All Coroplast Corokitty ($5.00 to make)

The Coroplast Corokitty is one made entirely of Coroplast (also called fluted plastic or corrugated plastic.) Coroplast alone is not a great insulator, but it will keep your cats dry and does provide some heat retention capabilities. Fill one of these with straw or pine shavings and your cat will have a cozy place to escape from the cold. The size is just right for one or two cats. The opening is off to the side to provide a bit of room out of the cold.

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Coroplast – $10.00 per sheet (48″ x 96″) makes 2 shelters from 1 sheet ($5.00 per shelter)
Insulation foam – $12.00 per sheet (48″ x 96″) makes 3 shelters from one sheet
(This will add $3.00 to the shelter cost.)

Total cost = time + sweat (minimal) + $9.00

Tools needed:

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Corokitty front/back template PDF file (16″ x 16″)


To cut the shapes you can use any of these tools. However, the band saw is quicker because you can cut enough for 4 houses at one time.

I’ve been working to rework the designs so they’re easier to make, more weather durable, and less expensive. Working from the Corokitty 2 design (which uses wood for the front and back) I experimented with cutting the Coroplast as the supports and it seems to work well when you use two per side. Below, you can see the pieces cut from black Coroplast. The great thing is that you can cut many sheets at once. With wood you can only cut one side at a time. The stack below is will make 2 shelters (4 frame pieces).

Benefits

  • Completely water resistant
  • Legs keep the floor well above ground (helps with warmth and rain)
  • Will not decay over the winter (Coroplast is just as durable as a Rubbermaid container)
  • Can be sealed with silicone caulk to create a insulating air space in the Coroplast
  • Less expensive than a Rubbermaid shelter
  • Retains warmth well with the interior insulation installed
  • Can make them from bright or dark colors
  • If you can find political signs you can make these for only $4.00 (the price for insulation)

Instructions

Cut the Coroplast sheet into 16″ x 16″ pieces. It’s best to use one sheet for the front and back and a second for the roof and floor. One sheet will yield 18 16″ x 16″ pieces.

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Your method of cutting will determine how many you can stack while cutting. A standard band saw can easily handle 8 or more stacked pieces – enough for two complete houses.

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Once you have the sheets grouped cut a small sliver off of each side with the band saw. This will cause the Coroplast to stick together and make it easier to cut out the pattern.
Next place the Corokitty pattern on top with some spray glue or a bit of double-sided tape. Cut the pattern out and take them apart in sets of two.

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You stack should look something like this.

The next step will be to cut the door holes.
Use the patter again, but this time you will need to drill a hole inside the door and use a jig saw to cut out the door. I typically cut the door with a 6″ diameter. I have tested with the feral cat I feed in my backyard and it is wide enough for her to get in.

For the back side of the shelter cut the same pattern without the ears.

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Next, cut holes in the sheet that will be the roof and floor.
The outer sheet will use the same pattern as the Corokitty 2 shell shown below.
The holes should be cut 2″ in from the top and bottom. This will serve as a short awning.

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Once you’ve cut the holes for the feet and ears wrap the Coroplast around the front (with ears) by placing on leg in first then wrapping it around using the ears to help keep the Coroplast straight. The Coroplast will stay put once you inserted and placed the second leg.

It’s best to put the insulation in at this point. The insulation pattern is the same as Corokitty 2. You’ll have two for the front and back, one for the floor, and one long piece to wrap around the inner top.

Once the insulation is in place the back side (no ears) into the Coroplast one leg at a time and then close it up. The insulation will keep it from going too far in. The fit should be tight enough so it takes a bit of force to pull the door out. This back door will allow you to get into the shelter for cleaning or to add hay or straw.

Here’s a view of the shelter from the bottom. Zip ties across the seam will help give stiffness to the insulation sheet floor.

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Rather than going with a double-wall shelters, which is much more difficult to make, we just place foam on the inside for warmth. You can also add straw or hay (if hay is all that’s available) to add a bedding material. This photo shows how the back can be opened to give you access to the inside.

The foam pieces for the doors are cut using the back door pattern minus the legs. For the inner pieces cut the arched piece at 17″ x 35″. Be sure that you are cutting along the long side of the 48″ x 96″ sheet of foam. The foam will not flex if you try to bend it along the 48″ side. The floor is roughly 10″ x 17″ and can be cut from any part of the foam. You can probably substitute this bottom piece for straw, but the foam will add an extra bit of reflective warmth.

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When complete it should look something like this. The shelter is very durable, but not very heavy. It’s best not to place it in an area of high wind.
If it is in a high wind area you may consider putting holes in the legs and tying it to something heave and sturdy or using tent spike to secure it to the ground.

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You can add straw or pine shavings to keep the insides dry. The cats I feed near the house seem to like them.

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