How to Make a Winter Box for Stray Cats

Winter is a wonderful time of year when you have the security of warm clothes, a cozy home, and plenty of food. Humans aren’t the only creatures that need food and shelter during the cold winter months. Stray cats have a rough time, especially when temperatures drop below freezing.

In addition to harsh weather, feral cats are also susceptible to attacks by other animals, diseases, and automobile accidents. If you’ve seen strays near your home, one way to help is by using your handyman skills to create an insulated house for them. Here are steps to build an affordable shelter for these furry creatures within an hour.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Straw

  2. A yardstick

  3. A box cutter

  4. 1” thick hard Styrofoam

  5. 1 medium plastic storage tub with a lid

  6. 1 large plastic storage tub with a lid

  7. A Blanket (optional).

Note: the medium tub should be able to fit comfortably inside the larger tub.

To get started, use the box cutter and yardstick to cut a 6” x 6” doorway in each tub, keeping the lowest part of the opening at least a few inches above the ground to prevent flooding. The entryway in both tubs should line up with each other to allow cats to enter with ease.

Next, cut the Styrofoam in appropriate sizes to line the floor and four interior walls of the large tub. This will act as an insulation layer. Cut out a doorway in the foam that line up with the tub’s doorway. Trace an outline of the foam before cutting it out to ensure your measurements are accurate.cats in winter

To increase the level of warmth, place straw at the bottom of the large bin. The straw will also act as a stabilizer to hold the Styrofoam wall pieces into place. Finally, cut out a polystyrene roof to place on top of the interior wall piece to complete the insulation of the entire winter box. Cover the bin with its lid and you’re done.

If you have extra time and want to get the kids involved, you may also paint the outside of the box from supplies purchased at