Having a safe dry place out of the wind and rain makes an enormous difference in the quality of life for a feral cat, and can help it survive the cold of winter.
Ideally, we want to be able to send off every pair of barn cats that we place with their own shelter so that they have a warm bed to curl up in. And we try to provide shelters to as many cats as we can that go through our TNR program and don’t have a shelter to go back to. Shelters can be lovely expensive custom buildings or they can be made of recycled materials.
If you are in a position to receive large styrofoam boxes that you don’t need, we would be grateful for the opportunity to take them off of your hands and put them to good use. They have to be large enough for at least one cat to sleep comfortably inside, preferably two cats because we always place them in pairs in barn homes. The bigger the styrofoam cooler, the better.
We can also make use of large plastic bins (they must have lids and be intact) and sheets of high-density styrofoam if you have any spare and would like to donate them.
If you fancy the idea of making warm, weatherproof cat shelters, we would be happy to receive them and take them to some feral cats who would appreciate them.
The following links provide good advice for making a variety of types of cat shelters.
Vladimir Kitten Project
Alley Cat Allies
Remember, never place fabric in a cat shelter because a wet cat will sit on it, the fabric will get wet and stay wet, or freeze, or rot, and then the shelter is useless. No blankets, no foam, no towels, and no cardboard go in the cat shelter – nothing absorbent at all.