Prep for winter: dog house for cats

Today has turned out to be beautifully sunny and warm; the last warm day we’re supposed to get for at least a week.  Time to take advantage of it!

One of my goals for the day was to get the old dog house by the sun room cleaned out, re-oriented and winterized for the cats to use.

Here is how it looked, starting out.


Here, I have already removed the sheets of aluminum and metal roofing from the top, and the board that covered the top of the opening.

The first thing to do was to clean out the old straw.

It smelled like pee. 😦

In the process, I discovered it was really easy to move, so I was able to tip it over to get the last of the old straw and dirt out.

Which is when I discovered this.


A board, the head of a metal snow shovel, a toilet tank lid, and a rock.

This was all placed under it to level the doghouse.  As you can see, though, the back end had started to sink into the ground.  The wood was beginning to rot where it touched the ground.

I wanted to change the direction the opening face, as the south facing opening meant the wind was blowing right in.  I considered having it face north, towards the sun room, for maximum shelter from the wind, but after seeing how the ground was uneven, I decided to just turn it 90 degrees.  Not quite as sheltered, but still better.  Plus, we have some ideas on how to provide even more insulation and shelter, later.  We shall see.

I also didn’t want to lay it directly on the ground.  There has been a large piece of thick plastic leaning against the house since before we moved here.  No one has said anything about why it’s there or if it’s for anything in particular.  I think it used to be the cover for the basement window in the past, but the one that’s there now is larger.

So, I claimed it.


The cut outs are a bit of a problem, as it is just shy of the width of the dog house.  Which means the corner “legs” slide off, one way or the other, easily.  To help with that, I used the two glazed bricks that had been in front of the opening before, and put one on either side, to prevent slippage.  Then, for extra measure, I found a rod that I could insert into the ground against one corner.  The doghouse can still be easily moved, but not on its own.


Next, fresh straw was put inside for bedding and insulation, and more was added around the sides and back, for insulation.

Coming back with another load of straw to add inside, I found Doom Guy in it, checking it out! 😀


Finally, the metal sheets were put back on the roof, and the board back over the opening.

It’ll do for another winter – probably several winters – but I certainly hope we can replace this with something better, next year.

Who knows how many cats we’ll have by then!

Speaking of cats, they were all over the place, but that will be for another post!

The Re-Farmer

5 thoughts on “Prep for winter: dog house for cats

    • I’ve seen photos of a “cat condo”, with a plexiglass front, and two levels. I’d love to build something like that for them!

      What can I say. We’re sucks. It’s all we can do not to bring them inside!!


      • LOL!! Love it! Aren’t cats amazing about choosing their humans? 😀

        Our mama cat showed up on our balcony, coming up the fire escape stairs, two moves ago, starving and pregnant. We already had two cats and couldn’t keep her because of the co-op bylaws, but we left food and water on the balcony for her and the male that was with her. We even set up something for her to have her kittens, but it was too exposed, and she didn’t use it. When she disappeared for a while, we figured she had her litter. We found a way to make the “nest” better, just in case. She brought her one kitten to us! It amazes me, to think how much effort she had to have made, just to get him up the stairs, ever mind from wherever she had him.

        We were allowed to foster them until he was weaned and we could adopt them out. Then one of our cats died of sudden kidney failure. We ended up keeping her boy, and adopting her out. Two years later, she showed up on our balcony again – pregnant again! That time, a friend took her just before she had her kittens, adopting out the babies after they weaned, but she came back because she was beating up the other cats and wouldn’t even take care of her kittens. A surprise, because she was such a good mama, before. We didn’t know what to do, but then our other cat died (she was about 15 years old), so our mama stayed with her boy and hasn’t left, since. She wouldn’t even try to go outside. She picked us and wasn’t going to leave!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Clean up: old dog houses moved | The Re-Farmer

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