November 2009:  Thanks to Reinier Samsingh, my mother's outdoor cats now have a third warm winter house made to Ashot Karamian's excellent feral cat house plans.  These things are wonderful.  They're made of heavy duty, 54 gallon PVC storage tubs, insulated with 3" of sturdy, temperature resistant foam, lined with aluminum to hold in body heat, and filled with warm straw.  It can sleep up to 6 cats.  Click here for photos of the houses and a slide show of how they're made. 

Our feral cats are soooooo lucky to have these on freezing nights, and I don't worry about them knowing they're snug in their beds, cuddling together, safe and warm.  I don't know much about feral cat statistics, but I'd be willing to bet our group has a higher survival rate, and better overall health and welfare than most because they have these great, safe homes.  Thanks, Ashot, for designing these, and Reinier for making them. - JD

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UPDATE, SEPT. 2010:  ALL our ferals made it through winter 2009-10 none the worse for wear.  Hardly even a sniffle.  I'm really proud of that!  -JD

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UPDATE, SEPT. 2013:  Our ferals made it through three more winters since the update above.  We had a few sad losses, but they were not due to cold or exposure.  These shelters even stood up to Hurricane Sandy!  My neighbors cherry blossom tree was snapped in half, but these shelters held up!   In the fall of 2012, we augmented the 3 from Reinier/Ashot with 2 more donated by Urban Cat League, for a total of 5.  It makes my heart truly happy to be able to give these cats a warm place to stay when it's freezing outside.  -JD

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Would You Consider Donating To Our Feral Cats?  They Have a PitchInBox!