Should I buy a cat house?

We have a stray cat who allows us the inestimable pleasure of feeding her. She simply showed up on the back deck, one day, and let us know she bestowed this grace on us.

In return, lives in our garage at night, and takes care of the occasional mouse. I know this because she leaves her foot prints on the hood, windshield and ragtop of my Miata. (Not bragging. It’s an old 1991 model with over 100,000 miles on its tired frame.)

Well, as we speak, a carpenter is sealing up the two ‘critter holes’ thru which the cat gains access to the garage. Now, I’m worried that without this shelter, she will have a hard time surviving our New England winters.

What’s the answer? I can’t do a kitty door to the garage. Will a cat house (if such exists) from Petco on the back deck be adequate protection from the elements? (We have some racoons on the property. Would they be a threat to the cat?)

If the cat house is no good, do you have another suggestion or two?

All kidding aside, I’d worried about this animal.

I’ve always thought I was not a cat person but she has won me over. I guess her aloofness is part of the charm. For the longest time she hissed whenever we slid the deck door open to put out her food and water.

No longer, however. Just a plaintive “meow” or two, and then, after we slide the door shut, she stretches luxuriously (to let us know she’s not all that hungry) and then makes her haughty way for the dishes.

You should check with your local ordinances. In most states except Nevada, cat houses are illegal.:smiley:

If you do use a cat house, the best way to make it more comfortable is to ensure there is some sort of platform within to keep her off the floor.

If you feel racoons might be a threat then all you need do is make the entrance small and easily defended from within.

If there is some means to install a dew heater inside, they just about keep the chill off and no more, she will almost certainly be glad of it, install it under the platform, which should be the whole of the floor of the house.

It would not be all that hard to put a cat door in the garage door or in a sidewall.

Is a cat rescue agency out of the question? Unless the cat is completely feral, maybe they could give it a good home.

I’d think a New England winter would be pretty hard on a cat unless it was a hardy long-haired breed like a Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest cat.

If you have raccoons, I’d at least suggest trying to get the cat vaccinated for rabies.

:smiley:

Ask your pet store. Most have one or more knowlegable employees.

Insulate the raised floor and add a low voltage low temperature floor heat pad. Just enough heat to keep cats and dogs from being chilled.

Many large cities have pet adoption shelters.

Yeah. And why buy when you can rent? I hear most have hourly rates …

Cats are fickle, just because you make shelter available is no guarantee she will use it.

Our neighbors pretty much abandoned their outdoor cat when he refused to go in the house, and my mother got a cardboard box and padded the inside with old blankets and newspapers. It was warm as toast for the poor thing and he used to sleep there in the winter.

Must … resist … obvious … Nevada joke …

Jomo Mojo, why resist?

Tell us…Nevada joke.

We’re all eyes. :eek:

And thanks to all of you for the wonderful replies.

Check your local cat rescues for advice. Some people may already have some setups in use that they could recommend. I know how you feel, I’m worried about my ferals this winter too!

I’d also look into getting her to a vet and seeing if she’s fixed or not. I’m presently in the process of trapping the feral cats in my yard and getting them all fixed up so I don’t have 80 of them next spring.

(One down, seven more to go…)

Well, Nevada is the only state where cathouses are legal.

Thank you, Jomo, but Fat Bald Guy beat you to it. Please see above.

I tried chasing down the etymology of cathouse/cat house as a synonym of bordello. No luck.

Anyone have an idea where the term came from?

I think it has something to so with all of the yowling.