Photo: Centro Veterinário Municipal de Valongo/Facebook

Portugal’s Street Cats Are Getting New Homes Inside Disused Washing Machines

by Eben Diskin Jan 7, 2021

You might not think of washing machines as particularly comfortable, but it turns out they can also serve as cat homes. In the Valongo area of Porto, Portugal, old washing machines and dryers are being repurposed to house stray cats. Authorities have been transforming old machines into makeshift shelters, painting and decorating them, and lining them with blankets to enhance their homey feel.

Veterinarian Fernando Rodrigues said, “This year, the Municipality of Valongo started sterilising colonies of stray cats, having sterilised, vaccinated and microchipped more than 100 cats and cats in 12 colonies. We now feel the need to provide them with a home. This project stemmed from that idea, as the old washing or drying machines are a domestic waste that can be reused and are free of charge.”

The cats already have caregivers who feed them on the street, and now they’ll also have a roof over their heads when needed. Right now, each cat colony is being given two to three machines. Calls are going out for people to donate their unused washers and dryers, as around 50 machines total are needed this year. To donate your washing machine, send an email to

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