|Q: How many cats will The FeralVilla house?
A: This varies by cats, which are all individuals. It will comfortably house one or even two adult cats, but it's not unusual for 2-3 younger (and smaller) cats to go into a shelter. Cats are not herd or pack animals, so as a rule, cats do not share their sleeping quarters. Although they may share a shelter, you shouldn't count on it, unless you know the cats are already sharing sleeping quarters.
Q: How big is The FeralVilla Outdoor Shelter?
A: The overall outside size is 22 x 22" and 22" high at the peak of the roof. The roof overhangs by a couple of inches on all sides to increase weather resistance.
Q: Will my cat fit in the FeralVilla Outdoor Cat Shelter?
A: Cats over 18 lbs. have used the FeralVilla Outdoor Cat Shelter without a problem.
Q: Does the lower level of the FeralVilla Outdoor Cat Shelter have a floor?
A: No. The lower level is not intended to protect the cats from weather or cold. It is not insulated, has a wind break assembly running through the middle of it and its purpose is strictly as an entryway to the upper level. The upper level is fully insulated and protected from wind and rain/snow. We do not offer an option for adding a lower level floor.
Q: Will cats use The FeralVilla during the summer time?
A: Maybe. There are 2 levels in The FeralVilla and the shelter is insulated in the upper area. In warm climates, the cats aren't likely to spend so much time in the upper level, but may take advantage of shade and cool ground on the lower level.
Q: How do I best prepare The FeralVilla to protect cats during the winter?
A: The FeralVilla is insulated with a type of insulation that uses the cat's own body heat to keep warm in cold weather. As shipped, The FeralVilla will work well in protecting a cat from all but the most severe, long cold weather. Adding a handful or two of straw will improve the cold weather performance by helping wick off some moisture from the cat's fur.
Q: How often should I replace the straw I've put inside The FeralVilla?
A: This depends on how many cats use it and how much they use it. As a rule of thumb, straw should be changed out at least every 3 months.
Q: Can I use other kinds of bedding that straw...like fabric or fleece?
A: Possibly, but if any fabric is used, it must be checked frequently and laundered in hot water with bleach to control mold and mildew which can grow quickly on many fabrics. Remember that a truly feral (unsocialized) cat will not be very keen on the idea of having his/her nest disturbed often, so balance your desire to use fabrics with caring for the cat in a way that won't drive him/her out of the shelter by excessive intrusion.
Q: How can I clean the inside of The FeralVilla?
A: The roof of the FeralVilla shelter lifts off for easy cleaning. Only clean The FeralVilla with water in warmer months, or when you can bring it inside a warm area to dry. For normal cleaning, just spraying with a hose and leaving off the top to air dry will be fine. If there area stains or persistent odors, use a solution of dishwashing detergent and water, then thoroughly rinse. DO NOT scrub the insulation, as you may damage the foil coating -- use a soft scrub brush or wash cloth.
Q: Where I can buy a FeralVilla product near me?
A: You can purchase FeralVilla products right from your computer. We do not have distributors or dealers, and offer our products exclusively through our web site.
Q: Can I come to your store and pickup a product today?
A: No. We do not have a retail store. We do allow people to pickup from our shop to save the cost of shipping, but we do not have the storage space to "inventory" products -- they are manufactured to meet the demand. The time that it takes from order to delivery/pickup may vary, and is listed on the individual product's detail page.
Q: Can I order The FeralVilla in a specific or custom color?
A: Thanks to the patented SmartSide system, we no longer offer painted shelters.
The Feralvilla Outdoor Cat Shelter comes with exterior surfaces
pre-primed in a neutral tan/putty color. The manufacturer of the siding
material recommends that the siding be painted for maximum life. From
our own experience, the siding will hold up for several years without
being painted. If you wish to paint the shelter, we recommend using a
quality exterior latex paint. If you want to re-paint the outside of The FeralVilla shelter, it will take about a quart of paint.
Q: What are the quantity discounts, and how do I get them?
A: The pricing is tiered, and varies by the number of shelters you purchase. When you go to the shopping cart link, you will see the pricing at different quantities. The price will be adjusted automatically to reflect the quantity in your cart.
Q: Can the entrances be raised to avoid standing water or high snow?
A: No. The entrance locations are an integral part of the design to keep wind and water out of the 2nd floor "bedroom". No shelter will be useful to cats if it's surrounded by standing water, or buried under snow. To ensure the cats can use the shelter year round, place the shelter in an area that isn't prone to flooding, and isn't isolated by flood waters. Also, if you're in an area with extreme snowfall, consider spending a few extra minutes shoveling, or even walking a path to the shelter to make sure the cats can get in and out, just like you can!
Q: Why isn't there a second or "emergency" exit from the upper, "bedroom" area? Won't the cats be attacked by raccoons, foxes, possums, badgers, etc?
A: Having been involved heavily in TNR for the last 10 years, I can honestly say that I have never seen or heard of a cat being attacked in a shelter. In fact, the most injuries to cats come from other cats! Cats and other animals generally refrain from attacking each other for the simple fact that they can really get badly injured...and simply have no reason to attack one another. Not to say that it can't, or doesn't happen, but is a very infrequent occurrence, at least in Indiana.
I've spent considerable time studying this question. Although it would be possible to install an emergency exit that would maintain the integrity of the insulated, wind & water-proof bedroom area, there are two significant problems:
1. It would raise the cost of the shelter by $15-20
2. There is no guarantee that a cat would understand how to use an emergency exit that wasn't open to the elements (i.e. a hole to the outside)
To have an emergency exit that the cats would intuitively understand would require having it open in some way. Such an opening would completely negate the design features that make the FeralVilla an effective winter shelter.
Far more cats are injured and killed every year by having inadequate or no shelter during bitterly cold weather than by confrontations with other animals. Also, the addition of an emergency exit represents a breach in the insulated, protected bedroom area. This is a place where water, cold and wind could come in. These are far bigger enemies than the other woodland creatures.