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Here are photos of the set-up of the acclimation cage (in use) that we loan out for barn cats - cages are 52 inches high x 36 inches wide x 26 inches deep…We also use them for fostering semi-feral kittens in the house.
Heated drinking bowls are essential for barn cars in winter. Our barn cat owners recommended these; we tried them ourselves and like them a lot. Right around $20 seems a fair price to us for a 1 quart bowl. Cats drink a lot of water, so that is a minimum size-wise and we change it every day to keep it fresh.
One of our barn cat owners recommended the Lectro brand heated outdoor pad. We bought two and are using one right now in an acclimation cage for two cats. They seem to like it a lot. It stays just warm enough to be cozy; uses a minimal amount of electricity and has a wire insulated cord. We placed it on one of the shelves in an acclimation cage - we wanted to keep it away from the water bowl. We bought the small one.
Very recently, we bought a free-feeder for an acclimation cage. It works really nicely. The cats were really underweight and too shy to eat in front of us, so we wanted to make the dry food as accessible as possible. There are lots of different brands. We would not recommend anything over $25. These are plastic and do not have to be fancy. After you let the cats out of their acclimation cage, you can continue to use it as long as it is placed on a shelf (per the example) and not on the ground.
Whenever we place kittens or any cat, really, in an acclimation cage in a barn in the winter, we always feel like we are overspending when we buy special houses like these in the big pet chains. They can cost us $40 or more; that is a lot of money and we give them away to the barn owners because we know the cats love them. Lately, we have been purchasing a couple of these at a time in advance on Amazon for $15-$20! Same quality; big saving. The cats love these and they last a long, long time. The double condo is a great price- much cheaper than buying two and stacking them.
Sandy on February 22nd 2011 in How to apply for a Shelter Me inc Barn Cat