Carlton Architecture cat shelter

Photo: L. Farrell

Thousands of feral cats call New York City home, and while they may be resourceful, winter's freezing temperatures can be difficult for them.

These felines need help surviving the year's coldest months, so every year Architects For Animals enlists some of the city's top architectural firms to design shelters for New York's homeless cats.

Founded by Leslie Farrell, Architects for Animals is a fundraiser that benefits the Mayor's Alliance's Feral Cat Initiative, a program working to solve feral cat overpopulation through a method of trap, neuter and return.

Participating architects worked with feral cat colony caretakers to ensure that their shelters would be feline-friendly. Each of the shelters will be installed at a feral cat community within the city.

You can check out this year's entries below.


M Moser Associates cat shelter

This shelter features what the architects at M Moser call "a box inside a box." The outer box provides weather protection and play space, while the inner box is the cat's sleeping area. "We chose materials that would be intriguing for a cat — brush board, carpet and sand. Our bright red inner cat house will be eye-catching to humans as well as cats," they said in a statement.

Francis Cauffman Architects cat shelter

The Cathaus, which was voted the audience favorite, is a Bauhaus-inspired modular design that can be easily duplicated to create additional cat shelters. The structure consists of three stacked compartments made from 2-inch insulated foam boxes.

Feline Folly 2

Bailly & Bailly cat shelter

Bailly and Bailly designed the Feline Folly 2 shelter to provide cats with a "comfortable and warm oasis" that's also practical. The shelter is perched on soft cedar legs to provide feral felines with the perfect place to scratch.

DeSoto House

deSoto studio architecture and design cat shelter

This eye-catching design is the invention of DeSoto Studio Architecture and Design and was created using found and recycled materials. The purpose was to create a shelter with materials that would "be found on the streets of New York and repurposed to create a useful shelter."

Cat Hive

Incorporated Architecture & Design cat shelter

Incorporated’s "Cat Hive" is a modular shelter based on the design of cat carriers. The walls were digitally milled from 60 layers of foam and then sprayed in rubberized paint to create a warm, durable home for feral cats.

Mish Mish cat shelter

Elham Valipay and Haleh Atabaki of Mish Mish designed their feral cat shelter to look like a boulder so that it would naturally blend into outdoor spaces.

Take a look at couple other innovative cat shelter designs below.

Time Machine for Kittens

Two on Two cat shelter

Zimmerman Architects

Zimmerman Workshop Architecture + Design cat shelter

Photos: L. Farrell

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Laura Moss writes about a variety of topics with a focus on animals, science, language and culture. But she mostly writes about cats.

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