You may need to train your cat to use the house by feeding them inside. They will see how warm and cozy it is in there and before you know it they will be using it on their own.
We keep our cat houses out all year long but we only feed them inside on very cold days. They are plugged in all winter, day and night. In the spring we unplug them during the day when the weather is warm and plug them in for the cold nights. During the summer our cats don't use the inside, so we put foam pads on top and they love to lay up there. When we turn the houses on in the fall as the days and nights start to get cold again, we find our cats sleeping inside, they really love their houses!
This cat house is easy to make and can be built in just a few hours. It is easy to clean and will last for years.
These are the parts you will need to build your cat house:
1 - 100 qt. cooler or larger
1 - super bright 12 ft. rope light
8 - 1" x 1" mounting bases
20 - zip ties
11 - #8 x 1/2" long wood screws
1 - 8" x 8" piece of carpet. Make sure the carpet is a couple inches larger in height and width than the doorway you are going to cut.
1" thick foam pad for the inside bed (cut to fit)
1 rug or blanket for the inside bed
3" thick for outside on top of the lid (cut to fit)
Making the Cat House
Start by measuring a 6" x 6" square about 1" up from the bottom, in the lower corner of the cooler. Then drill a hole in each corner large enough for a jig saw blade to fit in. Cut the square out.
Mount the piece of carpet to the inside of the cooler with 3 - #8 wood screws, making sure the doorway is covered completely. Then cut a slit about 3" long up the middle of the carpet. This makes it easier for them to exit.
Mount the 8 rope light mounting bases with the #8 Wood screws as shown. I tried the self adhesive tape that is already on the back of the mounts and then hot glue, neither one of these will hold, so I decided to use wood screws.
Starting with the cord end string the rope lights around the inside of the lid starting in the lower left hand corner, so the cord end hangs out the back as shown in the picture below. Mount them to the bases with zip ties. The rope light should wrap around twice.
The cord needs to run out the back of the house, with a jig saw cut a slot the width of the cord in the inside edge of the lid and the top edge of the cooler.
Make sure the lid closes without pinching the cord. Be careful not to nick to the edge of the lid with the saw.
It is best to locate the cat house under a covered porch or at least out of the rain, unless you mount a board to the top that overhangs the door.
If you would like a version of this article with pictures just email us. If you would like us to build one or more for you, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.pdjinc.com for more contact information.