Help outdoor cats keep warm this winter

Outdoor cat shelter

Winter can be tough for stray kitties! You can help homeless and feral cats get through the season by creating outdoor protective shelters. These containers shield cats from predators, environmental dangers, and cold weather.

Build a shelter for the homeless cats in your neighborhood, or donate your project to Animal Humane Society’s Trap-Neuter-Return program by bringing the container to the customer service counter at any AHS location during regular business hours. 

How to build your shelter


  • Rubbermaid tote

  • Styrofoam cooler
  • Hay or straw
  • Duct tape
  • Exacto knife


  • Cut a six-inch diameter hole in the tote to act as an entrance/exit for the cat.
  • Place the Styrofoam cooler inside the tote and cut a six-inch diameter hole in the cooler to match the tote entrance.
  • Put hay or straw in and around the Styrofoam cooler. Use as much hay or straw as possible, this will provide added insulation.
  • Place the Styrofoam lid on the cooler and secure the lid with a few pieces of duct tape.
  • Complete the project by securing the lid onto the tote. You may want to place duct tape on this lid as well.

Check out this sample shelter.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline