Materials: 34-gallon Samla with lid, water heater insulation, Heavy-duty double sided sticky tape, old blankets or towels
Description: We have a stray cat family in our neighborhood that we’ve been feeding. They’ve been camped out in the dense shrubbery, but as it’s getting cold and wet, we wanted someplace warm and snug and out of the wind and rain for them.
I repurposed an Ikea Samla storage box. Using a Dremel tool with plastic cutter, I made a cat-sized hole in the end. We then filed the rough edges down with a rasp.
Using double-sided sticky tape (it’s a thick foam tape with great adhesion), I cut pieces of the water blanket insulation.
Depending on your weather, you can use heavier insulation, but you might have to make a double walled cat house using two Samlas if the insulation isn’t self-contained. There are instructions on the internet if you need more help.
In our case, we have fairly mild weather, so I used a roll of thin insulation. It’s sort of like aluminum colored bubble wrap. I cut it to fit, lining sides, ends, and bottom, then affixed it using that sturdy tape. I then cut sheets to go on the inside top of the box and fixed those with tape.
I then added a piece of memory foam that used to be a bed topper. The cats seem to love sitting on this stuff. On top of this I placed some scrap fleece fabric. Blankets, towels, anything washable would work. After I placed the lid on top, I added a sisal door mat, Hessum, I think. It gives them a place to curl up and hang out when the sun is out.
We have 100% occupancy, a mama cat and three kittens use it every night. (And yes, we are making sure all of them are spayed before they add any more kittens to the mix!) Total cost was under $30. and our strays now have a safe, snug place to stay.
Jules Yap started IKEAHackers.net in 2006 as a personal blog to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks from all over the world. Since then, she has learned a lot more about power tools and DIY. Her site has helped thousands modify IKEA furniture with step-by-step tutorials, craft projects and home styling.