If you have a passing familiarity with sustainable building types, you may have heard of SIPs (structurally insulated panels). SIPs are basically a sandwich of rigid structural material on the outside with foam insulation in the middle, with a very high R value. We decided to do something similar for the condo. We started with a 2×2 wood frame, sided with plywood on the outside, 2 pieces of rigid foam insulation in the middle, finished off with an easy to clean white vinyl on the inside. There are also windows, lots of windows, because I was a plant in a previous life and I wilt without access to sunlight (plus cats like to look out windows, and that means our cat gets windows — I do my best to provide an indoor experience for her in the outside). We also installed a micro-chip controlled cat door, so that only Fuzzy can go inside.
To top off the super-lux experience, we put a plug-in heating pad in the condo so that even in the depths of winter, the Fuzz-bucket is toasty warm in her condo.
Some training was needed before she was comfortable with her new diggs … we had to prop the door open until she would freely go in and out (and there might be been one or two [dozen] cat treats strategically placed inside as well).
The condo is right outside our deck slider so we can keep an eye on her (and she can keep an eye on us). She has additional vacation homes in the machine shed (also with a chip-controlled cat door, heating pad, and substantially less attractive insulated house), and the solar shed.
I love to look out on a cold day and see her curled up warm in her house, looking out the window. After all, that’s what I like to do on a cold winter day. It looks like it will be time to do a lot of that soon.