Hey everybody, I’m here at Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C. with my friend Erin. Erin works with all of the community cats in Washington, D.C. She manages a huge program that saves the lives of all of the feral and community cats. [Erin:] Yes, that is true. [Hannah:] So, it has been freezing in D.C. lately, and the other day, Erin and I were texting, and we were like, maybe we can get a bunch of people to come make winter shelters. [Erin:] So, we are gathering hopefully a lot of people today to make uh winter shelters for community cats outside. Community cats can live outside. They’re very well adapted to outdoor life, but having somebody watching up with them and feeding them and then providing winter shelter like this means that we can certainly improve their quality of life. And we’re getting a lot of phone calls asking about what to do, people who may be new to taking care of community cats as of 2017, and this is their first winter with it, and they don’t know what to do, and they think, “Oh, I should call and you guys should pick them up and take them to the shelter.” So making these outdoor shelters for them is what we can offer them and give them away for free to anybody who needs them, and we’re not bringing those cats into the shelter facility where they don’t want to be. So we can do this for those people and those cats. [Hannah:] So the shelters that we’re making today start out with an 18-gallon plastic tub just like this. And then inside, They’re insulated with Mylar. So you can get it at Home Depot, and it is reflective of the cat’s body heat. So you can just tape this onto the inside of it. On the sides and on the bottom we put styrofoam sheets for extra insulation, and then cover that in the Mylar. What we do here is cut a 6 inch by 6 inch hole that the cat can go in, and this one has a flap on it so that the cat can go in there and then there’s no wind resistance. Sometimes the cats will accept a flap, sometimes not. It really depends on the cat. Another important thing is making sure that the hole is sufficiently up off the ground. Think about rain and snow. You don’t want any of that to be able to come in on the bottom here. So you want them to kind of hop up into it. Then you just put some straw inside of here. You want to make sure that you’re using straw and not hay, because it’s nice and dry for them. You just put your lid on, and this is where… the cats can spend their winters and be nice and warm. [Hannah:] The door is so cool. I like the Kitten Lady sticker. This is awesome! [Andrew:] Good job guys! [Woman:] That’s awesome. [Hannah:] Cats can and do live very good lives outdoors. I think a lot of people are surprised by that? Like they picture that cats on the streets have these like really sad lives. [Erin:] Yes. [Hannah:] And if you work with community cats or feral cats, you know that that’s just not the case. Most of the time, these cats have, really good lives um and (Yeah) can live very successfully, but there’s always ways we can improve their quality of life, just like for pet cats. We can improve their quality of life. Of course, another essential component of working with community cats is making sure that they are sterilized. The number one source of kittens in shelters is from these outdoor community cats, so we have got to get on the streets and get trapping and get those cats sterilized. So get on Google and find out if you have a Trap-Neuter-Return program in your community, and you can get involved by volunteering to trap cats, foster little kittens, and make winter shelters just like these Humane Rescue Alliance needed winter shelters, and I think we did it! [Andrew:] Wooo!
[Hannah:] Cat! *Outro* Video End