Heater for outdoor "cat house"

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warehouse machines is bad enough, but a cooling fan full of cat hair?
aem sends...
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ameijers posted for all of us... I don't top post - see either inline or at bottom.

Event" in the machine log.
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If you can capture them (in, say, a racoon trap) then the best favor you can do them is to take them (while still in the cage) to a vet. The vet can put the entire cage in a box with anestetic gas (to knock them out without having to handle them). Then they can spay/neuter the cats, give them shots (vaccines, rabbies, etc).
It will be easier to catch them in a cage when it gets colder and they get more desperate for food.
Spend $150 on them. You'll never do better for them if you do that. The diseases they can get are horrible and the remedy is simple. If one (or both) are female, then they'll never get pregnant, and you'll be reducing the cat population (and you'll be reducing the chances that they'll develop cancer later). If one (or both) are male, you'll again help to keep the population down, plus reduce their desire to fight other cats or become terratorial. Usually, once they are neutered, they will be more likely to be friendly with you. But it does depend on how old they are. The sooner you spay/neuter them, the better.

A well insulated shelter should be all they need. You need to create a space that will be kept dry, and have a small entry/exit portal (ie wind-proof). Most important - they need to accept it. You'll never be able to force them to use it. It can't be anywhere where there's lots of people-traffic.
I don't know if it's worth the effort to create a space for them to sleep and wait-out the winter vs creating an enclosure for placing food. You will find that just keeping water and soft-food from freezing solid will be a challenge. I've messed around with several different heated bowls in an enclosure the past few winters to come up with something that works.
We've turned several ferral cats into the most tame, lovable house cats you could imagine. Once they come home from the vet, we keep them in a room for several weeks to get used to people. They still like to be indoor/outdoor cats, so a cat-door is all they need.
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Simple heating pad, bought at Walmart works fine...
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K & H makes heaters specifically designed for what you want: http://www.khmfg.com/products/heatedDogBeds.htm
We bought the cat version (just a smaller version) and I'm impressed with the construction and build quality. Their products are available online, but my wife found one at a local pet store. The cat version uses the equivalent of a 40-watt bulb, so we just plugged it in for the winter and will unplug it in spring. Cord is covered in a metal spring to prevent chewing.

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Here's the cat version:
http://www.khmfg.com/products/cats/kittyPad.htm

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<snipped for length> Seems to me that the cats have a place already that they are used to??? I hear this all the time when someone (usually my wife) says, 'the poor <insert animal here> is going to freeze to death' yes, and without mans intervention all wild things cannot survive. So...why not give them a place to be comfortable in, in between sleeping and eating everything that moves in your general area.
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"nevermind"> wrote

You start out talking about domestic cats and then finish up with wild cats. They're different.

A domestic cat does that?
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snip

The OP was talking about 'feral' cats, is that not a domwstic gone wild?

You really know anything about cats?, Yes, They will clean up their food in the dish and go find anything moving and kill it. The best mousers are said to be a well fed cat. I have two that will eat moths and flies, they've learned about toads, but frogs are a delicacy to them.
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wrote:
-> -> -> snip -> > -> > You start out talking about domestic cats and then finish up with wild -> > cats. They're different. -> -> The OP was talking about 'feral' cats, is that not a domwstic gone wild? Feral cats are born of strays and have had no human contact to "domesticate" them. (Until some kind human intervenes and does whatever it takes to "tame" them.)
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: -> : -> snip : -> > : -> > You start out talking about domestic cats and then finish up with wild : -> > cats. They're different. : -> : -> The OP was talking about 'feral' cats, is that not a domwstic gone wild? : : Feral cats are born of strays and have had no human contact : to "domesticate" them. That creates the "first generation" ferals. Often they can still be recovered and can make a decent pet. They're "broke" but still capable of loving and appreciating people if properly treated.
(Until some kind human intervenes and : does whatever it takes to "tame" them.) Second and third generations may or may not be able to be "tamed". By the 4th and succeeding generation they are usually impossible to recover. Once a feral community becomes entrenched, the only way to get rid of them is to catch them and put them to sleep, or, as we do around here, feed them birth control. Since a feral cat has a life span of about 6 to 10 years though, it takes awhile to pare the community down that way. Feral cats can make good mousers on a farm some say, but they will quickly over-run a farm if they entrench. And of course they contain a lot of diseases and are murder on other pets and animals. Entrenched ferals will fight to the death as a rule.
Sad, but true, unfortunately. Support your local SPCA.
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That's just silly. First, how do you know what generation you are dealing with? These cats are wild and difficult to observe, let alone their litters.
Second, this presumes that behavior is genetic. If this was the case, then no wild animal could be successfully domesticated. Yet people successfully rescue infant animals of all species and keep them as pets.
The key is catching them young, very young, like at birth. I have the kitten of a feral cat sitting in front of me right as I speak. Her mother is, after 12 years, still afraid of me but she knows where "home" is and comes in when she eats and sleeps. The kittens couldn't be more loving. They were handled from birth, and whereas they don't know their "birth mother" is even related to them, they are very bonded to me!
Trap neuter and release is the option, NOT euthanasia. Remember what happened in the bubonic plague, when cats were eliminated? Perhaps it is feral cats that will "save" us from the avian flu!

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Woof, I know I should just move on, but the temptation to respond is just too strong. I'm sure you're a good person and probably an animal lover Betsy, but you're going on some personal experiences and anecdotes that aren't necessarily the "norm" to put it gently.
: That's just silly. First, how do you know what generation you are dealing : with? These cats are wild and difficult to observe, let alone their : litters.
Easy. Gestation period and length of time the feral community has existed. Beyond two years and you have a well established feral community. Beyond observation it's only a guess but it is still easy to spot the first and second generation animals by their mannerisms and responses to various things, including humans.
: : Second, this presumes that behavior is genetic. If this was the case, then : no wild animal could be successfully domesticated. Yet people successfully : rescue infant animals of all species and keep them as pets. Of course it's genetic! No animal can be truly domesticated; it's called nature's way. Any cat, domestic or not, if healthy knows about chasing and eating prey, for instance. It doesn't need to be taught; it's inherent. Being taught helps, but that's not all it takes.
: : The key is catching them young, very young, like at birth. I have the : kitten of a feral cat sitting in front of me right as I speak. We have three feral cats in our home. Two came as week-old kittens, the third was a rescue from a restaurant grease trap a few winters back. We bottle-fed and raised the kittens to adulthood. They came at different times; one was found dying, laying in a water puddle, the other one has 4 different length legs; lost three them to freezing. Only one "full" leg complete with foot toes and claws; other three are varying lengths.
Her mother : is, after 12 years, still afraid of me but she knows where "home" is and : comes in when she eats and sleeps. These are house-cats now; they do not roam. And except for the one with the legs problems, the youngest, do not want to. Has nothing to do with anything though.
The kittens couldn't be more loving. Same here, when they were kittens. But don't surprise or somehow scare any one of them or you may not see them for days on end. Many people confuse "love" with "dependence" and an appreciation of comfort. Just because you are teaching kittens doesn't mean their instincts are stunted, or gone. It means their bellies are full enough and they have the comfort they want; they're not wanting for very much. But if they're from a feral community, they are still feral. BTW, you DO undterstand what feral means, right? If not, I would advise you to look it up. It doesn't just mean a stray or abandoned cat. Feral cats can almost never be completely redeemed as a housecat.
: They were handled from birth, and whereas they don't know their "birth : mother" is even related to them, they are very bonded to me! They probably are, and that's great. But, that bond is nature's doing, not yours. If they were feral, they are still feral. That's not necessarily bad as long as they don't start spraying, copulating, things like that. Our third one, Phoebe, was spayed several years ago and still loves to "have a go" at Major Buzzer, the oldest Tom in our house.
We do animal fostering for the local SPCA and anyone else that needs it, so we have had lots of kittens around and we go thru a fortune in the formula for the kittens, but it's all worth it. We also "judge" kittens, to see if they're worth trying to save. Some ferals, if you push them too hard, even as kittens, will force themselves into live failure, stop eating and drinking and wait to die. No matter how much you love or care for them, they are not going to imprint on you, especially if they are well into the generation counts. It's a complete return to nature. Feral cats will have worms, fleas, upper respiratory problems, live and kidney problems, and all kinds of things that are heartbreaking to see. But that's called nature, instinct, things like that. And that doesn't count feline hepatitus, HIV, FIP and all the rest of it. The right feral cat could kill off every cat in your home. It's a very bad idea to mess with feral cats unless you know what you're doing to some degree and have support resources at hand. There is good reason ferals are not caged/kept with "normal" companion animals in shelters and such. : : Trap neuter and release is the option, NOT euthanasia. Then I hope you're donating to lots to lots of Shelters working on the feral problems. If not, you're being hypocritical here.
Remember what : happened in the bubonic plague, when cats were eliminated? Perhaps it is : feral cats that will "save" us from the avian flu!
No, I don't; wasn't alive then, but I have read about it. Remember it's YOU brought up the annihilation of every cat in the world, not anyone else. You sound like one of those people who, rather than save to euthanize that poor kitten we found frozen into the puddle one morning on the street, would have instead have let her lay there and suffer? It had a body temp of 94 degrees when it got to the Shelter, and lived 24 hours, so we took it to assess it and see if it was salvageable. It was and is still with us and hopefully will be for a long time. But no one else would have taken it; it had gone into liver and kidney shutdown and couldn't/wouldn't eat or drink; what would YOU have done with it? Let it continue its slow death and misery right to the end? It would have taken at least another three days. That scenario and ones like it happen over and over every day at Shelters all over the world. There are a LOT more of them around than people who will make life bearable for them. Which group do YOU belong to? How many will you go out and help? How many have you helped? Or is the two you have enough and you've "done your duty, let someone else do it now"?
Regards,
Pop
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Yes, I know what feral means, and I still totally disagree with you.
All of my cats are rescues, and most of them are from my old neighborhood. And Mama Cat is definitely feral, and her kittens couldn't be more dependent. And then there is Melon, who before neutering attacked me and now is quite loving. NO, she doesn't like to be held, but she too is an inbred feral.
I've rescued many cats given away, and kept many. Currently I have 11.
And I've also rescued many wild animals.
You seem to have some kind of unfounded belief that behavior is passed on genetically. Wild behavior is passed on by imprinting, no matter what "generation".

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Your'e a hoot, you really are! Color the world whatever color you want to, it still doesn't make it true. Not gonna bother with you anymore - you're a closed mind without consideration for facts and so not worth further chatting/discussing anything.
Cheers,
Pop
: > Woof, I know I should just move on, but the temptation to respond : > is just too strong. I'm sure you're a good person and probably : > an animal lover Betsy, but you're going on some personal : > experiences and anecdotes that aren't necessarily the "norm" to : > put it gently. : > : > : That's just silly. First, how do you know what generation you : > are dealing : > : with? These cats are wild and difficult to observe, let alone : > their : > : litters. : > : > Easy. Gestation period and length of time the feral community : > has existed. Beyond two years and you have a well established : > feral community. Beyond observation it's only a guess but it is : > still easy to spot the first and second generation animals by : > their mannerisms and responses to various things, including : > humans. : > : > : : > : Second, this presumes that behavior is genetic. If this was : > the case, then : > : no wild animal could be successfully domesticated. Yet people : > successfully : > : rescue infant animals of all species and keep them as pets. : > Of course it's genetic! No animal can be truly domesticated; : > it's called nature's way. Any cat, domestic or not, if healthy : > knows about chasing and eating prey, for instance. It doesn't : > need to be taught; it's inherent. Being taught helps, but that's : > not all it takes. : > : > : : > : The key is catching them young, very young, like at birth. I : > have the : > : kitten of a feral cat sitting in front of me right as I speak. : > We have three feral cats in our home. Two came as week-old : > kittens, the third was a rescue from a restaurant grease trap a : > few winters back. We bottle-fed and raised the kittens to : > adulthood. They came at different times; one was found dying, : > laying in a water puddle, the other one has 4 different length : > legs; lost three them to freezing. Only one "full" leg complete : > with foot toes and claws; other three are varying lengths. : > : > Her mother : > : is, after 12 years, still afraid of me but she knows where : > "home" is and : > : comes in when she eats and sleeps. : > These are house-cats now; they do not roam. And except for the : > one with the legs problems, the youngest, do not want to. Has : > nothing to do with anything though. : > : > The kittens couldn't be more loving. : > Same here, when they were kittens. But don't surprise or somehow : > scare any one of them or you may not see them for days on end. : > Many people confuse "love" with "dependence" and an appreciation : > of comfort. Just because you are teaching kittens doesn't mean : > their instincts are stunted, or gone. It means their bellies are : > full enough and they have the comfort they want; they're not : > wanting for very much. But if they're from a feral community, : > they are still feral. : > BTW, you DO undterstand what feral means, right? If not, I : > would advise you to look it up. It doesn't just mean a stray or : > abandoned cat. Feral cats can almost never be completely : > redeemed as a housecat. : > : > : They were handled from birth, and whereas they don't know their : > "birth : > : mother" is even related to them, they are very bonded to me! : > They probably are, and that's great. But, that bond is nature's : > doing, not yours. If they were feral, they are still feral. : > That's not necessarily bad as long as they don't start spraying, : > copulating, things like that. Our third one, Phoebe, was spayed : > several years ago and still loves to "have a go" at Major Buzzer, : > the oldest Tom in our house. : > : > We do animal fostering for the local SPCA and anyone else that : > needs it, so we have had lots of kittens around and we go thru a : > fortune in the formula for the kittens, but it's all worth it. : > We also "judge" kittens, to see if they're worth trying to : > save. Some ferals, if you push them too hard, even as kittens, : > will force themselves into live failure, stop eating and drinking : > and wait to die. No matter how much you love or care for them, : > they are not going to imprint on you, especially if they are well : > into the generation counts. It's a complete return to nature. : > Feral cats will have worms, fleas, upper respiratory problems, : > live and kidney problems, and all kinds of things that are : > heartbreaking to see. But that's called nature, instinct, things : > like that. And that doesn't count feline hepatitus, HIV, FIP and : > all the rest of it. The right feral cat could kill off every cat : > in your home. : > It's a very bad idea to mess with feral cats unless you know : > what you're doing to some degree and have support resources at : > hand. There is good reason ferals are not caged/kept with : > "normal" companion animals in shelters and such. : > : : > : Trap neuter and release is the option, NOT euthanasia. : > Then I hope you're donating to lots to lots of Shelters working : > on the feral problems. If not, you're being hypocritical here. : > : > Remember what : > : happened in the bubonic plague, when cats were eliminated? : > Perhaps it is : > : feral cats that will "save" us from the avian flu! : > : > No, I don't; wasn't alive then, but I have read about it. : > Remember it's YOU brought up the annihilation of every cat in the : > world, not anyone else. You sound like one of those people who, : > rather than save to euthanize that poor kitten we found frozen : > into the puddle one morning on the street, would have instead : > have let her lay there and suffer? It had a body temp of 94 : > degrees when it got to the Shelter, and lived 24 hours, so we : > took it to assess it and see if it was salvageable. It was and : > is still with us and hopefully will be for a long time. But no : > one else would have taken it; it had gone into liver and kidney : > shutdown and couldn't/wouldn't eat or drink; what would YOU have : > done with it? Let it continue its slow death and misery right : > to the end? It would have taken at least another three days. : > That scenario and ones like it happen over and over every day at : > Shelters all over the world. : > There are a LOT more of them around than people who will make : > life bearable for them. Which group do YOU belong to? How many : > will you go out and help? How many have you helped? Or is the : > two you have enough and you've "done your duty, let someone else : > do it now"? : > : > Regards, : > : > Pop : > --- : > : > : :
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snipped Her

Yeah, eats cat food at home but spends the rest of the time killing off the competition.

Because there are no birds left in your neck of the woods. No thanks, I tend to enjoy watching the birds at the feeder.
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"nevermind"> wrote

A little, we presently have 6. Amazing what people throw away.
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Don wrote:

grandfather doing on his farm. Dog house is insulated and with a flap door installed.
Took a light base that normally a glass globe attaches (large) Metal can (long, food comes in, juice, etc) with small vent holes punch around the outside. installed a small screen around the can to prevent curious burnt noses, although installed in the top of the dog house which they never bother. 100 what light installed with can installed into the globe base, srcews that originally held the globe hold the can in place.
I had a hard time getting the right size can to fit, I suspect that could make a metal shroud out of some metal flashing or whatever.
My grandfather always used metal, he said radiated heat well.
Anyway my little setup works great, have on a thermostat to turn off during the day when temps get warm.
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Lots of great suggestions. An Idea for "Windproof" door: take two pieces of blanket. Attach first blanket at top, bottom, and right side of opening. Attach second blanket at top, bottom, and left side of opening. might take the cat a little to get used to pushing through but i think it will keep out the drafts. Place the outside open side downwind of the prevailing winds. Should keep out the drafts pretty well i think.
I like Nicks idea of the door opening being lower than the floor. Dig the trough now, before the ground freezes.
For heat, I think the idea of the lightbulb is good... and using the 240W bulb in a 120 fixture is really good. (just don't do it the other way around. ;) Can be put on a timer and only used when it's *really* cold.
Windows... plastic taped on either side of the insulation (leaving an air gap for insulation).
Insulation: Is there a particular reason folks are shouting "stay away from fiberglass!"? I understand "bats" , but I think the foil backed "pressed" fiberglass sheets might be good in this application... as might foil backed foamboard. (if my understanding of the radiant properties is correct.)
Ground insulation is a *great* idea. (as anyone who's slept on bare ground can attest... the earth can suck the hear right out of you.)
Of course, the biggest trick is going to be getting the cats to accept this Taj Mahal.... good luck!
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Or put the house up on blocks. Cats can climb.
Nick
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