Architects Compete to Design Cat Houses for New York's Stray and Feral Tabbies

co adapative architecture/Public Domain. The 2011 Architects for Animals cat house winner.

It could have been a cat fight but it wasn't. The winner of the second annual Architects for Animals competition to design a shelter for New York’s stray cats was a purrfect choice.

Designed by architect Kathryn Walton of The American Street Cat, with Co Adaptive Architecture, the shiny yellow cat house, made out of recycled and donated materials, is a motel for stray and feral cats.

Of which, it turns out, New York City has more than 10,000.

The winning design, resembling a bright yellow garbage can, is also solar powered and topped with a green roof (of moss). It includes a pressure sensor, LED light, and a radio transmitter that lights up when occupied. It sends information to a base station that records the weight of the cat and the duration of its stay.

Needless to say the cat house has to be located in a safe location; a pair of local caretakers will be watching over it. The architect has included a plan for building it, so you can even make your own.

Apparently, one base station such as this can support hundreds of shelters within a one-mile radius.

lucio sartos/Public Domain. The Brown Tubes cat house.

All of the competition entries are donated to feral cat organizations and are now in use by rescue groups across the city.

The Brown Tubes (above) made out of corrugated cardboard is being called the Waldorf Astoria of feral cat shelters. Said the stray cat foundation: “The moment we placed the shelter in one of our colonies, the cats immediately became curious and went inside."

dwight tobin/Public Domain. The 2010 Architects for Animals cat house winner.

Last year's winner is an ironic take on something that cats love best: chasing string across the floor.

Many of the cats live in colonies and winter is a hard time for them to find food,water and shelter from the cold. Some of the organizations in the NYC Feral Cat initiative are trying to reduce the cat population by having them spayed or neutered or vaccinated.

Tags: Animals | Animal Welfare | Architects | Architecture

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