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Readers Respond: Do you manage a feral cat colony? How do you protect them in wintertime?

Responses: 145


extreme cat homes

I use coleman extreme 72 quart coolers cut a six inch round or square hole. easy to clean out from top
—Guest jimmy coppola

Keep them warm, keep them dry.

I've had a little, very young cat appearing for food, I moved her into an old chicken shed, which I cleaned out and am insulating, I picked up an old fabric cat house/bed dirt cheap (£1) from a charity shop, and have made a wooden platform off the ground, which I have lined ith polystrene and newspaper. I have filled the cat house half full with shredded newspaper and blankets, and am looking into purchasing a hot water bottle, to wrap in fleece and put in there at night. The poor little fellow is clearly freezing, but I feed her three times a day, and keep her watered, I just hope the sweetie is okay. Good luck, and thanks for giving the strays love, all you guys!
—Guest Kitty Helper.

My tips forkeeping ferals warm in winter

I bought a Kitty Tube for Peanut. She is the semi-feral "community" cat. I got her vaccinated and spayed in September 2013 with the help of Purrfect Cat rescue. She's turned out to be a very friendly cat and not so wild and ferally. And I didn't know what to do - chase her away after all that effort to keep her healthy? That didn't make much sense! So I bought a Kitty Tube on Amazon with the straw option. And I bought the heating pad. I wasn't sure if it would be cold enough to require a heating pad, since I live in California but it has been unseasonably cold for the last few days. The heating pad is a great addition! And Peanut LOVES her kitty tube! She uses it every night and day. It's easy to keep clean, lightweight and very air tight (no leaks)
—Guest MiltonandMolly

Heated Pet Beds

A novel solution to the heated cat bed problem: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1BBRNT6N1BACE?_encoding=UTF8&asin=B000ICKBCW&cdForum=Fx3T27GOVRYUPU2&cdMSG=addedToThread&cdPage=&cdThread=Tx1BS5OUZ80TGLF&newContentID=Mx2YYEGIO9PG3RN&newContentNum=5&store=pet-supplies#CustomerDiscussionsNRPB Be sure to read the comments for specifics.
—Guest Reba63

Heated Pet Bed Solution

Trying to find a way to heat a feral cat shelter proved quite a challenge. This reviewer on Amazon came up with a novel solution involving seed starting mats and a thermostat.

Decent fix for ferals in the cold

I bought an old lift top freezer for $20.00. Put in a half shelf and drilled 3 ea. 6 inch diameter holes...2 below the shelf at each end and 1 above the shelf. The insulation and heavy structure helps keep the wind, rain, cold, and hot out. You can lift the top to remove the bedding for cleaning etc. We trapped a few abandoned little kitty muffins, had them fixed, and brought them back to feed. No mice problems here.
—Guest Les

keep them warm

I find old coolers people have discarded cut a hole in each and and put a piece of old vinyl flooring with slots to make a flap on the door.I figure if you keep your beer cool in the summer it will keep your cat warm the winter
—Guest jim

Winter Cat house for abandoned kitty

I used a chihuahua house for shelter & put it on my porch. BEST HOUSE IS A WOODEN DOG HOUSE, if u have it. Insulate it with 2" insulation foam sheets from any hardware store. Mine cost $2.84 for a small sheet w/mylar backing. Mylar is a reflective that keeps the cat warm when their body lays on it. You can buy a mylar blanket cost $2 & attach it to the insulation. Cut insulation to fit the bottom & all sides of the inside of the house. Secure it with glue/tape but u don't have to. Styrofoam conforms. Cut it slightly bigger. Push it into the area u want & it will hold there just fine. This is what I did. ALWAYS USE STRAW for cat bedding. It is an excellent insulator. DO NOT use clothes or anything made of material. It will absorb water & make your cat cold & sick. $1 Store placemats cut to make a door flap work great. I then wrapped the house in tarp leaving the front open & elevated it off the ground 4 inches. Straw cost $8.50/bale. kitty stays warm & protected


Hi, I am volunteer in cat organization help street cats. We build kitty condo for street cats using plastic storage container, cover with Tarp and duct tape. Cut door for cat and put warm blanket and hay straws in it and put them under some shelter. That will provide warm shelter and protect cats from wind and snow. You can try that. But make sure its only used by that kitty and not by other animal.
—Guest Amy

Our feral felines

October is a round up month to spay and neuter at a reduced cost at our Humane Society. We live-trapped a recent litter of 4. I wish I could've found them a few weeks earlier. We may have been able to socialize them somewhat. 2 males, 2 females. They received vaccines, had their ears clipped and were also micro-chipped. We waited 48 hrs to make sure all was well before we re-released them. They come every morning for breakfast and every evening for supper. I've become to attached to these beauties. With winter on it's way I was very concerned for them. My husband built a 4x4 home w/1inch insulation. The top is removable with doubled insulation. We have their bedding made with thick wool insulation from an old quilt and a heavy chenille blanket and old fleece blankets. We live up by Canada so I think we may need to also place a heated mat for icy nights when the temps fall below deep to sub-zero. Has anyone used any of those pet heaters? Their home is raised & water-proof.
—Guest NanaBabes

Feral Cat Shelter

-Don't use blankets they take warmth away from cat. -Straw, not Hay. Straw is for bedding hay is for feeding. -Mylar blankets are dirt cheap, get em at any Canadian tire or camp store & spray glue them on walls & roof will help keep the cats warmth inside. -I made the mistake of using a light bulb, but in Canada it gets down to -35 Celsius and I have a hard time not using heat. But apparently this will cause problems with the cats internal temperature. Cheaper version use a fish box(2"Styrofoam) from a restaurant put weight on top like plywood and something heavy for windy days & straw inside for warmth, glue Mylar blanket inside to keep kitty's heat in for colder climates like here . You can paint it on the outside to the color of surroundings if you like. http://www.alleycat.org/ShelterGallery great site.
—Guest Therese

Winter house for feral cat

I bought a $15 covered cat litter box. The top latches on to the litter pan, so it's easy to open to replace torn up rags for bedding. (Cats need to burrow, so loose items are better than towels.) The top of the enclosed litter box has a vent that can be fitted with a low watt light, or, I simply cover the whole top with a rug that covers the entry halfway. This protects the cat from wind, and probably feels more secure. The cat can still see what's out there, but is also obscured from view.
—Guest Erica

One of my cats wont come in will it be

I took him in yrs ago, he loved being in I got a little tiny dog last yr and now this one cat of mine hates it in, I look out and will see him setting on the banister, I put 2 tarps over a bush and straw and blanket I am still worried but he wants to be in there instead of in, how will I know he is ok.. He has lost weight since he has been back out side, I feed five cats out of the woods and two of the neighbors..
—Guest mskittycafe60

feral cats

I use giant plastic bins,i put old blankets,towels.hoodies,ect.Ihave put the bins under my deck,
—Guest isabella

keeping feral cat(s) warm

I feed a few ferals that live in a towyard in ma. i bought a kitty tube which is great but cost $140 w/shipping.(kittytube.com) USE STRAW NOT HAY. big difference, hay holds moisture. the kitty tube is insulated and very sturdy with the small opening. if you cant afford you can make your own with Styrofoam coolers, cut a small doorway, fill with STRAW, put something like a brick on it. try to keep where there is something around it' not just in wide open area. ours is in a trailer at the towyard up on a pallet. they have all been trapped neutered and returned. good luck and God bless
—Guest nancy

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