How To Build A Cat Igloo

I was busy building last night.  Over the past few weeks, at about 4am, I have been repeatedly woken up by a cat black-cat-in-the-snowyowling outside.  I live in the Midwest.  It’s the dead of winter, the temperatures have been in the single digits and the wind chills have been well below zero!  Luckily, we haven’t had much snow.

…And each day that I hear the yowl, I run downstairs in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the kitty that has been trying to get my attention, but to no avail.

A few days ago, I left some dry food out on the deck and thanks to a light dusting of snow, I was able to clearly see kitty paw prints!  My suspicions were confirmed.  It isn’t a raccoon, another animal or a figment of my imagination – it is definitely a cat.  My friend had eaten every morsel and had walked to the back door, to the windows and all around the deck.  I wonder if s/he might be a neighborhood cat.  I’ve seen this cat before – during the summer and fall.

Last night, we had our first real snow with about two to three inches forecasted and the thought of my little mysterious feline friend out in the cold snow was too much to bare.  I decided to take action and set up the best outdoor kitty motel that I could.  I went to Petco, and I must say, the staff there was extremely helpful and patient and we figured out how to make a small oasis in my yard without costing a fortune.  Here’s what I did and I’ve included links to the products I used:

First, my friend needed clean, drinkable, unfrozen water, so I purchased an outdoor heated water bowl that plugs into an outdoor outlet and prevents the water from freezing.

Next, I wanted to put some sort of warm shelter together, but doggie igloos can cost hundreds of dollars and aren’t heated.  I decided on a large transparent covered litter box… but how to keep it warm?  I found an indoor/outdoor heated mat for small pets that fit perfectly inside the litter box.  The cord has steel wire around it so the animal won’t chew on it.  Then I bought dry kitten food for the high caloric content – this kitty is going to need lots of calories to stay warm through this frigid weather!

Here is the result:

2013-02-01 19.19.17

While it’s not the Four Season’s Hotel, it works!  You can see the water bowl is at the top of the picture.  I put the dry food in an airtight container with the green cap.  The dry food for the cat is in the lower right with two compartments.  The litter box has a clear top so that I can see if the cat is in there and so that the cat can see if there is any danger or another animal around.  The heating pad is inside the litter box and everything is plugged into the wall.

I put some wet food inside of the litter box since taking this picture, because it would quickly freeze if I left it outside (9 degrees today) and my little friend came by, went into the little warm house and ate most of the wet food.  Since setting this up, I have seen the cat twice today already!  S/he is a beautiful black cat and looks very healthy and plump.  I pray that it isn’t a pregnant female!!

Anyway – Mission accomplished!  I can now rest easy tonight knowing that my little friend outside has fresh water, plenty of food and a warm dry place to rest if s/he wants to!

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  1. Boomdeeadda

    Well bless your heart, what a beautiful thing to do. I used to get a lot of strays in the country too. I sat in the forest once for almost two days befriending a kitten. He was so scared and later adopted by another neighbour. That’s the coolest thing, the heated indoor outdoor heating pad. I’ll have to tell my brother about it. He has 4 house cats, a garage cat and a kitty condo in the yard he’s built for strays that come thru….he has a big heart too. Bravo and thanks for being so caring. I hope you can find out where he/she is suppose to be.

    • Wesley

      Thank you – I will do my very best! I literally could not sleep knowing how cold it is outside and knowing this kitty was coming to my door… now I know that is eating, drinking and has a warm place to rest away from the elements… I slept like a baby last night for the first time in weeks. 🙂

      • Boomdeeadda

        As you might know, we adopted two stray black cats….I wouldn’t sleep either, no matter what colour the kitty was. Keep us posted 😀

        • Wesley

          Awww! Will do!

  2. Cheryl

    Thats a fantastic thing to do. I take care of strays also. There are quite a few where I live. This small town in northern Nevada , is know for people either dropping cats off out here , or just up and moving and leaving them here. Its heartbreaking.

    You have given me such a great idea , Thank You so much.

    Right now I don’t have a car. So I have put lots of empty boxes in my garage , with newspapers & fleece blankets.
    I put food inside and outside for the different strays , they dont all get along.
    I do need to get a couple of those outdoor heated water bowls. I go out everymorning and give them fresh water , but it doesnt take long to freeze.
    Thank goodness the next few weeks is supposed to be close to 40 during the days , but below freezing at night.

    Thank You for your ideas. Bless you for taking care of that sweet kitty cat.

    • Wesley

      It’s so nice to know that there are other caring people in the world. In fact, when I was at Petco, I asked the salesperson if he thought I was crazy and he said “No – you are the fourth person to come in and ask for supplies to do the same thing!” Warms my heart to know others are concerned. This is not to say that I only care for animals. I also donate to human causes and care deeply for homeless people, but I know that we have shelters for those that are unfortunate and the police do their best to ensure that they are cared for and taken in as well. I should add that to my post… 🙂 Thanks for all you do!

  3. Dorothy

    I think most of the local cats know that if they want food and somewhere to sleep to come here. It is not unusual for me to wake up with someone else s cat asleep on the bed.


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