Sunday, November 16, 2014

DIY Sunday: $30.00 Barn Cat & Dog House


It's storming outside here. We got a surprise 6 inches of snow today, and it's still coming down outside! I don't mind having 6 inches on days when we don't have to go anywhere. We spend time as a family watching movies, cooking, projects and trying to keep my two children from fighting until the death.

My husband and I knew once there was a half of foot of snow on the ground and the water in the garage for the cats started to freeze over, it was time to think of how our kitties were going to live over the winter.

We got two kittens when we first moved out to our acreage. Since my husband is a vet, I knew it was only a matter of time until he tried to bring some animal home with him. It took less than a month before he was asking to bring a kitten home. He called and left a voicemail that was like..."Uh. So there is this kitten that came in today and it's paralyzed and it's the sweetest kitten. The thing is, the two siblings have too much energy and are harassing it while it's trying to get better. So, I was thinking...." So, I went from never having a cat in my life to having two kittens named Flynn and Rider. (Any Tangled fans out there?)

A couple of weeks ago, I got a picture message of another kittens with the caption "Isn't she cute?" Actually, I initially got a picture of my husband looking at this phone with the caption "Isn't she cute?" because he couldn't figure out how to take a picture with his new iPhone. Turns out, one of the other siblings was on her way to the shelter. Now we have three kittens, Flynn, Rider and Rapunzel. No, no plans to add a Mother Gothel or Pascal to the mix in the near future. I have a mom that is highly allergic to cats, so I knew that the cats couldn't be inside. We would have to be okay with "barn kittens."

We have both a heater and a heated bed for the kittens. I also picked up a heated water dish. We decided that we also wanted an insulated cat house to put the heated bed in. No point heating the entire garage when we can heat one small area more efficiently. I've also heard of people making cat houses for stray cats when it gets really cold out.

After looking around on Pinterest and Google, I came up with a plan. A dog house would be too large for the space especially with the car in the garage for the winter plus they tend to be expensive. I didn't really want to spend the time to build a wooden house. We just need something to go over the top of the heated bed and was insulated enough to keep the heat in the area. The easiest way to do this was to grab a plastic tub and sheet insulation.

Cat or Small Dog House

Plastic Tub/Tote- Heavy Duty Type
Sheet of Insulation
Utility Knife
Duct Tape

Total Cost: $30.00

Total Time: 1 hour

I looked around at a few different places and finally went with a tough type of tote/tub from our local country type store (Runnings here). Lowes also has a tough type of tote. The tough type totes have a thicker plastic and also tend to be more box shape and not dome. Having a box is easier to fit insulation around the outside. I picked up insulation that was thick enough to easily fit down in the lip of the tote.

Getting sheet insulation home can be interesting. I drove my car, so fitting a sheet the size of a truck bed can be difficult. I bought a utility knife in the store and cut the sheet in the parking lot at 9 pm while it was 10 degrees and snowing. Yeah. I looked like a crazy Lowes...again.

I cut down the insulation to fit nicely in the lip of the box. My two kiddos that decorated all the sides with chalk. Then I put the lid of the box on the bottom (which is now the top). I fit insulation into the little grooves and put a sheet of insulation on top. I then took some duct tape and sealed up all the cracks. I had one well insulated box to put over the bed. The final touch was cutting a door and hole for the cord of the bed with a jigsaw. I may add some canvas on the outside if the kitties find it fun to scratch at it and a door.

It will be well loved by our kittens until they can venture outside for extended periods in the Spring. Plus, since it's flat, we can stack other items on top and add even more layers to the keep the heat in.

To lid sitting on top with scrap insulation stuffed in the cracks.  

My little helper. He had his plastic hammer out and was going to town. 


1 comment

Levine said...

Great information! Your blog is the first one I look for in my inbox everyday. Love this new series.

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