Winter is fast approaching and, in most climates, that means the nation’s feral cat colonies are looking for places to stay warm and dry. One easy way to provide a warm spot for these wild felines is to build a shelter using a plastic bin with lid, styrofoam and straw. And now you can do it without spending a bundle.
Kyle Smith runs eRubbermaid.com, where he sells all types of Rubbermaid products. Two years ago, Kyle and his youngest brother, Simon, began researching how to handle stray cats after their mother rescued a litter, when they came across how to use Rubbermaid containers as shelters. Kyle immediately ordered a couple from his wholesaler and Simon who is 12 I should add(!) tweaked a shelter concept from Indy Feral. Kyle decided cost shouldn’t be a reason for ferals to suffer through the cold, so he and Simon started the Roughneck Homes Program. Through the initiative, eRubbermaid.com offers wholesale prices on 18- and 36 gallon totes to people who want to either build their own cat shelters or donate a container to a local cat rescue organization.
“Our goal is that by offering the containers at such low pricing, we may be able to inspire some others to donate these products to their local animal shelters in need of such materials,” Kyle wrote to Pawesome. “Coupled with shipping, we offer the containers at about $3-$4 below our own costs and have received wonderful feedback in the short lifespan of this program.”
Instructions for making a Roughneck Home are easy, but please note that you should use straw rather than hay to pad your shelter. Since hay is a food source, it contains moisture and will begin to rot within the container. Straw is the removed stalks of a plant and are dried out.