PDA

View Full Version : Electricity-assisted winter shelter


Ajanta
November 28th 05, 12:22 AM
I appreciate all advice I got re a small winter shelter for a
semi-homeless cat just in case the weather turns nasty during the 2-3
weeks we would be gone in Dec-Jan.

I found a room that is unheated but otherwise completely protected from
winds, rains, etc.. It lacks a functioning outlet, so I assumed there
is no electric option, and was thinking of a simple box-styrofoam-box
design with mylar blankets for lining.

However, almost one day after reading Tom's post about 150 feet long
cords I had my Eureka moment: I too could run a long cord! I still have
to secure the landlord's permission but I will probably get it. What is
my best option if I do have electricity?

Should I still build the box? Or just purchase something like

Heated Cup:
<http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=1475&N=20
02+113876> , or

heated pad:
<http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=10291&N=2
002+113876> ?

Which of these two heated options is better?

One thing that does worry me is that it would have to be plugged in 2-3
weeks straight with nobody to check everything is ok. It is more
convenient to plug in rather than build something, but on top of any
electric danger to her, any power interruption will leave her with no
shelter whereas a simple box will always be there.

I am kind of confused and would appreciate advice on the best course to
take if I have the option of running a cord.

No More Retail
November 28th 05, 04:27 AM
to bad you could not rig up something that had a solar battery or solar
powered
or use a battery center that stores power and has outlets to plug into


Was it you that was looking at cat doors Wal-Mart had an electronically one
that your cat wears an id tag on it that is the only way the door will open


"Ajanta" > wrote in message
...
>I appreciate all advice I got re a small winter shelter for a
> semi-homeless cat just in case the weather turns nasty during the 2-3
> weeks we would be gone in Dec-Jan.
>
> I found a room that is unheated but otherwise completely protected from
> winds, rains, etc.. It lacks a functioning outlet, so I assumed there
> is no electric option, and was thinking of a simple box-styrofoam-box
> design with mylar blankets for lining.
>
> However, almost one day after reading Tom's post about 150 feet long
> cords I had my Eureka moment: I too could run a long cord! I still have
> to secure the landlord's permission but I will probably get it. What is
> my best option if I do have electricity?
>
> Should I still build the box? Or just purchase something like
>
> Heated Cup:
> <http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=1475&N=20
> 02+113876> , or
>
> heated pad:
> <http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=10291&N=2
> 002+113876> ?
>
> Which of these two heated options is better?
>
> One thing that does worry me is that it would have to be plugged in 2-3
> weeks straight with nobody to check everything is ok. It is more
> convenient to plug in rather than build something, but on top of any
> electric danger to her, any power interruption will leave her with no
> shelter whereas a simple box will always be there.
>
> I am kind of confused and would appreciate advice on the best course to
> take if I have the option of running a cord.

November 28th 05, 05:27 AM
Ajanta wrote:
> heated pad:
> <http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=10291&N=2
> 002+113876> ?
>
> Which of these two heated options is better?
>
> One thing that does worry me is that it would have to be plugged in 2-3
> weeks straight with nobody to check everything is ok. It is more
> convenient to plug in rather than build something, but on top of any
> electric danger to her, any power interruption will leave her with no
> shelter whereas a simple box will always be there.
>
> I am kind of confused and would appreciate advice on the best course to
> take if I have the option of running a cord.

I have the heated pad. Actually, I bought the dog one because it is
identical to the cat one, only a few inches larger. It stayed plugged
in my garage for weeks and worked wonderfully for a feral stray I was
keeping. The extra fleece cover is kind of a rip-off though; it is
simply a square of fleece material with elastic on the corners, and
cost $15. You could buy a fleece remnant and make one a lot cheaper.
You could still build a box and use the pad inside. It doesn't get any
warmer than 102 degrees. Good luck.
Sherry

Upscale
November 28th 05, 05:59 AM
> wrote in message
>
> I have the heated pad. Actually, I bought the dog one because it is
> identical to the cat one, only a few inches larger. It stayed plugged
> in my garage for weeks and worked wonderfully for a feral stray I was
> keeping.

I don't have that problem with an outdoor cat, but I did just buy a heating
pad for my indoor cat. It gets cold in my apartment sometimes so I thought
she'd appreciate it. At first she wouldn't go near it, but I watched over a
few days as she'd gradually moved closer and closer to it when she wanted to
sleep. Now she's on it almost all the time. Just like the cat tree I built
for her, it's nice when your animal actually uses what you got for her.

whitershadeofpale
November 28th 05, 06:25 AM
Ajanta wrote:

> However, almost one day after reading Tom's post about 150 feet long
> cords I had my Eureka moment: I too could run a long cord! I still have
> to secure the landlord's permission but I will probably get it. What is
> my best option if I do have electricity?

Hi, that's great news.

You are probably going to get a pad of some sort right? not an electric
space heater...
sounds like all you need is a low powered heating pad. And with that,
for now, I would
put it on it's lower setting...

If the shelter is around 150 feet away you say...?
That sounds like two chords. 100' and then a 50' chord.

I would just get lite duty chords. like the orange tubular type...
be sure to insulate where one chord hooks into the other
especially where rain can fall into the connection.

(if you go with electrical space heater, yule want medium or heavy duty
chords....electric is just like sound...the further you get from the
source the weaker the useable power on the other end..a lite duty chord
would just melt at 150', if you go the space heater route)

I ran a 100' chord out of my back window, to the block bldg I told you
about.
I gave them a little electric cube. It's actually pretty warm in there.
I keep it on the low setting.
I have been checking the electrical socket here in the house, to make
sure it doesn't get hot.

If you leave any portion of the service chord rolled up...it will
gather heat and can catch fire...spread any excess chord around, but
not coiled or rolled up.

Cool Beans!

Phil P.
November 28th 05, 12:22 PM
"Ajanta" > wrote in message
...
> I appreciate all advice I got re a small winter shelter for a
> semi-homeless cat just in case the weather turns nasty during the 2-3
> weeks we would be gone in Dec-Jan.
>
> I found a room that is unheated but otherwise completely protected from
> winds, rains, etc.. It lacks a functioning outlet, so I assumed there
> is no electric option, and was thinking of a simple box-styrofoam-box
> design with mylar blankets for lining.
>
> However, almost one day after reading Tom's post about 150 feet long
> cords I had my Eureka moment: I too could run a long cord! I still have
> to secure the landlord's permission but I will probably get it. What is
> my best option if I do have electricity?

I wouldn't use a heated pad. Ferals do fine outdoors in a small insulated
shelter with some straw over a space blanket.

If you decide to use a heated pad, use something like this- its only 6 watts
and covers only half the
bottom of the shelter so the cat still has a place to lie if she gets too
warm. Otherwise, she might leave the shelter.

http://tinyurl.com/887jr


Phil



a cord.

CatNipped
November 28th 05, 03:10 PM
"Ajanta" > wrote in message
...
> I appreciate all advice I got re a small winter shelter for a
> semi-homeless cat just in case the weather turns nasty during the 2-3
> weeks we would be gone in Dec-Jan.
>
> I found a room that is unheated but otherwise completely protected from
> winds, rains, etc.. It lacks a functioning outlet, so I assumed there
> is no electric option, and was thinking of a simple box-styrofoam-box
> design with mylar blankets for lining.
>
> However, almost one day after reading Tom's post about 150 feet long
> cords I had my Eureka moment: I too could run a long cord! I still have
> to secure the landlord's permission but I will probably get it. What is
> my best option if I do have electricity?
>
> Should I still build the box? Or just purchase something like
>
> Heated Cup:
> <http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=1475&N=20
> 02+113876> , or
>
> heated pad:
> <http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=10291&N=2
> 002+113876> ?
>
> Which of these two heated options is better?
>
> One thing that does worry me is that it would have to be plugged in 2-3
> weeks straight with nobody to check everything is ok. It is more
> convenient to plug in rather than build something, but on top of any
> electric danger to her, any power interruption will leave her with no
> shelter whereas a simple box will always be there.
>
> I am kind of confused and would appreciate advice on the best course to
> take if I have the option of running a cord.

Personally, I would be leery about leaving any type of heating element
running for 2 to 3 weeks without supervision - but then again even if you're
there you couldn't watch it every second.

Unless you live on the Alaskan tundra, I don't think the electrically heated
shelter is necessary.

What I would do is to get two boxes, one much smaller than the other. Open
the top of the larger box so you can work on the inside. Cut an entrance in
the larger box about 3 inches from the bottom then put a layer of either
insulation, styrofoam popcorn, hay, or even shredded newspaper about 2 or 3
inches thick on the bottom (any material that has pickets of air in it will
act as insulation to trap warm air inside) then cover that with a sheet of
newspaper, a blanket, or any other material that a cat can walk on top of.

Cut an entrance in the smaller box and place the smaller box inside the
larger box with the entrance facing the side from the entrance of the larger
box (to make an entrance "hall" that goes around the corner from the main
entrance. Fill the sides away from the entrances with the same insulating
material you used on the bottom. Fill the smaller box with hay or shredded
newspaper that a cat can burrow down into.

Place the whole "house" on blocks to keep it off the cold ground and turn
the main entrances away from the direction from which the wind is blowing.
Then tape down the top of the large box with duct tape.

With all of this, plus the cat's own fur coat, they should be quite warm
without the need of an electrically powered heating element.

Hugs,

CatNipped

---MIKE---
November 28th 05, 04:24 PM
A good insulating materiel is "bubble wrap". Walmart sells this for
protecting packages for shipping. Another would be the foam "peanuts"
used for the same purpose.


---MIKE---
>>In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
>> (44° 15' N - Elevation 1580')

---MIKE---
November 28th 05, 04:29 PM
CatNipped wrote:

>>Place the whole "house" on blocks to
>> keep it off the cold ground

That would not be the best thing to do. The cold air would get
underneath the box. It would be better to place the box on a sheet of
styrofoam.


---MIKE---
>>In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
>> (44° 15' N - Elevation 1580')

November 28th 05, 10:48 PM
---MIKE--- wrote:
> CatNipped wrote:
>
> >>Place the whole "house" on blocks to
> >> keep it off the cold ground
>
> That would not be the best thing to do. The cold air would get
> underneath the box. It would be better to place the box on a sheet of
> styrofoam.
>
>
> ---MIKE---

That certainly makes sense. That way, the wind couldn't blow underneath
the house.

Sherry

Ajanta
November 29th 05, 07:15 AM
Thanks to everyone so much. I think you have already helped me as much
as it is possible from a distance...

My options have undergone a superficial change but remain the same in
substance. The landlord does not want me to prop open the door of the
room I was thinking of because though unused and unheated, it is still
connected to the heated building. However he has agreed to let me use
an unused garage and, if I want, run an extention cord from his
adjacent garage. Both garages are unheated, not attached to the
building, so he will let me prop open the door of the empty one. I have
to check out how protected this space will be from drafts etc, but it
will be better than outside and I can always create extra protection
inside.

As I said, you have alreay helped me more than I could have hoped for.
Now I have to decide what to do and then actually do it. I willl let
the group know how it all worked out.

Anil

Ajanta > wrote:

: I appreciate all advice I got re a small winter shelter for a
: semi-homeless cat just in case the weather turns nasty during the 2-3
: weeks we would be gone in Dec-Jan.
:
: I found a room that is unheated but otherwise completely protected from
: winds, rains, etc.. It lacks a functioning outlet, so I assumed there
: is no electric option, and was thinking of a simple box-styrofoam-box
: design with mylar blankets for lining.
:
: However, almost one day after reading Tom's post about 150 feet long
: cords I had my Eureka moment: I too could run a long cord! I still have
: to secure the landlord's permission but I will probably get it. What is
: my best option if I do have electricity?
:
: Should I still build the box? Or just purchase something like
:
: Heated Cup:
: <http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=1475&N=20
: 02+113876> , or
:
: heated pad:
: <http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=10291&N=2
: 002+113876> ?
:
: Which of these two heated options is better?
:
: One thing that does worry me is that it would have to be plugged in 2-3
: weeks straight with nobody to check everything is ok. It is more
: convenient to plug in rather than build something, but on top of any
: electric danger to her, any power interruption will leave her with no
: shelter whereas a simple box will always be there.
:
: I am kind of confused and would appreciate advice on the best course to
: take if I have the option of running a cord.

kate
November 29th 05, 09:03 AM
Ajanta wrote:
What is
> my best option if I do have electricity?
>
> Should I still build the box? Or just purchase something like
>
> Heated Cup:
> <http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=1475&N=20
> 02+113876> , or
>
> heated pad:
> <http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=10291&N=2
> 002+113876> ?
>
> Which of these two heated options is better?
>
> One thing that does worry me is that it would have to be plugged in 2-3
> weeks straight with nobody to check everything is ok.


I think you are right to be concerned about unattended electrical
appliances, especially those that intentionally generate heat. No
experience with heat pads so not sure what the specific safety issues
are but my aunt's electric blanket blew up last year and her bedroom
was gutted by the subsequent fire. Fortunately she had just got out of
bed and was in the bathroom when it happened and she had the presence
of mind to shut the door when she saw the fire or the whole house could
have been burnt. If it is possible to go with a non-electrical option I
would definitely go with it.

Kate

November 29th 05, 03:07 PM
Phil P. wrote:
> I wouldn't use a heated pad. Ferals do fine outdoors in a small insulated
> shelter with some straw over a space blanket.
>
> If you decide to use a heated pad, use something like this- its only 6 watts
> and covers only half the
> bottom of the shelter so the cat still has a place to lie if she gets too
> warm. Otherwise, she might leave the shelter.
>
> http://tinyurl.com/887jr
>
>
> Phil

Dang Phil. Even in your New York winters? The only time I was ever in
New York I thought I was going to freeze to death inside the house. :-)
Ya'll are a hardy lot.

The luckiest ferals are the ones that have access to a hay barn. It's
amazing how warm it stays in there.

Sherry

Phil P.
November 29th 05, 04:34 PM
> wrote in message
oups.com...

>
> Dang Phil. Even in your New York winters? The only time I was ever in
> New York I thought I was going to freeze to death inside the house. :-)
> Ya'll are a hardy lot.

You'd be surprised how warm it is inside an insulated shelter- especially if
two cats are in it. You've heard of "three dog nights"- it only takes two
cats to do the same the job. :)


>
> The luckiest ferals are the ones that have access to a hay barn. It's
> amazing how warm it stays in there.

Hay is great insulator for cats- it dries quickly if it isn't packed and
cats seem to like to burrow into it.

If a cat has been in area for more than a week- she knows the warmest spot
within a mile radius of the feeding station! I still bang on the hood of
my truck before starting it up.

Phil

John Doe
November 29th 05, 04:39 PM
"Phil P." > wrote:

>
> If a cat has been in area for more than a week- she knows the
> warmest spot within a mile radius of the feeding station! I
> still bang on the hood of my truck before starting it up.

That is timely advice. In case anyone reading doesn't already know,
cats have been burned to death in the engine compartment of motor
vehicles. It happens and it is a sad story.

November 29th 05, 07:08 PM
Phil P. wrote:
> > wrote in message
> oups.com...
>
> >
> > Dang Phil. Even in your New York winters? The only time I was ever in
> > New York I thought I was going to freeze to death inside the house. :-)
> > Ya'll are a hardy lot.
>
> You'd be surprised how warm it is inside an insulated shelter- especially if
> two cats are in it. You've heard of "three dog nights"- it only takes two
> cats to do the same the job. :)
>
>
> >
> > The luckiest ferals are the ones that have access to a hay barn. It's
> > amazing how warm it stays in there.
>
> Hay is great insulator for cats- it dries quickly if it isn't packed and
> cats seem to like to burrow into it.
>
> If a cat has been in area for more than a week- she knows the warmest spot
> within a mile radius of the feeding station! I still bang on the hood of
> my truck before starting it up.
>
> Phil

I used to do that when I lived in town. I'd forgotten about that. It's
a serious deal when there are strays in the neighborhood--I've heard so
many fan-blade-cat horror stories. Really timely advice for anyone,
esp. with winter setting in.

Sherry

ghoul-cow
December 4th 05, 10:18 PM
Ajanta wrote:

> I appreciate all advice I got re a small winter shelter for a
> semi-homeless cat just in case the weather turns nasty during the 2-3
> weeks we would be gone in Dec-Jan.
>
> I found a room that is unheated but otherwise completely protected from
> winds, rains, etc.. It lacks a functioning outlet, so I assumed there
> is no electric option, and was thinking of a simple box-styrofoam-box
> design with mylar blankets for lining.
>
> However, almost one day after reading Tom's post about 150 feet long
> cords I had my Eureka moment: I too could run a long cord! I still have
> to secure the landlord's permission but I will probably get it. What is
> my best option if I do have electricity?
>
> Should I still build the box? Or just purchase something like
>
> Heated Cup:
> <http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=1475&N=20
> 02+113876> , or
>
> heated pad:
> <http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=10291&N=2
> 002+113876> ?
>
> Which of these two heated options is better?
>
> One thing that does worry me is that it would have to be plugged in 2-3
> weeks straight with nobody to check everything is ok. It is more
> convenient to plug in rather than build something, but on top of any
> electric danger to her, any power interruption will leave her with no
> shelter whereas a simple box will always be there.
>
> I am kind of confused and would appreciate advice on the best course to
> take if I have the option of running a cord.

what a nice way to zap kitty into a briquette!
--
GHOULCOW!GHOULCOW!GHOULCOW!GHOULCOW!GHOULCOW!GHOUL COWGHOULCOW!GHOULCOW!GHOULCOW!GHOULCOW!GHOULCOW!GH OULCOW!GHOULCOW!GHOULCOW!!GHOULCOW!GHOULCOW!

December 4th 05, 11:27 PM
whitershadeofpale wrote:
> I would just get lite duty chords. like the orange tubular type...
> be sure to insulate where one chord hooks into the other
> especially where rain can fall into the connection.

To be on the safe side, cords that are rated for cold weather and wet
weather would be safe and heavy so well above the rating of whatever is
being used. If it's very low like a few watts, fine, not a problem. But
when it get to be in the heater range of 1000 or 1500 watts, that's a
lot of amps. Watts = Volts x Amps. 1500 Watts = 120 Volts x 12.5 Amps.

The thick yellow are good to around 15 amps. The limiting factor
appears to be the plug itself. This is 12 gauge wire so can carry more
than 15 amps but the plugs are rated only to 15 amps. Most circuits in
a house, depending on the age and what not, are only 15 amps or 20 amps
so be careful nothing else which draws a lot of current will be on this
circuit.

> (if you go with electrical space heater, yule want medium or heavy duty
> chords....electric is just like sound...the further you get from the
> source the weaker the useable power on the other end..a lite duty chord
> would just melt at 150', if you go the space heater route)

Catmandu
December 11th 05, 05:49 PM
"Ajanta" > wrote in message
...
> I appreciate all advice I got re a small winter shelter for a
> semi-homeless cat just in case the weather turns nasty during the 2-3
> weeks we would be gone in Dec-Jan.
>
> I found a room that is unheated but otherwise completely protected from
> winds, rains, etc.. It lacks a functioning outlet, so I assumed there
> is no electric option, and was thinking of a simple box-styrofoam-box
> design with mylar blankets for lining.
>> I am kind of confused and would appreciate advice on the best course to
> take if I have the option of running a cord.


In Houston's coldest winters (25F with icy nites and high humidity) my
ferals stay toasty warm in Xerox® boxes w/lids--stuffed with cast-off
clothing and open in the end so they can ingress and egress. I put them in
a wind-proof enclosure and/or storage room with the door fixed ajar. A few
boxes are under wind-and-rain-protected, plywood A-frames with plastic
sheeting under and around them for damp proofing.

A cat's normal body temp is a notch above 101F, so they keep each other
warm. And as long as wind does not hit them, their fur will insulate them
from temps that would make we humans shudder. It is not unusual to see them
in cuddled in pairs.

I protect about 10 or 12 ferals in this manner, with their food and water
placed close enough for a quick snack and then back into the shelter.
During the day when the sun heats the environment, they wander around at
will, nearly always staying inside the brick-walled manor grounds.

My insiders enjoy more humankind comforts (a heated home and a few
individual heating pads for the oldest ones of the brood). They also enjoy
a screened-in covered patio with similar open topped boxes placed in areas
where they enjoy daytime snoozing.

It's a cat's life.

--Catmandu
www.royergovernance.com
http://mastersfitness.royergovernance.com/fitlog/archives/000022.html
http://mastersfitness.royergovernance.com/fitlog/archives/000020.html
www.churchboardleadership.com