Keep your cats warm and dry!
It's important to have a dry, safe place for your managed colony in the winter. See below for various options available for purchase in the New York City area. Or see our Feral Cat Winter Shelter page for ideas on making your own. You can go high end - or down and dirty - something is better than nothing!
Joe's fish boxes
These shelters are constructed from recycled Styrofoam fish boxes and covered with two millimeter thick plastic liners secured with heat-welded straps. Straw is included. They come in various sizes with the large measuring approximately 34" L x 20" W x 20" H and accommodating two to three cats. Prices range from $18 (bulk rescue rate) to $29.99 (suggested retail).
To purchase and pickup in Forest Hills, Queens, contact Mary at FriendlyFerals@msn.com or (917) 579-5718.
Foam insulation shelters
Made with foam insulation sheets at least one inch thick, this shelter measures approximately 38" L x 16" W x 16" H. The floor is covered with vinyl tile, making it scratch-proof, and straw is included. Comfortably holds two to three cats. Price is $60, cash only. Pickup in St. Albans, Queens (no shipping or delivery available).
To order, contact Ian at 646-436-2301 (preferred) or IanHenryNY@aol.com.
Recycled Styrofoam shelters
These are made from recycled Styrofoam coolers and shrink-wrapped in plastic. They measure approximately 24" L x 18" W x 20" H and accommodate one to two adult cats. Straw is included. Cost is $20, cash only, and pickup is in South Brooklyn (no shipping or delivery).
To order, contact Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org or (917) 797-5405.
Bushwick Street Cats Winter Shelter
Sturdy and durable, these cat houses will last for years and provide excellent protection from the elements. Constructed with a plywood and OSB exterior and polyiso rigid insulation inside. Holds two to three cats and straw is included. Cost is $40 with pickup in Bushwick (some local delivery may be available). Limited quantity is available.
Where to buy straw
Straw is the best bedding for winter shelters. It provides the best insulation and repels moisture. It is not the same as hay, which is used for animal feed. Remember, straw repels moisture, while hay draws and holds moisture. Blankets and towels should never be used as bedding. They do not insulate, retain moisture and can become moldy. They actual draw heat from the cats’ bodies. So always use straw!
Some local feed stores and stables where straw can be purchased:
C G Feeds
2355 Arthur Kill Rd.
(718) 356 0220
Jamaica Bay Riding Academy
7000 Shore Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11234
(718) 531-8949 (call in advance)
(917) 991-4068 (call in advance)
Triple Star Horse Feed
2 Elzey Avenue, Elmont, NY
(516) 775-3333 (call in advance)
In the fall, garden centers and home improvement stores (such as Home Depot and Lowe’s) sell bales of straw. Craft stores (such as Michael’s) have smaller decorative bales for sale. Another option is speaking to stores, restaurants or banquet halls that have indoor fall displays using bales of straw. After Thanksgiving, they usually toss it to make way for their holiday displays. Ask to take it off their hands!
You can also order straw online from FeralVilla. Cost is $17.95 for enough to fill two shelters.