Building a Feral Cat Shelter

Crystal Creek Rescue > Building a Feral Cat Shelter

Community cats who are a part of a monitored and managed cat colony can have long, healthy lives outdoors. But there’s one thing they need, especially in cold months: a safe, warm, and dry place to take shelter from extreme weather. Crystal Creek Rescue has been partnering with the community to build simple, inexpensive but effective feral cat shelters for a few years now. In case you would like to make your own, here is the plan on how to build it:

Materials Needed:

  • Centrex Plastics, LLC Commander 27-gallon black tote with standard snap lid
  • Unfaced polystyrene foam board insulation 0.5-in x 8-ft x 4-ft
  • Straw
  • Duct Tape

Tools Needed:

  • Utility knife
  • Straight edge
  • Hole saw attachment drill or Dremel power tool


  1. Using the utility knife and straight edge, cut the insulation foam board into 2 end pieces, 2 side pieces, one bottom piece, and one top piece. You will have a total of 6 foam insulation board pieces. Refer to the picture diagram for measurements to use for the pieces.
  2. Using the hole saw attachment or Dremel, cut a 5-inch hole in the plastic tote box for an entrance. You will want to put the hole on a long side of the tote box as close to the corner and 5 inches from the bottom of the box. If there are jagged or sharp edges in the plastic surrounding the hole, you can wrap the edges with duct tape.
  3. Insert the foam board insulation pieces. First, insert the two end pieces. Then, insert the two side pieces. Finally, insert the bottom piece to fit between the ends and sides. The top piece will rest on top of the end and side pieces. The end, side, and bottom pieces should fit together very snuggly. 
  4. Using the utility knife, cut a hole in the insulation foam board to open the entrance into the side of the box.
  5. Place a generous amount of straw in the bottom and halfway up the sides of the interior of the box.


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