Zip’s Heated Cat House

Zip at the back door

It was below zero when we got up this morning.  And when I opened the door to go feed the animals, Zip ran onto the porch and came right up to the door.

When I opened the door,  Zip ran back to the barn.  It was, after all, time to eat.

I’m a hard ass when it comes to our cats living outdoors.  All my cats, since I was a kid,  have always been outdoor cats.  Minnie and Flo lived outdoors through the coldest of winters and never showed any sign of wanting to come in the house until they got old. And then they only wanted to come in the house in the winter.

I have a friend who told me her cats are like children to her.  We’ve had a few disagreements about cats and at times it has led to some hard feelings.  But the last time I mentioned that I didn’t want  Zip  in the house, we were both able to laugh about it.

People can feel strongly about their cats and I’m not telling anyone else what to do or judging them for how they choose to live with their cats.

When I first moved upstate I tamed a feral cat that lived one of the houses I bought.  She disappeared after about a year.  When I asked the farmer up the road if he had seen her, he looked at me strangely and said that if I wanted a cat I could come to his farm and take one.  He had  50 at least living in his barns.

That was the other end of the spectrum for me. I have landed someplace in the middle.

Today when Zip was at our door, I just thought that he being Zip, getting into everything and wanting to eat.  But Jon, had a different feeling.  He was worried that Zip was cold and wanted to come in the house.

Jon has a different relationship with Zip than I do.  They have connected on a deep level.  One I’ve never seen Jon go to before with a cat.  And I respect that.

Still, Jon doesn’t want Zip in the house anymore than I do.

Zip is a wild thing.  Our house is small and smaller with three dogs in it.  Adding Zip to the household, with Bud on the hunt and a kitty litter box would make life much more stressful than either of us choose.

But Jon has a different relationship with Zip than I do.  So when he suggested we put the heated cat house, that be bought for Minnie and Flo last year, in the barn I agreed.

I don’t really think it’s necessary.  There’s a space in the hay bales that Zip found the first day he was here.  Hay is a great insulator and I can only imagine how warm and cozy a place it is.  There is also the attic in the woodshed that was Flo’s favorite winter hideaway.

I tend to think of our barn cats the same way I do the other farm animals.  They live outdoors and adjust to the weather.

But the heated cat house wasn’t doing any good in the attic and Zip would certainly enjoy the warm pad so today I set it up in the barn today.

I may be a hard ass, but there really was no good reason, that I could see, not to put the cat house in the barn.

It made Jon feel better and I’m sure Zip is enjoying it too.

You can read about how Jon feels about Zip and the heated cat house on his blog, just click here.

Zip in the heated cat house

3 thoughts on “Zip’s Heated Cat House

  1. Keep an eye on the pad; if it gets wet, it can freeze and cause hypothermia. If you have straw, that’s a much better insulator (it’s what I’ve used for years, and is recommended by folks who care for cat colonies); it’s hollow, retains heat, and still insulates even if it gets wet. It should be ok over the heated pad- and will make it even toastier for Zip.

  2. We have two heated cat houses for our outdoor cats. They were dropped in our neighborhood six years ago and migrated to our house. If a cat stays around for a few days and is hungry, I have always fed the cat. These two that were dropped chose to stay around so they are treated to food, treats, shots, vet visits and their heated houses in the winter! This past week it has been six degrees with below zero wind chill. I can’t stand that for long and I don’t want my cats to have to try to find a shelter that is warm enough to survive those temps; therefore, I choose to help out. P.S. one of my cats looks like your Zip.

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