Hello friends and seedlings!! In honor of the Arctic Blast currently sweeping the nation, I have made printable DIY instructions for building your very own Cozy Outdoor Opossum House. Like cats, opossums are very clean animals, and constantly groom themselves. They will keep their living quarters meticulously tidy. Opossums are typically solitary animals, though they are not territorial and coexist nicely with any cats and dogs that do not pose an existential threat to them. Opossums' body temperatures are generally too low to carry rabies, so while it's important to keep a safe distance from wildlife, you can rest assured that their presence is not likely to be a threat to you or your pets. In fact, having friendly neighborhood opossums will often benefit you, as they keep tick, mouse, and rat populations at bay!
As a species, Virginia Opossums have been making their way farther and farther north and often rely on warmth provided by living in close proximity to humans. For instance, they may take refuge from the cold under houses and near machinery warmth. In some regions, frostbite can indicate an opossum's age as professionals use varying degrees of frostbite on ears, fingers, and tail tips to estimate how many winters an opossum has lived through. Cozy insulated housing can help keep opossums (and feral cats) toasty warm.
30 Gallon Plastic Tub
18 Gallon Plastic Tub
Bedding (Fleece Blanket or Towel)
Wrap the sides and bottom of the 18 Gallon Plastic Tub with Insulation. Put the lid on the 18 Gallon Plastic Tub and cover the lid with Insulation. Place the insulated 18 Gallon Tub inside the 30 Gallon Tub. Put the lid on the 30 Gallon Tub. Use the Box Cutter to cut an entrance hole through both Tubs and the layer of Insulation. Use Duct Tape to cover exposed Insulation and connect the 18 and 30 Gallon Tubs along the hole.
While the bottom of the housing should be waterproof, it may be a good idea to elevate the house on some bricks. This can keep the shelter removed from snow and slush, and will also keep it off cold ground. Older opossums aren't always great at climbing, so be sure the entrance is still easy to get to for any senior marsupials! You could even make a little staircase by stacking bricks up to the entrance.
Feral cats and opossums both will appreciate fresh water, and opossums in particular will love any fruit, nuts, or leftovers you leave out! Remember to check your local organizations for TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) programs for feral cats.
Click below to download a printable PDF of the illustrated instructions!
Written by me, Starry, from It's Me, Sesame!