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(26,738 posts)
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 07:47 AM Jul 10

The nice wooden feral shelter I bought wasn't getting used. In advance of the storm, I moved it to the back yard

The rain let up so I headed out with some kibble, just in case there were any soggy moggies looking for food. There were moggies but none were soggy because they FINALLY used the shelter! It's still facing east, which I think will help protect them, but I put it between two ancient shrubs so maybe that makes it look safer to them. I wish I had brought my camera with me. I guess I'll put off my plan to remove those shrubs until I can find a similar location for the shelter.

Here's a photo of the shelter that I took, yesterday, in its new location.

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(26,738 posts)
2. I kept thinking about moving it but just wasn't sure where
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 08:32 AM
Jul 10

They would hunker down beneath it, but never inside. There are some heavy, clear plastic flaps that go over the entrance and I wondered if those were the problem so I tucked them up beneath the lid. The nice thing is, I can put their food bowls beneath the shelter to keep them dry.

The rain has let up, for now, but I think we are in for a whole day of rain. Lots of power outages from the wind. Lots of overflowing sewer drains, flooded roads and basements. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that I have a dry basement, tomorrow. AND I'll keep checking on those outdoor sweeties.


(3,413 posts)
3. Sometimes, you just can't figure them out, Siwsan.
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 08:51 AM
Jul 10

Your job is a heck of a lot harder than mine right now, but I eeked out $50 to buy an "off the floor" bed for my big dog. Felt really bad he just was sleeping on a thin blanket on the hard floor of the family room. This was nice enough, it even had bolsters all around 3 sides, which I thought he'd like because he always wants to lay his head on a pillow. I have to coax him to get on it, and then he basically just sits there and looks dejectedly at me. I put the blanket on which he had been laying on top of the bed, but still not taking to it. I figure eventually he'll get used to it. I make it a habit now to spend time sitting on it with him, hoping to show him it's not a big bad evil thing (gryn).

The cats, for the most part, have left him alone with it. I caught one sliding under it and that freaked out the dog. But the others leave him alone and head for bed with me, instead, as normal.

Who can understand what goes on in their heads?! I used to use the "starving kids" when my kid was growing up... I use something similar with Lexy, but yeah, right... she understands me (gryn).

Good luck with your shelter. I sure don't have any suggestions. Just eventually they may get used to it. I'm thinking that's whats keeping the cats away from the dog bed. It's something new, not normally in the space it occupies, and so they're naturally wary of it. Hopefully that's all it is with your outdoor babies.


(26,738 posts)
4. I put straw and an old pillow inside. There was a divider panel but I took that out so more can fit
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 08:59 AM
Jul 10

The rain was very heavy, last night, and I was having flashbacks to when we had a similar rain fall, last year, and I found those 4 little kittens, soaked to the bone and one on death's door. I'm just chuffed that they finally decided it offered them a save haven.

They do still use the 'cooler' shelter that my nephew made.


(116,205 posts)
5. awwwww, the moggies like the new location. Thank you for taking such
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 09:01 AM
Jul 10

good care of them. I am sorry that the weather is so nasty. Be safe, all.


(89,059 posts)
6. That's a nice shelter!
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 09:18 AM
Jul 10

Glad you all came to agreement on placement and use! Looks like it was just in time!


(103,609 posts)
7. Maybe a light layer of diatomaceous earth to control the fleas? Not too much as it can trigger respiratory issues...
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 09:19 AM
Jul 10

including feline asthma. But, I'd hate to see the fleas benefit at the kitties' expense from all your efforts.

Ocelot II

(117,672 posts)
11. That's a really nice shelter, but there's no accounting for cats
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 10:29 AM
Jul 10

and the way their weird little minds work. There's a cat whose base of operations is my front porch, which is covered but not screened. I first noticed him sleeping on a porch chair three summers ago, and I started putting food out for him every morning. When it started getting cold I placed a cat bed heater on the chair under a blanket, so he slept there all curled up all winter. After the first winter I figured he'd be warmer if he had an actual shelter, so I bought a little electrically-heated hut that he could sleep in and put it on the floor of the porch, out of the wind. But even though he'd be much warmer in the hut he still preferred sleeping on the chair. I couldn't figure it out. Finally I put the little hut up on a small table, and on really cold mornings that's where I'd find him - but he slept there only when it was unusually cold, like below zero. Otherwise he'd be on the chair. I finally concluded that he didn't like being on the floor of the porch where he couldn't see what was going on, but once the hut was elevated he was OK with it because he could see the yard from there. Now that it's summer he might or might not be on the chair in the morning (more likely if it's raining), but he still shows up for food. I wish I could tame him but he seems to like being feral.

Maybe the new location of your shelter makes them feel safer?


(112,208 posts)
12. Putting it away from the house is less convenient for you
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 10:39 AM
Jul 10

but feral cats will be more inclined to use it when it's rainy or cold. Otherwise, if you're looking out at it on a moonlit night, you'll see the little buggers on topof it instead of inside it. Cats are weird.


(5,782 posts)
13. The cat credo . . .
Thu Jul 11, 2024, 01:45 AM
Jul 11

Eternal vigilance, and always have an escape route!

On top is a good look out, and escape is in any direction!

They have to get really cold or tired, to hide somewhere where they can't look out for dangers, and their escape path is single and predictable.

Depends on larger predators in the area, possibly? Cats probably know what dangers are out there better than us humans.


(112,208 posts)
14. W're apex predators. Cats are prey, ask any coyote
Thu Jul 11, 2024, 02:43 PM
Jul 11

That makes a difference in outlook.

Evan bears would prefer not to tangle with us.

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