The Very Best Cats: Heating an Outdoor Cat Enclosure in the Winter
It should be understood that even slightly higher-than-normal temperatures can cause extreme harm to the cat, as cats don’t have sweat glands. Ideally, your outdoor cat enclosure should be heated to a minimum temperature of 35 degrees F. The temperature can be raised depending upon the severity of the winter. However, as soon as you notice even minimal signs of panting in the animal when seated within the enclosure, reduce the temperature. The maximum temperature range should be set at 100-to-104 degrees F.
Our Kitty Peeper™window patio was designed to be highly appealing to cats. Said another way, we didn't just modify a dog enclosure or metal box and slap a "cat" label on it. For example, our design features a roof, which in combination with the black screening, provides cats with a "prowl like," stealthy outdoor experience aligned with their natural instincts and desires, and which protects them from too much direct sun exposure which can lead to skin cancer in certain breeds, all without hampering their view or their safety. Cats spend a lot of time in their Peepers, so this is important.
Here in Muncie, Indiana, the weather has been spectacular the last couple of days. I’ve reclaimed my side yard, it was cluttered with bags of aluminum cans I had been collecting for our #SnipClip free spay/neuter contest (winner will be announced Wednesday, November 4); cleaned my deck and put away flower pots and garden decorations; cleaned the dog kennel and got outdoor dog houses and cat enclosures ready for winter.Access: Determine how your cats are going to come and go into their new outdoor playhouse before putting it together. If you need a panel with a cat door in it for a door or window, that will cost you more than the enclosure itself (we had to buy and install an all-weather panel to fit against our sliding-glass door). Cutting a hole through a wall and installing just a cat door is much cheaper, if you’re handy or know someone who is. Finally, in the pleasant-weather months, if you don’t need or use air-conditioning, and have a sliding screen door that you don’t mind butchering, you can cut a 14-inch square hole in one lower corner of the screen door, close the screen, and allow the cats to come and go through their 14-inch opening straight into the enclosure.Here in Muncie, Indiana, the weather has been spectacular the last couple of days. I’ve reclaimed my side yard, it was cluttered with bags of aluminum cans I had been collecting for our #SnipClip free spay/neuter contest (winner will be announced Wednesday, November 4); cleaned my deck and put away flower pots and garden decorations; cleaned the dog kennel and got outdoor dog houses and cat enclosures ready for winter.Cathy lives near Calgary, Alberta, and set up her outdoor enclosure when her kittens, Vader and Ivy, were only 6 months old. Ivy could still squirm her way out of it, so she locked the door and tried again later. On the third attempt, they both were too big to escape from it, so now it’s open year-round. In spite of some bitterly cold winters, her cats still use it in all weather. Cathy keeps the cold out of her house by having the enclosure access in her basement. Since it didn’t have to be pretty, she also reduced the hassle of installing a cat door by simply fitting some plywood into an always-open sliding window, and installing the door into the plywood (great idea!). This would also work with a double hung window.