Feral cat stopped using the shelter

mimiaow

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Hey, I've had three shelters on my deck for a few years. I clean them and put them out before it gets cold.

I've noticed lately, that my one semi-feral cat, Kitty, stopped using the shelter. This morning I woke up to 6" of snow. I put some dry food out in the container by the back door and Kitty came out from under the deck. There were no paw prints from any of the houses. In the past, she's always hunkered down.

This year I got a roll of that silver insulation and put it inside. I thought it might help more than just the foam. That is the only difference. Do you think that could be the issue.

I thought about cats and tin foil.

I'm thinking of making a new shelter and seeing if she will use that. It's odd that none of the cats are using the houses, tho. That is the only difference.

Anyone else use the silver insulation in cat shelters?
 

di and bob

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I use heated cat mats I get from K&H. The new insulation could very well be a change they don't like. You might take it out of one or two and see if they start going in. Cats HATE change. It really kinds of depends on how cold it is too if it's above 20degrees Fahrenheit, I notice my cats are all at the back door, they only go in the shelters when it gets in the teens. It is amazing how much cold they tolerate. I did notice too they are avoiding an older shelter I have that was sprayed by tomcats. I cleaned it with an enzyme cleaner, but I guess not good enough!
 
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mimiaow

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I am going to take them in the garage and take out the insulation, clean and put fresh straw in there.

It is amazing that Kitty like the cold. I tried to bring her in, but she just sat at the door and howled. She actually was someone's cat at some point because she is fixed, but she doesn't like to be inside no matter what.

They sure do hate change, tho. Funny little critters.
 

maggie101

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Use a humane trap and some blankets and a towel over it. It's also possible she has found somewhere warmer so like di and bob di and bob suggested heated mats and she will go there. Also only leave the garage partially open so it won't be as cold inside
 

Meowmee

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I am going to take them in the garage and take out the insulation, clean and put fresh straw in there.

It is amazing that Kitty like the cold. I tried to bring her in, but she just sat at the door and howled. She actually was someone's cat at some point because she is fixed, but she doesn't like to be inside no matter what.

They sure do hate change, tho. Funny little critters.
To acclimate her to being inside, (if not touchable also cage her for a while in a large dog carrier) put her in a small room with hidy spots etc. She will get used to being inside but it may take a few weeks. If you have other cats and they get along that will help. You need to engage them in play etc. to tire them out.

I also have kh heater in one of my shelters. The other two smaller ones are kitty tubes with double insulation. I put straw in all of them. I also have a much larger shelter in the woods that I built a long time ago which is insulated. I put one of those very thin rescue blankets that absorbs heat on the bottom and I put all of the straw on top of it- they do use that one too but now they seem to prefer the kitty tubes and the other one that I made out of a cooler that has the heater which are all closer to the house. Lately with this very cold weather my last two outdoors are cuddling up together in that heated cooler shelter. I had to open the flap door to get them to use it though, they started using it last year, Giorgio who is departed now was the first and he also used the kitty tube in front a lot.
 

tyleete

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I had to chime in about the outdoor to indoor transition too. Only 1 of my current 11 rescues has never been outside. All the others were taken out from there and while some are slower to get used to it, after a short while they all come around.
Now they all run away when the door is opened. Like they're afraid someone's going to shoo them back outside.😄
I had 1 that was such a timid wild child that it took him 3 months to fully trust and come out of hiding and accept love easily. And this was after I'd been feeding him at least 6mo.
Course, I also drove him cross country the very next day too.😒
But yeah, in over 20yrs of taking in ferals; I've never had a single one that didn't come to appreciate the good life indoors. And it's so much safer and healthier for them.
As for the change? I always say cats are these little autistic toddlers. I say that as having Apergers as well as my children too. Change is the enemy of their existence.😄 Good luck!
 

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I went through the exact same thing and was just as puzzled. I moved the shelter to not point straight out, instead point towards the front door, and when all that didn’t work, I scooted one in, lol
They’re back to using it but I have no clue why.
 
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