For Feral Cats, a Few New Places to Call Home

For Feral Cats, a Few New Places to Call Home

pThe New York Times/p
pBy JOYCE WADLER/p
pEIGHT New York City architects and designers proudly displayed their new low-cost houses at a show in Manhattan on Thursday, and not a single client was present. Feral cats are like that./p
pNo matter, like all good designers, the ones whose work was on display at “Architects for Animals: Giving Shelter,” a daylong event at the Steelcase showroom in Midtown Manhattan, had taken pains to address the needs of the users./p
pConsider, for example, the Tin Hut, a structure designed by Kathryn Walton, 42, an architectural project manager and the founder of a nonprofit cat-rescue organization in Brooklyn called the American Street Cat. Ms. Walton’s shelter – which, like the rest, will eventually be placed in an area of the city that is home to a colony of feral cats – consists of 300 recycled aluminum cat-food containers insulated with recycled denim. The base is raised four inches off the ground, to keep the cats high and dry in case of snowdrifts; the mat is springy vinyl. The interior, which has a sort of figure-eight shape, is divided in two./p
p”We don’t know who sleeps with who,” Ms. Walton said. “But there are some bonded pairs, and this can accommodate up to four cats.”/p
pHumans are always carrying on about wanting more light in their homes. Do cats like lots of light as well?/p
p”Cats like to find the darkest places to sleep,” Ms. Walton said. “They don’t want to be exposed to foot traffic or vehicular traffic. And if it’s 50 degrees or so, for sure they will be on top of the shelter.”/p
pa href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/garden/for-feral-cats-a-few-new-places-to-call-home.html?_r=0″Read more/a at the New York Times./p

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