Winter is fast approaching, and these colder months can be difficult for feral or stray outdoor cats. Feral cats usually spend their life away from humans and tend to fear us. Stray cats are housecats that were abandoned or lost. There are a few ways you can help these cats survive the winter:
Build an outdoor cat shelter
Building an outdoor cat shelter helps outdoor cats find relief from cold, windy nights and find someplace safe from the elements like snow.
Here are a few things to know about outdoor cat shelters:
- Make sure it is the right size – cats feel warmest in a small space to retain body heat
- Line it with something they can burrow into – a pillowcase filled with shredded newspaper is a great way to do that
- Make sure you check in on your shelter and keep it clean
- Don’t use things like towels, paper, or blankets because these will pull body heat from the cats and make them colder in the end
- Don’t want to build one? You can buy a heated outdoor cat shelter
Provide them with food and water
The other two most important needs of outdoor cats in the winter are food and water. However, that is easier than it sounds since you will need to keep the water from becoming a block of ice.
Here are a few things to know about providing food and water:
- Use a water container that is deep and wide – a solar-heated water bowl can do the trick
- You can keep the food in an insulated or heated cat shelter. However, please don’t keep a water bowl inside, as it can spill and then turn into a sheet of ice
- Provide extra food than you would give an indoor cat, as the cold burns more calories
If you find an outdoor cat wounded or sick – click here to The Humane Society for how to help.
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