Step 1:

Cooler and Supplies

  • Medium to large Styrofoam
  • 2x4s trimmed to be slightly
    wider than cooler
  • Four (4) 2.5” multi-material screws
  • Four (4) washers
  • Pen/marker
  • 6” template for opening
  • Knife
  • Caulk or gorilla tape
  • Drill, screwdriver bit, and
    3/8” drill bit
  • Paint
  • Straw
styrofoam cooler

Step 2:

Entry Hole

  • Create an opening no larger than 6” in diameter. A small dessert plate works well to trace for accuracy. The smaller the opening, the more heat stays inside the condo.

  • Make sure that the hole isn’t too low on the cooler to help keep water/ice out during the season. The higher the hole, the less likely snow is to block the entry.

  • Using a knife, cut the opening you traced. A serrated knife works well but any sharp knife will work.

Step 3:

Drain Holes

  • Using a drill bit, drill 3 holes for water to drain.

  • Drill on the end with the opening.

  • Drill one hole in each corner and one in the center, where the side and the bottom walls join.

drill drain holes

Step 4:

Add Wood

  • Using 2x4s or other scraps of wood helps keep the shelter off of the ground so snow and rain can’t get in the opening.

  • On the end opposite the entry hole, screw the wood on the 2” side so it’s taller.

  • On the end with the entry hole, screw the wood on the 4” side so it’s lower to the ground. This will enable any water to drain down and out of the holes drilled in Step 3. It will also help keep snow from accumulating on the roof

  • Opt for screws that do not require pre-drilling and also use a washer to ensure it stays attached.

add wood to cooler

Step 5:


  • Insulate the condo with straw (NOT HAY). Hay absorbs more moisture and is prone to rot.

  • Blankets/towels/newspapers retain moisture and should not be used.

  • Insulation should only be used if it can be checked periodically to ensure it isn’t too damp or dirty.

insulate the cooler

Step 6:

Seal the Condo

  • There are two options for sealing the condo.

  • Apply a thin layer of silicone window & door sealant if you do not want to reopen the condo.

  • If you want to be able to reopen the condo, simply seal with Gorilla tape.

seal container

Step 7:


  • Painting the condo with traditional camouflage colors helps it blend into the environment.

  • Acrylic paint is easy to apply, dries quickly, and is washable.

  • Small sponges can be purchased from an art supply store or you can use large grout sponges to apply paint faster.

paint the cooler

Step 8:


  • Follow us on social media, take a pic, and tag us!

feral cat in cooler

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