Make Your Own Toastitron 3000

Otis- The LeaderMy Disciples,

After I posted the story about the Toastitron 3000 that The Guardians had made, I had a few requests for more information about how to construct one of these wonderful kitty warmers.  It took Me a couple days to make the Guardians understand that I wanted them to take more photos of the Toastitron, but they finally did it, so now I can explain the device with a few helpful images.  Let’s start by taking a look at the entire Toastitron and its relevant parts.

Toastitron 3000

The Toastitron 3000

As you can see, the Toastinator 3000 uses a standard, plastic pet shelter (we do not call them dog houses) to provide the dry enclosed space needed to properly toast a kitty.  The Guardians used a Petmate Barn Home III medium-sized pet shelter.  One can be purchased for around $50 on Amazon.com.

Inside the barn home, the Guardians have placed a catnip infused Comfy Cloud.  Well, a Comfy Cloud is what I like to call it anyway.  They like to call it “a towel”.  Above the Comfy Cloud is the key component of the Toastitron, which is the Toastinator.  We will look at that in closer detail in a moment.  On the right hand side of the photo above you will notice the Drippy Loop.  The Toastinator is electric, and the Guardians say that it would be very bad if it got wet.  They said they made sure that the cord from the Toastinator reached its lowest point just outside the wall of the Toastitron 3000.  That way, when it rains, any water that runs down the cord will not be able to get inside the Toastitron where it could dampen the Comfy Cloud or short out the Toastinator.  The water will simply slide down to the bottom of the Drippy Loop and drop harmlessly into the grass.

The last features to point out in the photo above are the stickers that the Guardians were too lazy to remove.  These are optional, of course.  Still, I would recommend you remove them and replace them with something more appropriate like this and this, or perhaps a Limbo sticker so it will be clear to the kitties who the Toastitron is for.

All right, now let’s take a closer look at the heart of the Toastitron 3000, the Toastinator.

Toastinator

The Toastinator

The Toastinator is a dome-shaped heat reflector and electrical socket doohickey that is equipped with a ceramic heat whosamawhatsis.  The Toastinator has a clamp with which it is attached to a slotted vent at the top of the pet barn.  The Guardians secured the clamp with wire because they did not want the Toastinator falling down and setting the Comfy Cloud on fire.

The Guardians said there are many different heat reflectors and heaters available, but they used a Zoo Med deluxe porcelain clamp lamp and a Zoo Med Repticare 150 watt infrared heat emitter.  They also said that they chose the ceramic heat emitter instead of a heat lamp because they thought kitties would like the Toastitron better if it was nice and dark inside.  I agree.

Since the Toastinator emits quite a lot of heat, it is important that it is placed so that there is plenty of room between it and the Comfy Cloud.   Remember, there will hopefully be a kitty on that Comfy Cloud, so you will want to make sure that the Toastinator will be far enough away so that kitty gets toasted but not burned.

Optimal Distance of Toastinator

Make sure there is plenty of space between the Toastinator and the Comfy Cloud.

The Guardians said that if you use the 150 watt ceramic heater thingy, it should be at least 14 inches away from the Comfy Cloud.  They also said that you can buy a lower powered 100 watt version if you are making a smaller Toastitron and the heater has to be closer to the Comfy Cloud.  Whatever you use, you’ll definitely want to feel the Comfy Cloud after leaving the Toastinator on for a while to make sure the temperature is not too hot.

In the photo above, notice that the electrical cord travels downward as it moves away from the Toastinator.  It passes through a gap in the wall of the pet barn.

Cord passing through wall

Cord passing through the wall of the pet barn.

The top of the pet barn snaps onto the bottom.  The Guardians just left one corner unsnapped to allow the electrical cord to exit.  They said they could have also drilled a hole for the cord, but they decided that pet barn would stay drier if they made the cord exit this way.  Just outside the wall the cord drops a few inches lower to the Drippy Loop before swinging back up and over the fence to an electrical outlet.  The Toastitron has been up and running for over two weeks now, and it is still dry and toasty inside.

So, that’s pretty much it.  Please feel free to let Me know if you need any more guidance.  If you do decide to build your own Toastitron 3000 for the Limbo kitties in your neighborhood, I would love to hear from you about how it is received.  I’d also love to see any photos of kitties enjoying their new toasty retreat.  Oh, and if there is an abandoned kitty in your neighborhood whose trust you are trying to earn, you should definitely consider making him or her a Toastitron.  Never underestimate the power of a constant supply of toastiness to melt the heart of a frightened or suspicious kitty.

So Sayeth Otis

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Make Your Own Toastitron 3000

  1. I LOVE this!
    Thank you for sharing it!

  2. Excellent and timely. Very glad to see the drippy loop. My ranch friends say barn kitties snuggle in the hay (but still need it in a box- with roof and small door -to help hold in heat). We built a kitty condo that looked like 4 stacked wooden shoe boxes. A vet in the family donated a couple of fleece covered pet warmers/ heating pads that were wrapped in blankets and towels in the cubbies. That condo sat inside the plants’ (ficus tree, large plants) winter “greenhouse” which was created in a corner of the porch and was wrapped with 2 layers of heavy plastic. Christmas lights(festive!) were draped around the branches, and several outdoor lights hung midway from the ceiling – heat rises. There was a cat door type flap cut in the plastic in a sheltered spot. (They figured it out in no time) Several cats spent the winter there – they had been dumped – one so wild we couldn’t get near it. But they had dry shelter, food, and water and made the winter. One moved inside the next summer, another we finally trapped and neutered, but he selected another family to move in with – which was OK. He needed to be where he was happiest! Kitties may be skittish, but deep down they know they need some help. Thanks to all of those who do.

  3. We’re building one this week… Neighbor kitty, Domino, is in Limbo and needs a warmup place at night. Thanks for the plans, Otis.

    Charlotte

    • You have a neighbor kitty named Domino too, Charlotte!? Thanks so much for trying to make his nights a bit toastier. Please send Me a photo if Domino is enjoying his new Toastinator. I would love to share the good news with other Disciples of Otis :-).

  4. Eileen

    I love this article and the humor with which it was delivered – you rock! I have 10 tens, all related, neutered and indoor/outdoor nomads that sometimes are out at night because I like to sleep, too. With thetemperature dropping, I think this would be an excellent idea to keep them warm and safe – now, if I could just get them to share the space . . .

    • Your cats would probably love a Toastitron 3000, Eileen. You should also consider building them a secure outdoor enclosure so they can stay safely contained while enjoying the outdoors. 🙂

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  6. Otis, we Deployed the Tostitron this morning. Hopefully Domino uses it tonight and doesn’t merely mark our front door. The temps have been in the teens at night and I’m sure he could use a warm-up at night. We’re going to make a sign and maybe get some artificial topiary for the front door. Maybe a miniature bellman.

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