What can I use instead of straw for cat shelter?

Asked By: Outhmane Alami | Last Updated: 26th April, 2020
Category: pets cats
5/5 (1,360 Views . 27 Votes)
The short answer is: Styrofoam for insulation. This is fine as an alternative for straw, as long as you make sure it's of the thicker and water-repellant variety.

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Subsequently, one may also ask, what kind of straw is used in cat shelters?

Straw—Not Hay—for Outdoor Cat Shelters

  • Hay is typically used to feed animals, like horses.
  • Straw, the dry leftover stalks from harvested crops, repels moisture, making it the best bedding for outdoor cat shelters.
  • Caregivers' tip: Straw usually comes in bales but you only need a fraction of that to line a cat house.

Also, where can I buy straw for a feral cat shelter? Straw is the best insulated bedding for cat shelters. Bales of straw are plentiful at this time of year in garden centers and home improvement stores, such as Home Depot and Lowe's. Even local supermarkets have bales of straw alongside the chrysanthemums!

Then, will feral cats use a shelter?

A fast, inexpensive and functional shelter can be made with two storage bins and styrofoam insulation. Turn the bins upside down, stuff with straw, and you have an instant shelter that will stay warm by keeping the cats' body heat from escaping. Use the power of the sun to keep your feral shelter warm and cozy.

What do you put in a cat shelter?

Insulating materials inside the shelter will increase the comfort and warmth of the cats.

  • Only insulating materials which the cats can burrow into should be used.
  • Blankets, towels, flat newspapers, etc., retain wetness and should not be used.
  • Straw is a good insulating material to use.

39 Related Question Answers Found

Does straw really keep animals warm?

Straw is the best bedding — it repels moisture and provides insulation, making it ideal for keeping cats warm and comfortable all winter.

How does Straw keep cats warm?

Straw, being hollow, traps the heat from the cat's body and helps them keep warm. Similar situation when you dress in layers – you create pockets of trapped air that are filled with your body heat.

Do cats like to sleep in straw?

The most common choice for insulation and bedding is straw because it repels water and cats enjoy burrowing into it. But a lot of people also like to just go with Styrofoam for insulation, which is totally fine, as long as you make sure it's of the thicker and water-repellant variety.

Where do you put a cat shelter?

A: Placement of shelters is important in keeping cats safe from predators. If unleashed dogs are in the area, place your shelter behind a fence where the dogs can't get in, or have the entrance face a wall so only the cats can get in and out, and be sure the shelter is weighted down and hard to move.

What do feral cats do all day?


In addition, the feral cats' daily activity patterns—sleeping during the day and being active at night, which likely reflects the behavior of their prey, small mammals, as well as lets them better avoid humans—was very different from kitties with homes.

How long is straw good for?

Straw Bale homes can last over 100 years if properly maintained. At some point, all structures will eventually be replaced. When the time comes, the straw bales can be plowed back into the earth.

Where is the best place to put a feral cat shelter?

You'll want to situate your shelter with the front facing away from the wind, rain, and snow. A discreet location is ideal for keeping the cats safe and any neighbors who might not be in favor of ferals happy. Don't put the structure directly on the ground.

How can I keep my stray cat warm?

If you have feral cats in your yard and you have electrical outlets outside, you can put a heating pad in the sleeping box. Cut a small hole in the end of the box, feed a waterproof outdoor electrical cord through, and place a heating pad between the carpet square and blanket.

Do feral cats meow at humans?

In fact, meowing at humans is a behavior that's only present in cats who have been raised around humans. Feral cats do not meow at humans as a form of communication (though some may develop this habit if they're successfully tamed and domesticated.)

Will a stray cat starve if I stop feeding it?


A stray cat will not starve if you stop feeding it.
That stray was finding food before they met you, and they will find food after you stop. So, please don't worry about it. Cats are natural hunters too. Even the softest, most domesticated cat will draw on their natural hunting instinct when times are hard.

Are outdoor cats happier?

If you love letting your cat lounge outside, you may feel tempted to stop reading, but AHS experts want you to know that your outdoor kitty isn't any happier than it could be indoors. "However, it's still possible for a cat to live as happy of a life indoors without all the risks."

How do you get a feral cat into a shelter?

If you're interested in helping your neighborhood cats, here are some tips to keep in mind:
  1. Build your feral cats homes that stay dry and accessible in any weather.
  2. Include two entrances in your cat houses.
  3. Make sure your cats' houses are accessible to you.
  4. Make any repairs and change the straw before it gets cold.

What does it mean when a stray cat comes to your house?

What Does It Mean When a Stray Cat Comes to Your House? Sometimes stray cats will pick a particular house to hang around for reasons only known to the cat. Most likely a cat has fixated on your house because the location feels safe to him, such as a low traffic, quiet area like a cul-de-sac.

Should I feed feral cats?

For many, it's hard to see felines living outdoors. The first instinct may be to give them a can of cat food, which is certainly a kind gesture, but in reality, feral cats are often just as safe and healthy as our own house cats. A cat is probably feral if he's still unapproachable after several days of feeding.

Should I stop feeding feral cats?


A female cat cannot be fixed while she is nursing. However, it is very important to get the mother cat back to her kittens at any age as soon as possible. If you stop feeding the feral cats they will just go away.

Can a feral cat become a house pet?

It's possible for young feral kittens to become house pets, with proper socialization to humans. However, adult feral cats cannot be turned into pets. If you find an adult feral cat, do not try to turn it into a pet. Don't take them to a shelter either; they have a high risk of being euthanized.

Do cats like cedar chips?

If the fumes of cedar aren't toxic to cats, it's possible the smell itself is a deterrent. Using cedar chips or compost in the garden is touted as a way to keep trespassing cats out of the yard without harming them. Supposedly, cats don't like the odor of cedar, but other safe, feline smell repellents include: cinnamon.