Building a cat shelter: walls & platforms

I’ve done a bit more on the new cat house. I previously worked on the walls of the shelter part, and this weekend continued that with the walls of the feeder section, plus the feeder awning and platforms for both sides.

Here’s the back of the feeder front wall, under construction:

In place:

Again, with a bracket for the shelf:

Building the feeder side door:

The side door in place:

Building the feeder awning:

The awning installed (and the shelter door removed):

Making the shelter platform, before cutting out the center part; the cutouts in the corners are for wires from the heating pads:

And the feeder shelf:

The underside of the shelter platform, after cutting out the center and adding edging and bracing:

And in place:

Finally, trying the positioning of the food dispenser, looking through the front window. It’ll sit on a drawer, making it easier to fill, and dispense into a tube that leads to the food dish below:

Stay tuned for more; next weekend I plan to build the roof!


It unexpectedly snowed overnight. Apparently areas above an elevation of 1,000 feet around the Portland region received some snow… and we’re at 1,100 feet.

Only about an inch, and it’s raining now, so it’ll probably be gone later today. But still fun to enjoy it while it lasts.

The feral cats are cozy in their heated shelter:

But the weight of the snow tore down the end of the chicken run roof netting:

So I went out with a staple gun and ladder to fix it:

Snow on the brown gazebo and trees:

Snow on the white gazebo:

The pond deck arbor:

The beehives:

Notice the clearer patch in the center of the roof, from the heat of the bees clustered inside:

Feral cats enjoying the sunshine

It’s been sunny for the past couple of days, after many days of clouds, and the feral cats have been enjoying soaking up the rays.


Enjoying rolling on the relatively warm asphalt driveway:

Hunting bugs in the grass:

Building a cat shelter: walls

Continuing from building the floor, over the last few days I’ve been building the walls of the cat shelter.

Like the floor, the walls are insulated. Here’s the inside of the center wall, between the shelter and feeder parts, before adding the second plywood layer:

Here I’m laying out the components of the back wall: a couple of vents, and a cat door:

The framing and insulation in place. The horizontal board through the middle will help support the platforms:

Three walls assembled:

A slightly different angle, after adding doorstops for the big maintenance door (pretty much the entire front of the shelter). You can also see supports for the platforms, halfway up the walls:

Laying out the maintenance door:

The inside of the maintenance door, with holes for two windows at the top and a cat door at the bottom, and insulation elsewhere. The door has more substantial framing than the walls, to make sure it’s sturdy, and support the awning:

Here’s the door in place. You may notice that I changed the design a bit from my plans; I decided that vertically-oriented windows would work better:

Finally (for now), I built the awning for the shelter side:

Next up, the walls and door for the feeder side. But the pace will slow down; I took a week off to get this started, but will need to get back to paying work next week.

Building a cat shelter: tweaked plans

I’ve drawn a new detail view for the front windows and awning, to help plan their construction:

I’ve also tweaked the existing plans for the cat shelter a little bit, based on changes while building. Nothing too significant, but I thought I’d publish the changes for completeness.

There are only a couple of subtle differences in the front elevation: the deck is higher than previously pictured, and the feeder opening is taller:

You can see those changes in this elevation, too:

Here you can see the higher deck, and its supports:

I originally planned to have the deck lower than the floor, to allow clearance for the maintenance door swing. But I also wanted to extend the side rim joists from the back of the shelter to the front of the deck, to make it more sturdy. I considered having the side joists higher than the deck level, but felt that’d look untidy. I’m happy with how it turned out. I’ll just have the maintenance door a bit higher to offset that change.

Building a cat shelter: floor

Today I started construction on the outdoor cat shelter.

I went to Home Depot on Sunday to purchase a bunch of materials, but decided to get the larger items delivered, as there was too much for one load. Home Depot has a relatively inexpensive delivery fee, and next-day delivery, so it was totally worth it. I also took the opportunity to get additional materials for other projects, e.g. t-posts for the apple trees, extra treated 2x6s to make a second beehive stand, and extras of other stuff I commonly use, just because:

Then this morning I started work on the floor, building it in the workshop. The floor joists use treated 2×6 boards. Looking at the following photo, the shelter will be on the back-left, the feeding station on the back-right, and the deck in the front:

I added foam insulation under the floor of the shelter:

Here you can see the underside:

And added the shelter & feeder floor, using 1/2″ plywood:

Some supports for the deck:

And the deck boards, using 1x2s:

A closer view:

Tomorrow I’ll start on the walls!