They are simply adorable, look better than what we replaced with them, and are perfectly cozy-looking on the front porch, where all the cats around like to huddle (because our vintage house does let some heat leak out at that spot). The cat crew had abandoned the previous...
They are simply adorable, look better than what we replaced with them, and are perfectly cozy-looking on the front porch, where all the cats around like to huddle (because our vintage house does let some heat leak out at that spot). The cat crew had abandoned the previous structures, but they were all over these little houses (this one was about half the cost of all the others, so we bought two). They especially love rubbing their scent against the little railings on the top.
This house looks and smells as if it''s made of cedar, and if so it should age gracefully, should not need painting, and should help repel insect-pests.
These little houses were easy to put together, and the manufacturer even provided the Phillips-head screwdriver which was supposed to be the only tool needed (and would have been if I had stronger arms). I only needed a tiny drill-bit, a Phillips bit, and a regular drill. Why? While all the entry-point holes (those on the first board of each join) were drilled and even had a little divot around them for counter-sinking; most of the holes weren''t pre-drilled into the planned receiving/secondary board, probably because the manufacturers reasoned that they were unnecessary. A man''s arm-strength should be sufficient to sink these screws with no starter-holes, and in the one my husband assembled that''s exactly how it went. After the second one sat in its box, without comment and unassembled, in the middle of the living room for a couple weeks, it was clearly going to be wimpy, girly arms putting it together. Undaunted by an inability to even start the screw in that second board, I compensated by drilling myself tiny starter holes. That did mean repeatedly changing from one bit to the other quite a bit, because I could not predict, pre-measure, and pre-drill, [at the beginning of the project] all the places where a screw should eventually sink. Instead, I matched up each next join as I went along, using the factory pre-drills in the first board to position and drill my tiny guide-holes into the second, switch back to the Phillips bit, and then put in my screws. Even with all that matching and drilling and switching of bits, it took me less than 30 minutes to put the house together, and it looked identical in comparison to the first one. BTW: There was one place -- under the "landing" for the stairs -- where I could not position the drill to make a starter hole in the pre-designated place to secure the roof. I just drilled tiny holes through both boards and joined them from the rear of the house. I don''t think a man with the provided screwdriver could have successfully made that particular join, either. In the end, I probably could have just omitted attaching that corner of the roof. We''re not discussing long-range durability in the face of high winds, after all. There were two other sticking points: First, you''ll probably want to figure out and plan ahead for the lower attachment of the stairs to the house, because if you wait until the stairs are put together and are ready to secure to the house there''s not enough space to allow for length of screw + tool (even the included one) to make the attachment. Secondly, the railing on the top does have little tabs and slots they sit in, but they just beg for water-proof glue to make them more secure. Without glue your railings will keep getting knocked off or knocked askew, with accompanying risk of breakage.
Other thoughts. The house is off the ground a bit so the water doesn''t run in. I may cut a smaller hole near the back as an emergency exit -- just in case -- but usually the motion-sensing light on the porch keeps any predators from venturing close. In winter I''ll probably attach a small piece of clear, heavy, vinyl sheeting with vertical strips cut in it to the top-front of the door, to hang down and kind of block the cold and wind. It also looks ideal for one of those heat-reflecting crate mats in winter to help combat the cold. I hope to add later how it does as far as weathering over time.
In all, I''m thrilled with our purchase, and the cats appear quite grateful, too! Sure is cuter than an official "feral cat" house and beats the heck out of a wilted cardboard box. Needs pre-drilled holes, but for the savings I can certainly drill my own. Good luck with yours! I think you''ll love it, and I hope your creatures are as pleased with it as those who shelter in ours.
Update 2018 Weathered over a year of weather just fine on the front porch! Cats loved them for the winter!