding can be replaced, and for easy access when rescuing kittens that might be sheltered there.
The roof should be slanted to keep water outside.
A wind block should be set in place inside the door of the shelter to improve occupant comfort. You may also consider a canvas flap to go over the door.
Place wood chips, straw, or hay inside for warmth and comfort.
Remember that cat houses can be built for your indoor cat, if he decides to remain outside for the night and that's why more than one house may be needed if you live in a feral cat neighborhood.
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