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Discussion Starter #1
With colder weather on the way, I'd like to set up an outdoor shelter for the two sweet ferals that I feed on my front porch. Does anyone know of a way to make the shelter not so noticeable to neighbors? I've seen the make-your-own Rubbermaid storage bin styles, and the feral cat houses they sell on Amazon, but I wonder if there are ways to disguise them so they look, I don't know.... less like a feral cat shelter and more like typical porch furniture?

I have a large covered front porch with a row of bushes in front of it. I also have a fenced backyard, but I have two dogs so I'd rather not have the shelter in the yard. Ideally, I'd find something to put on the porch or squeeze it between the porch and bushes. I live in a development with an HOA so I am trying to find a way to protect the cats without drawing attention from the people who think we shouldn't feed them.

Any ideas?
 

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I know what you mean. I took care of a feral cat colony of ten cats in a condo complex, and I didn't even try to fashion a winter outdoor shelter. One year a ground-floor unit was vacant, and the utility room open, so I put some various boxes with lots of hay inside. Worked until the unit got rented and I got too many complaints.
Black is hard to see from a distance, it kind of fades into the background. So I'd go with a black Rubbermaid storage bin style. If vegetation will survive the winter, I'd try to get a color similar to the vegetation. I'd put the storage bins behind the bushes. Less is more--so I certainly wouldn't put up a bird feeder nearby.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I may go ahead and do that. My husband just wants to put the shelter ON the porch -- he says the cats like it there because they eat, hang out, etc on the porch -- but I'd prefer putting it behind the bushes to keep it out of view. Now to find a black storage bin. Seems like so many nowadays are clear or bright colors!
 

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I've also seen people use gardening boxes with holes cut in them (an entrance and exit in case of wildlife infiltrating). They use the pet-beds that warm from the body heat and continue to stay warm to provide extra comfort.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0052WJ0VG/ref=s9_simh_gw_p86_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0G0QAVTZVQD283NQ7YJB&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846

you could probably get cheap ones on Craigslist in the garden section and general sales..
 

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Not sure why, but the link isn't taking me back to the item. It's a wood garden bench/tool box. They have different types, looks like storage and furniture put together, store a cat and sit on a bench!
 

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I'm not sure about inconspicuous but yes, definitely make sure there is both an entrance and an exit so that they cannot be trapped in the box by an aggressive critter...
 

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Is there access UNDER your front porch? Would there be a way to set up the shelters under there and give them two ways to exit both their shelter and the porch?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Is there access UNDER your front porch? Would there be a way to set up the shelters under there and give them two ways to exit both their shelter and the porch?
No access under the porch.... it's concrete and brick all the way to the ground.

But thanks for the great ideas! You've given me a couple of things to consider. Hopefully I'll figure something out before too long -- just want to keep my little friends safe and warm.
 
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