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Space heater in tack rm: should I just throw in a molotov cocktail and be done w/it?

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  • #21
    I'm too paranoid as well. I'd be too skeered!
    Unless this is a this is a tiny kitten or 100 yr. old cat, he should be fine without any heat source in your tack room.
    A cozy bed, maybe one of those cave-like beds ought to be enough to trap his body heat.
    He's a cat, and a feral one at that. He's tougher than you've ever been, or ever will be. Yet, I do identify with the hostess with mostest view of critters I think the cat would rather have his freedom to come and go a he sees fit. You know how cats are.


    • #22
      I have a snuggle safe. I use it (for myself) rather than a hot water bottle. They do stay warm for ages.
      Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


      • #23
        Our feral barn cats make their own beds in the hay loft between bales. I've put some towels in there so they don't get poked by the hay and they seem to love the comfort of it. Plus it makes them feel like they are hiding.
        \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"


        • #24
          I throw my vote in with those suggesting the oil-filled radiator-like heaters like this.

          I've had one in my tack room for the last 10 years. Keeps my tackroom around 60ish degrees through the winter. But I don't do it for the cats, I do it to keep my tack from molding (maybe not such a problem for you!). But I do keep my cat food in the heated tack room and have a kitty door on the door. They come in to eat and then head back out into the barn to sleep on the hay.

          So if you're really concerned about having anything electric plugged in I would go with the suggestions to get a snuggle sack or something along those lines for the cats. FWIW, I also have one of those in my tack room and they have no interest in sleeping anywhere but my hay bales. Silly cats (who probably think I'm the silly one for trying to make a human-comfortable space for them, lol!)
          Flying F Sport Horses
          Horses in the NW


          • #25
            I think cats are fine as long as they have shelter and food, I think a question you need to ask is if you are willing to loose your barn, horses, etc over keeping a cat warm?


            • #26
              If you don't want to do anything heated, there are many instructions for building "outdoor" cat shelters from those big Rubbermaid storage bins, insulated with styrofoam and lined with straw. Here's just one of many links: http://www.alleycat.org/ShelterGallery
              I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


              • #27
                I was going to suggest the same thing as Guin.


                Add to that some fleece and the microwave heat bed do dad and this little cubby will make it super duper duper warm.
                Chambermaid to....


                • #28
                  The cat will be ok without a heater and the tack won't dry out. Why don't you donate the money to a local rescue that spays feral cats?


                  • #29
                    You could give this a try
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • #30
                      There is a space heater in the tackroom at my barn, and the barn has used a space heater for the last 20 years with no issues. It's the safety kind that can't start a fire if tipped over. It has a secondary job of keeping the cats and people warm, its primary job is keeping the pipes from freezing in the winter. The hot water heater and the water pipes are in the tackroom wall and will freeze if the tack room is below freezing. The hose also lives in there.

                      The heater keeps the tackroom above freezing but not warm enough to get naked in


                      • #31
                        I would say a gigantic NO to those oil filled rads. I lost my house, my cats, and d@mn near my life, I only survived by jumping out a 2nd story window, to one of those. I was lucky. 2-3 wks later a nearby family wasn't, they all perished.

                        The firefighters all told me those things were notorious for causing house fires. Mine was brand new, and plugged into a surge protecter. I had used them for a couple yrs, followed all the rules and even bought a new one every winter.

                        Thought it was only fair to warn you.


                        Ps- Hi, I've been lurking for a while but had to register & speak up when I read this
                        Last edited by CopperFoxFarm; Dec. 2, 2012, 12:42 AM. Reason: added the "ps"


                        • #32
                          I like the oil-filled Honeymooner heater, but not sure I'd want it in the barn.
                          I've used one to heat a 12X16 below-grade tiled bathroom and it was toasty. Doubled as a towel-warmer.
                          Mine is at least 15yo and has 2 settings - the High is 900W so your electric bill may suffer.

                          What I use is the igloo-type cat bed - the soft version purchased for ~ $15 at Meier with a fleece baby blanket (Goodwill) inside.
                          For the worst of Midwest Winter - when temps go below zero, I add those handwarmer packets hunters use - pack of 2 for $1.25 at Walmart.
                          I open one and slip it under the fleece blankie when I do my 9P barn tuck-ins.
                          They stay warm for 8h so a good night's sleep for Mr. Smudge.

                          BTW, Crone - started reading your blog and LOLROF.
                          You really need to consider publishing a book.
                          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                            If it were me, my barn wouldn't be worth the risk of a space heater catching fire for a feral cat.
                            I second that. I notice the OP is in TX. Barn/feral cats live in unheated barns in MN with sub-zero temps and survive just dandy. Those humans who "go crazy" for them will build a little dog-house for them to snuggle into, but I second everyone who is saying one of those cat beds with the "roof" that you can get for $30 at Petsmart.


                            • #34
                              if you go to facebook, and search for 'The Muckbucket", you will find instructions for an insulated 'cat house' designed for the feral kitties. It is about halfway down the page...November 15 date, I think.
                              What you allow is what will continue.


                              • #35
                                From a site dedicated to outdoor feral kitties, make one of these perhaps?
                                .... I see, now that I've taken the time to actually read all the posts, this has already been suggested.
                                Never mind, carry on.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by CopperFoxFarm View Post
                                  I would say a gigantic NO to those oil filled rads. I lost my house, my cats, and d@mn near my life, I only survived by jumping out a 2nd story window, to one of those. I was lucky. 2-3 wks later a nearby family wasn't, they all perished.

                                  The firefighters all told me those things were notorious for causing house fires. Mine was brand new, and plugged into a surge protecter. I had used them for a couple yrs, followed all the rules and even bought a new one every winter.
                                  See this is all I needed to read to snap me back into reality. Thanks, CopperFox! So glad you lived to tell the tale. What a nightmare.

                                  I know you're all on the edge of your seats awaiting my decision, so to help you sleep tonight I will now reveal that I've elected to go with -- the kitty kubby. I'm intrigued by the DIY cat houses, but me? Make something? I don't have a handy bone in my body.

                                  Thanks everyone. This forum has saved my butt about 874 times.
                                  Last edited by The Crone of Cottonmouth County; Dec. 2, 2012, 01:47 PM. Reason: fixed broken link
                                  Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life


                                  • #37
                                    Pig mats, i.e., heated, heavy duty mats used to keep baby piglets warm. I have one in my tack room and on cold nights my cats are bonded to it. Rated for outdoor / barn use, fully enclosed heating elements. Look in any livestock catalog.

                                    (also useful for warming up bits - just lay the bridle on it with the bit making contact with the mat while you tack up.)
                                    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
                                    - Desiderata, (c) Max Ehrman, 1926


                                    • #38
                                      I hate space heaters. I wouldn't put one up for a cat, since cats do fine without electric heat. Perhaps a hairless cat would need a special heater. Usually the cats just go and sleep in the hay, as do the dogs. It's depressing, but many things can catch fire. Fans, which are ubiquitous in most barns in the summer, are terrible culprits, but many people don't think twice about that.

                                      Your kitty kubby link didn't work for me, but I will say that after wintering farm dogs and farm cats (and other miscellaneous animals) for years, I've given up on buying "special" stuff for them. I've spend $100s on stuff from pet catalogs and either they don't use it, it doesn't work, it is a crappy piece of junk, or becomes disgustingly filthy after one season and can't be cleaned. Instead, I let them bed down in protected areas with hay and straw to snuggle in.


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
                                        That just plug in. They look like the old style radiators, are filled with some kind of oil, but completely enclosed, no flame and even my slightly drafty tack room with the cat door stays toasty warm.

                                        I sit it on the cement floor in the middle of the room, plugged into a surge protector. The cats love it, one sits right next to it.

                                        You can get them at any hardware store.
                                        That's what I bought for our barn cats. It shuts off if tipped over. I researched a ton, to make sure it would be safe.
                                        Make sure electrical cord is not where it can be frayed. I also changed out the electrical outlet, because it is an old barn, and existing outlet looked worn/dusty.


                                        • #40
                                          Your blog is priceless....will be reading more!