Corokitty

The cats at Friends for Life tried one out and seemed to like it.

20140414_194729495_iOS (1024x765)

This is the featured design in my community cat thesis project. I wanted to find new inexpensive ways to make stylish shelters for feral cat colonies. Some of the designs will not be appropriate in all areas, but my hope is that as more and more people view TNR as the most humane solution we will be able to provide shelters more readily.

This is an open design. Please post any ideas to make this better. Also, if you would like to make these shelters for your group please contact me and I will help you to find a local resource for cutting the pieces or possibly send them to you in a kit.

Supplies for this project include:

1 – 4′ x 4′ sheet of Coroplast: $5.00
1- 2′ ‘x 4’ sheet of plywood: $8.00
20 min. of CNC time: $6.00 (or free if you cut with a jigsaw)
Total cost: $19.00

This version of the shelter utilizes a double-wall structure to add insulation for the cat.
It can be filled with insulation or straw or left as is.
I am currently fine tuning the cut sizes and locations to ensure the Coroplast adheres more tightly with the wood.

Download instructions

Corokitty instructions_2 – kit assembly instructions

single_cat_shape – printable front and back cat shape

Inner_and_outer_shell_cut_patterns – cut pattern for the Coroplast pieces

IMG_0391

IMG_0469

Creative Commons License
Corokitty by Chris Peterson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

IMG_0281There is ample room in the interior. It measure 12″ wide by 10″ tall and 20″ long.
This should allow up to two cats to bundle in together.
The door is set to the side allowing the cats to hide to the side. The final version will
have a window cover to protect from wind and rain.

IMG_0335 (576x1024)

One great attribute of the Coroplast, when it’s been wrapped into a cylinder shape, is that it’s really strong. You can see in the above picture that it can take the weight of three cinder blocks. It can also withstand having a cinder block dropped onto it. This is great for ensuring the cats are well protected inside.

Barrel CatThis is my original image and an earlier prototype.
Barrel Cat is made by forcing the Coroplast into a cylinder and tucking it into slits on either side of the wood.
The benefit of this shape is rain won’t settle on top and in colder climates neither will snow. The cylinder shape also helps with heat retention.

Barrel Cat recycle

The beauty of Coroplast is that there is an abundance of it every year when politicians vie for our vote.
Here in Houston, I was able to grab many 4′ x 8′ and 4′ x 4′ sheets.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Corokitty

  1. God bless you, Chris!! What a wonderful and easy solution for cat colonies, barn cats and just good oL outside kitties. It is wonderful that you supply directions, but I hope to see these sold as kits or fully assembled someday. Definitely a market and desperate need for them. Thank you!!

  2. Chris, these are really creative and well done. My only concern is that Coroplast is made of Polypropylene, which degrades when exposed to heat and/or UV (sun) light, and produces aldehydes and carboxylic acids. (Read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polypropylene#Degradation ) The Wikipedia article doesn’t say how long it takes for this to occur, but since the shelters would probably be in use for more than a year or two, it could be a problem. Please don’t give up on this idea–I think you can make it work with a little more research and experimentation.

    • Hello. Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I don’t think any affordable plastic products are completely save if they will be placed in direct sun for any length of time. Given these are typically hidden and often only left out during the winter months I felt the corrugated plastic offered a great deal of benefit for the cost and potential issues. Limited observation of shelters I’ve built and the political signs left out for sometimes more than a year after an election don’t seem to show any degradation. I believe it takes nearly a year of direct exposure to cause erosion, but this will need further testing. Another consideration is that this shelter is meant to be better alternative to the Rubbermaid (or similar) version which is also made or polypropylene or polyethylene. Also, consider that these are made with two layers meaning the inner layer is well protected from direct sun exposure. Coroplast is not marketed as an outdoor solution for shelters, but there are a few examples of it being used for potential homeless and emergency shelters and a company selling a Coroplast fold-up kayak for nearly $1,000.00. (kayak – http://www.orukayak.com/) (shelter – http://www.elkinsdiy.com/stationary-shelters/homeless-emergency-shelter/)

  3. Would love to have one I can place in my back yard for the two kittens I plan to adopt to play in. Also one for in the house like in your video. How can I purchase kits or pre-built ones?

    • Hello. I’m working on ways to make this happen, but I was trying to keep this low cost and I think that shipping them would be very costly. If I can figure it out I’ll put info on the website. I’m working on this more diligently now given winter is approaching. Thanks for your support.

  4. What about the possibility of providing them locally? I live in Austin, and it would certainly be worth the drive to purchase several shelters from you! I’m not too handy with tools, but if the pieces were at least pre-cut, I’d be able to assemble the shelters without much trouble. These designs are genius!

    • I’ve been really slow to find a method to make these as a kit. However, I am going to a local makerspace, TXRX, this week and hope to gain access to a CNC which will allow me to make some of these. I still don’t see a path toward a major production run, but at least I’ll be able to create some of the kitty shapes that can be used locally. I though of trying a kickstarter for funds, but I haven’t had time to create a video and all that’s needed to get that started.

      I’m posting a few simpler ideas for creating the same overall look and functionality using only insulation foam. Look for that post hopefully by tomorrow.

      Thanks for your support. I know where fast approaching winter so I’ll keep this blog updated better with ideas and any news about making these for distribution.

    • Hello. The best way I know to retain warmth is using the sheet foam insulation. The idea is to allow the cat’s heat to be retained within the shelter. From what I’ve read the main thing, though, is to keep the kitties dry as they have shown they can survive through the cold. Typically it’s when their fur gets wet that they begin to have issues with the cold. Please keep in mind that the best resource will be Alley Cat Allies and I would defer to them on any of these issues.

      For water you can try making a water station using the sheet foam – or at least something big enough to let the cats put their head in for a drink. You can also strategize to keep the water available during the day (and let it freeze at night) by placing it in a black container or some other method to allow the sun to keep it warm. Of course, this may not work as well on sunless days, but it should help.

  5. Absolutely LOVE these shelters. Much easier on the eyes than the Rubbermaid container i have made 🙂 I would definitely purchase a “kit” if and when it becomes available. I say take your idea to Shark Tank. lol 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s