I don’t know about you guys, but I get worried about our animals when the temperatures drop. At night, we bring the kitties inside. Thankfully, they are house broken, but I do spend an awful lot of time cleaning up cat hair – it drives me crazy to see it on my clothes and furniture. The kitties are house broken, so there is no litter box to contend with, but that means that they need to go out in the mornings. This past week, we have had the coldest week on record in the past several years. Morning temps have dipped to the teens with highs in the 30’s. The kitties are pretty persistent in letting us know when we want to come in or go out. The problem is that I worry about them. They do LOVE to be outside. So, I tried my hand at a little DIY project that I saw on Pinterest.
Ladies and gentlemen, my I introduce you to our new cat warmer…
This was surprisingly easy to make. I simply used a plastic 30 gallon tote, two styrofoam coolers, and a towel. For cutting, I used a small serrated utility knife and a box cutter. Easy breezy!
To start, either use two small coolers or one large cooler. Measure your tote for the internal measurements to make sure you select the correct lining. You don’t want to leave too much room in the tote for cold air to seep in and surround the coolers. The tighter the fit, the better. I used two small ones and cut a hole in the front of one cooler, then on both sides of the other so that the kitties could easily pass through, but wouldn’t be so large that much of the residual body heat would escape.
Make sure the holes align. Next, measure your tote so that you ensure that the hole in the front of the tote – your pet will use this to enter the warmer – aligns with the hole in the entry side of the cooler. I found it easier to cut the hole in the tote, then use my utility knife to trace the opening and cut the hole from the cooler.
Place your coolers inside the tote. I used pieces from a third cooler to fill in the spaces between the bottom of each cooler and line the sides of the tote between the coolers for extra insulation.
Once you are happy with the alignment of the tote and coolers, place some blankets or old towels in the bottom of the coolers and run them through the openings. I wanted to make sure our little trio was snug!
Invert the lids and place on top of the coolers and place the tote lid on top. All done! In order to attract the pets, I sewed a little bag from some left over fabric from my stash and filled with rice. You can pop this into the microwave for a couple of minutes and pop one into each cooler to warm the space and get it ready for your pets. While the temps are this low, we’ll use that as a safe method to warm the space and make it ready for the kitties each morning before we leave for work. Once the temps really drop in February (luckily, the coldest part of our winters is not very long), they will just have to use a litter box and stay inside. As much as they love it, I can’t justify sending them out when there is ice or snow.
Please remember to bring your animals inside when the temperatures drop – if it is too cold for you, it is too cold for your pets.