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

Responses: 151


In the associated article, a reader asked how to protect a little stray cat from the cold winter weather. I offered my own advice, but people who manage feral cat colonies probably have dozens of other suggestions. If you fit that description, here's your opportunity to share your knowledge and experience. Other potential feral colony managers may decide to take the leap, based on your advice. Share your Best Tips

18 year old feral blind cat

My 18 year old feral kitty went blind this fall and is now living in my garage. During thewinter months she had a warm bed and was very comfortable but now in summer coming the garage will get very warm, she does not venture out due to fear, and am looking to keep her cool. Does anyone have any ideas? Are there any cooling beds? I just want to help her be safe and comfy. Thanks everyone
—Guest Betsy

PVC Pipes and a electric radiator

Bought an old(At Lowes) electric radiator one that heats the coils. Made outdoor tent with levels enough for 4 feral cats dumped by humans gone wild. Bought pvc pipes with 8 corners made the frame and I bought a huge painters canvas and with safety pins just wrapped it up like a present. Covered that with a huge plastic tarp place the radiator in the mini house and set it on low maintained a 70 degree temperature when it was below freezing weather. You can take it apart easily for summer takes about two hours to make 20 mins to take down.
—Guest Martha Hoffer

Feral Cat Housing

Please be sure to cut 2 openings in your cat shelters so that if they get cornered by a predator (raccoon), they have another door to escape from. We learned this the hard way. One of the TNR girls got beaten up badly from a raccoon with no escape. (FYI - she survived and healed well after a stressful trapping and vet visit.). Usually the raccoon wins these battles though.

animal lover

can anyone give me advise on 3 newborn ferrell kittens. my ferrall comes into my hall way at night-got his girlfriend pregnant and i found the babies but worry about them-i hope they are protected good enough. has anyone had an experience like this? i want them to be ok but don't want to move them??
—Guest eileen

keeping feral cats warm

Styrofoam coolers with hay seal it cut a hole big enough holds heat and keeps them warm.
—Guest Joann


I made Tent under a deck. Filed with hay,added a palette and placed used dog beds wlith self reflecting heat materil with fleece blankets . Cats are happy and warm
—Guest kk


We have a feral cat "Kittyhawk" We bought a house for her with ahead pad but with temps down to 20 below zero it wasn't enough. Our pad doesn't heat well enough so I bought an electric blanket and wrapped her house in it and padded it in such a way that she cannot c claw it. She looks great and has survived so far a terribly cold unstoppable winter. We keep her food away from where she sleeps. She is mostly blind and knows how to get to the food. She is still catching mice!

Warmth for the colder winter nites

I started placing 18hr hand/body warmers inside the tube and the 3 feral cats that have adopted me seem to be fine during the unusually cold nights we have had in the DC area. I generally put them in around 5p and sometimes the next evening they are still warm to the touch. I have also wrapped the tube with the insulation for hot water heaters. Hope this helps
—Guest Belinda

home made cat shelter

I use covered kitty litter boxes or plastic storage boxes. Cut a hole in the plastic storage box by the corner large enough for a cat to enter. Buy large gap spray foam and spray all four sides. I build up a strip of spray foam by each side of the entrance to block wind from going in. Then I cut foam board for the bottom and top and use spray foam to glue them down. The top foam board I cut about 2 inches larger than the box. The side of the box where the entrance is, the foam board is cut about 3 to 4 inches larger so rain and snow can't enter the opening. I use Kuddle Kups and mats for bedding. I put Kuddle Kups on top of the mats so when the cats knead and claw through the bottom of the Kups, there's still a layer of the mats for warmth. I have 6 feral cats now for a few years, and they seem to do well in NJ weather with my set up for them.
—Guest C.Chen


Hi, there is a dark furred Bengal that has recently occupied my crawl space. I would just try togo in and get it but I don't know what it'd do in that situation and everywhere inside is too narrow for me. I lay food out and water. I think it might have rabies because while it just wulfs down the food I can't tell for sure if it's even taken a sip of the water. I check on it between one and fifteen hours, depending on if I pass out or am busy. I have an old dog house that I put up near the biggest entrance to the crawlspace, very thick blankets and insulation and tried putting the food in there but every time I went out when I did that it was never touched, same when I put it just outside the entrance. I don't want to keep putting the food and water passed the entrance because I'm afraid it will think that's how it goes all the time and never leave and I will need a place to take it because I can't a pet right now. Are there like any people that specialize in removing cats from crawlspc
—Guest Sid


If some one wishes to be updated with newest technologies then he must be go to see this web page How do you keep your feral cats from freezing in winter weather - reader suggestions and be up to date all the time. www.moncler.com http://www.moncler.arkis.it/
—Guest www.moncler.com

Coleman or other brands Camping Cooler

I purchased used Camping Coolers off of Kijiji, my husband took a jig saw, cut a 6" hole, I put blankets inside, washable,and the cooler is washable! The "farm cats" love them.....dry, warm, cosy with 2 or more cats inside. Optional, you can use a piece of rounded plastic off of a bleach bottle, to put an awning on.....
—Guest MJ

to Kitty Helper

I hope you change the newspaper (because that gets soggy and wet) to straw and the blankets also.


We have a stray living in our garage. I made a house for her outta a cardboard box and like 15 layers of material around it and polar fleece and thermal material on the inside. Her house is inside a workbench cupboard up off the ground about a foot. I bring warm water out to her every evening and she has 2 bowls full of dry food that I keep full. Once in awhile I will bring some warmed up cream out for her to kinda warm her up. Her little shelter is inside a shelter inside a garage. It has been getting down to -12 to -15 and I want to make sure she is staying warm. Can anyone else give me some advice on what to do better to make her more cozy? Thank you
—Guest Heather

use a sleeping bag

I have a feral cat that I adopted and tamed about 3 years ago. She lives on my front porch. I have one of those heated pads for her but with the recent extreme cold I was worried that it wasn't enough. I bought an inexpensive sleeping bag for her - great idea! I have it on my cushioned patio furniture - it's out of the wind and she burrows into it and she is very warm and content!
—Guest judy

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