Each year, Friends For Life builds hundreds of tiny homes for community cats. To cover the cost of making these, we ask those acquiring them at the shelter for a $20 donation.
If you’re not in the area*, though, or just want to make your own, we’ve put together our process to make your own. These bins usually last through at least a few years of use, though the hay should be changed out after each season change (especially if it gets wet).
- 14-gallon Rubbermaid storage bin/tub
- Roll of one-inch thick foam (a twin mattress topper works well)
- Yardstick/tape measure
- Spray glue
- Box cutter/utility knife
- Hay or straw (straw is preferred, but not available in all parts of the country)
- Cut a doorway approximately 8” x 6” in one of the short sides of the storage bin. To prevent flooding, cut the opening so that the bottom of the doorway is several inches above the ground.
- Using spray glue, line the floor of the bin with foam cut to size.
- Size foam to the interior four walls of the bin.
- At this time, you can trace the pre-cut door into the foam you’ll be using on that interior wall, and cut that out before you start gluing the interior insulation in.
- Using spray glue, line each of the four interior walls of the bin with a piece of the foam (cut to size).
- This method holds best (trust us – we’ve made A LOT of these with different building and adhesive materials).
- If you don’t have spray glue, a hot glue gun or heavy-duty double-sided tape from the hardware store can also work.
- For the foam, perfect cuts are not necessary. The cats won’t mind. 😊
- Stuff the bottom of the bin generously with straw or other insulating material (shredded newspaper, foam rubber cut into strips/cubes, polyester pillow stuffing) on top of the bottom foam.
- Cut out a foam “roof” and glue it to fit the inside of the lid. Glue the foam onto the inside of the lid.
- Cover the bin with its lid. Voila!
*Our design is for warmer climates. If you live up north, a tub-within-a-tub design is recommended for better insulation from freezing temperatures.