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  #1  
Old 09/18/06, 05:25 AM
stranger than fiction
 
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How to keep barn cats warm over the winter?

I have been starting to give some thought as to my barn cats. What can I build to keep them warm over the winter? Our winters here can be bitter. These are short-haired cats. They spend most of their time right in the barn, so I was thinking an insulated box of some sort in there. They do like to snuggle together in the little pet bed I have in there, so something that can fit two adult cats would be the best.

I really prefer not to use something I have to plug in.

Does anyone have any ideas on what to build, and with what? Pictures would be a bonus!

Thanks!

DD

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  #2  
Old 09/18/06, 05:48 AM
WVPEACH (Paula)
 
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I have just learned to post pics here so you may be in luck.

Hubby built something that looks much like a cedar chest , not as pretty but about that size.

With a small door opening and longer rather than tall, we put some blue board insulation in the inside of it. It's probablly 18- 24" tall by 36" long and all three of our cats snuggle in that.

We installed it in the barn on a shelf about five feet off the ground .

They walk the shelfs go right in feeling safe and warm.

Hubby is talking about one for the porch and wants to put it on the rail to keep it off the ground , we are argueing about the size. I don't want one that big on the porch.

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  #3  
Old 09/18/06, 06:01 AM
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Leave a little cubbyhole in a bale of straw or hay. It can easily be changed, should it become infested with fleas.

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  #4  
Old 09/18/06, 06:38 AM
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all they need is a place to get out of th eelements. They like someting soft to lie on like chaff, hay, or an old jacket. They dont need any heat in addition to their own body heat

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  #5  
Old 09/18/06, 07:12 AM
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friend of ours put a half oil tank and some blankets on their back door step for the outdoor cats. worked for their cats. they replaced their freezer,old but well insulated ,then offerd it too me. i suggested a small door in the end and the freezer be placed in the wood shed. wood shaveings then some straw and old blankets ,then feed them in it till they got used too it. a good quality food and extra fat helps them with the elements, we also feed a bit of raw meat during the very cold spells. normaly they just burrow in the hay or straw,warm as toast on even the coldest day.

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  #6  
Old 09/18/06, 07:16 AM
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A little house of bales seems to suit our barn cats just fine. Leave a rear entrance too so if something gets in the front door they have an escape route. A litter box helps alot, but plan on chucking those bales. I like the Styrofoam cat condo though!

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  #7  
Old 09/18/06, 07:18 AM
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Styrofoam can't breathe.

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  #8  
Old 09/18/06, 08:16 AM
 
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An old cooler, cut a small hole in the side (so they can get in it) and then add some hay or blanket. The lid will make it easy to clean.

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  #9  
Old 09/18/06, 10:05 AM
 
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DILs outside cat has a small dog house on the porch. Most of the time she's quite happy with a nice nest of blankets. On very cold winter nights DIL has a thing that looks like a frisbee. She got it at the pet store. You pop it into the microwave oven for 2-3 minutes and then put it under the bedding. Stays warm all night.

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  #10  
Old 09/18/06, 03:00 PM
 
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Heat lamp. Good for dauschunds, cats, chickens, pipes in the pump house

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  #11  
Old 09/18/06, 03:05 PM
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I like to roast them over a medium spit.

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  #12  
Old 09/18/06, 03:31 PM
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Poultry nest boxes with straw on the bottom. I have the size for larger hens/ducks. It's funny to look in and see 6-7 sleepy heads.

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  #13  
Old 09/18/06, 05:39 PM
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I make a nest on the front porch with a heat lamp overhead for my cats. All but one likes to sleep there, the oldest, canterous female (that can't get along with any other cat )likes to sleep alone out back in the shed.

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  #14  
Old 09/18/06, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR Cattails
I make a nest on the front porch with a heat lamp overhead for my cats. All but one likes to sleep there, the oldest, canterous female (that can't get along with any other cat )likes to sleep alone out back in the shed.
Oh, don't kid us... with a name like AR CAT TAILS.... we know you roast 'em too! :baby04:
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  #15  
Old 09/18/06, 05:52 PM
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Oh, gosh, no!! Could never do that. I love my babies too much. We have 4 babies now for a total of 12 cats and that's enough. I have 5 females that I need to get fixed before I have anymore. Yikes! But that's another story. You are just too funny, ZYG!

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  #16  
Old 09/18/06, 05:57 PM
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Try this...



Or this...




Sorry, couldn't help myself.
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  #17  
Old 09/18/06, 06:00 PM
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That's funny!
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  #18  
Old 09/18/06, 06:03 PM
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Oh my gosh Paula -- that is TOOO CUTE!!!

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  #19  
Old 09/18/06, 06:11 PM
 
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My barn cats are two sisters and they will not cuddle up together so I just bought two individule cat condos form wal-mart.
The kind that are round and covered with carpet. I set them on the hay stack facing each other near the window. They like that and sleep in them when it is cold or on them when it is not. I put them away in the loft for the Summer. It is time to get them out, dust them off and spray them for fleas before putting them out again. I like to do this early so they can get used to them again.
For years we did nothing and they did fine. They found their own place but now they are getting very old so I caved and got them the condos.

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  #20  
Old 09/18/06, 10:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gottahaveagoat
An old cooler, cut a small hole in the side (so they can get in it) and then add some hay or blanket. The lid will make it easy to clean.
What did you use to cut the hole?
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  #21  
Old 09/19/06, 01:01 AM
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Ours just curl up in the hay.

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  #22  
Old 09/19/06, 05:24 AM
stranger than fiction
 
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Wow, some really great ideas from everyone, thank you!

Quote:
On very cold winter nights DIL has a thing that looks like a frisbee. She got it at the pet store. You pop it into the microwave oven for 2-3 minutes and then put it under the bedding. Stays warm all night.
What a great idea! Do you happen to know what store she got it at? I'll have to look around and see what they have here....but even if not, I could use some of those microwavable heating pads to do the same thing. Hmmmm......

My main concern is the brutally cold snaps we get her in Canada; some nights are terrible. Well, we'll see what I can set up here!

Thanks again!

DD
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  #23  
Old 09/19/06, 07:16 AM
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If you give them an external source of heat they won't have as heavy a coat. I'd think they would be better off if you just give them a small well insulated place with bedding they can snuggle up in. I think I've seen cat beds, maybe on Jefferspets.com, that are designed to hold the heat the cat generates. If you could stuff one of those onto a small enclosed space?

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  #24  
Old 09/19/06, 07:31 AM
 
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Just let them have a way into the barn when they want. That is good enough for our cats down to 40 below. And make sure they have food and water when they need it.

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  #25  
Old 09/19/06, 08:05 AM
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last year I took old bed pillows and made fleece cases for them. the cats love them placed in the holes in the hay. Soft cuddly and warm.

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  #26  
Old 09/19/06, 08:33 AM
 
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in my latest successful farming issue there is a tip from someone who made a dog house from an old chest freezer. he said it worked really well, as it is insulated and has a door for easy cleaning and bedding changes. i believe he cut some sort of door in it.
i remember we had a thread going awhile back about uses for old freezers and this is another idea.
there would even be room for a litter box.

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  #27  
Old 09/19/06, 10:17 AM
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We just built a wood shed and reserved one corner for the cats. We built a cube into the corner of the shed: put leftover blue board insulation on the bottom, covered that with plywood so they don't scratch at it, put plywood walls and roof on the cube (not insulated, the wood is stacked beside and above it so that adds thermal mass), and left a hinged door on the front. We cut a cat sized entrance on the lee side (away from wind) and we stuffed it with straw. They go in when they feel like it but mostly they seem to sleep on the step by the house!

Last winter I had a cube I found (part of some old office furniture I think) of particle board, I glued insulation to the insides and put it on the ground with some straw in it. They snuggled in there all winter quite happily.

The trickiest part of keeping the cats in teh winter is keeping the water thawed, if you don't already have a stock waterer that stays clear of ice. I will probably end up with a heated water dish for the chilliest days.

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  #28  
Old 09/19/06, 11:58 AM
 
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The hunting section of most stores will have those pads that you can sit on that generate their own heat (using body heat). It feels like they have little styrofoam balls inside. They are made out of vinyl (I think) so you could put a pillowcase on it or place it under the blankets or sweaters.

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  #29  
Old 09/19/06, 12:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quntmphscs
What did you use to cut the hole?
My husband cut it so I'm really not sure, something at the shop.
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  #30  
Old 09/19/06, 01:04 PM
 
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It Makes Me Happt To See So Many Persons Interested In Taking Good Care Of Their Outside Cats. I Wish I Could Send A Couple Of Mine Outside.

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