Build a Winter Shelter for Cats

Attention, crafters and cat persons! You can help the community cats in your neighborhood by building a winter shelter for cats. It’s easy, inexpensive, and a great project for the family. Best of all, you’ll be helping those community cats stay warm and safe during the harsh winter months. Good luck!

Style 1: Double-Bin Shelter (EASY)

Style 2: Repurposed Cooler Shelter (MODERATE)

Style 3: From-Scratch Shelter (CHALLENGING)

Additional Tips

  • For winter protection, it’s just as important for the shelter to be dry as to be warm. Make sure snow or rainwater cannot leak inside.
  • The shelter should sit firmly on the ground or a raised platform; it should not wobble when a cat steps into it.
  • If the shelter is lightweight, it may be necessary to weigh it down with at least one brick or board on the roof.
  • One way to block the wind and create more protection from rain is to place two shelters facing each other, and then place a board on top, spanning the two roofs.
  • The best insulation for the shelter is straw, which cats can burrow into. Avoid using hay or anything moist that could cause bacteria to form. Towels and blankets will actually draw away body heat and should not be used.
  • Entice cats to go inside the shelter by placing catnip at the entrance.

For more information on helping community cats, visit