This insulated cat shelter is a two-story duplex with hallway entrances on each side to keep the wind from being able to blow directly in is constructed with pressure treated lumber. When the weather started turning very cold I added an electric baseboard heater that keeps it at about +10C. It has a wireless temperature sensor inside (and now a live video feed) and often when it is cold out it reads much higher than the thermostat is set for from the body heat of the 7 cats that have decided to call it home. At other times the heater cannot overcome the cold Canadian winter winds but we have never seen it read below zero, even in -27C weather.

It all started... some time ago when two stray cats decided to make our deck their home (oddly on the same day). Already having three house cats of our own (two was the limit but then one came to our door with a broken paw, a story for another day) we were unable to adopt them and so the best we could do was provide them temporary shelter on our deck. As time went on these cats did what cats naturally do and made more so before we knew it we ended up with 7. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has a serious problem with many abandon stray and/or feral cats so not wanting to contribute to the problem further they were all taken to the vet, one by one. But 7 cats couldn't live in a temporary shelter so something larger was required. The same 7 cats have been there for over a year now. They do come and go as they please (as they have all been neutered) but each night or when the weather is unfavorable they will be found in their comfortable adopted home (in view of the camera) and they certainly all know when it is feeding time.

The upper level (just shelves here in a much earlier version) is removable and had to be expanded to make an entire second story (with a passage way from the bottom story) as it became too popular with the kittys. The camera is located on the second story. The roof opens to facilitate easy servicing and cleaning and although it is quite heavy the winds were strong enough during one storm to lift it so a latch had to be installed. The weight of the heavy roof presses against a flexible weather tight seal to keep the weather out. The two front windows are constructed of virtually indestructable thermoplastic polycarbonate (lexan) which is forced into a dado grove filled with clear silicone to make an air tight seal. Styrofoam insulation on the back wall had to be covered with a layer of industrial carpet to discourage the Kittys from digging in the soft styrofoam.

Now the cats are fully grown even a full second story isn't quite enough room so we wil be expanding it and making some other improvements in the near future and perhaps a coat of paint. In time I plan to add pictures of the individal cats and their names to this site.

For now more information available on the Frequently Asked Questions page.