From the article: How can I protect a stray cat from the cold outdoor weather?
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
examples for shelter
- i use a dog house my self but other people dont know. here are some examples of things iv used in the past.a box under my house, builed a little wooden house, or use a old unused car and put a few old clothes \blankets for them to make a bed
- —Guest kaystarn
- 15-cat colony for 4 yr, set up a unique ferals refuge with 5' hi coon-proof feeding stations (private lake on property) using easy-assemble warehouse-type steel pallet racks, top/bottom pallets, dog house or table with sides on top, works great! Also storage bldg tricked out for them with in/out holes to other pallet racks they love for perches and safety. Newest addition is 'condos' WITH picture windows (Plexiglas) using drawer holes in old, discarded platform bed bottoms. I do TNR routinely, feed em like Morris so no attrition rate here. Home is in city, so, sadly battling Animal Control now on NO free roamers laws. Use what you have or find freebies on salvage, craigslist, etc. Food costs (don't ask!).. refuge setup, free or cheap. Love my wild furry babies.. well worth the effort.
- —Guest Food Wagon
how to keep ferals warm
- I moved into an apt bldg where there were already two dog house this lady used, that no longer is here. So I put them next to each other up on a pallette. Fille with lots of straw, covered with two tarps and tightened them down to enclose the houses for the majority. I also have in front of the houses another pallete with a tote open to them for their food, I dont want it to get wet. Plus I have to deal with raccoons. There is a family, mom=dad=and a grown up baby and they appear to be quite content. I kid that every year it will get more elaborate to someday will be a big condo out there. haha I worry about them too, warmed their food in the micro the other day when it was very cold. Yes, I know. Good luck
- —Guest Debby
Tips for Winter Shelter
- I have a colony of approximately 10 cats, some of whom are new this year. I have set out small plastic dog houses on pallets with narrow openings (allows drainage but small kitten heads don't get stuck). These I've placed all around my raise deck so the cats can go to/from below the deck also. The bottoms of the pallets are packed with grass cuttings, straw/hay or leaves to further insulate the bottom of the houses. The doorways are covered with CLEAR heavy plastic taped only at the top. The long-time cats use them frequently and them doing so have encourage the newer cats to do so also.
- —Guest DCarter
- We don't have a garage or laundry room. Our semi-feral cat lives on the roof of our rear addition. We ended up getting him a little house with a porch. Inside there's a bunny pad that covers about half the floor, which we plug in for cold weather. During heavy snow storms, hurricanes, etc. we let him in to the bathroom, which he doesn't particularly like.
- —Guest Lee
My ferals sleep in my laundry room
- I have a detached laundry room where I rent a small cottage like house with a yard...and now several fixed ferals...I share my space heater with them since it has been very cold and several of them are getting colds...It cost $140 just to take one to the vet and can't afford all of them..is that bad?
- —Guest Terri
- Go to the local Humane Society and ask them for a humane trap-bait it,and catch him. Take him to the vet.Then if you have a small bathroom or laundry room,you can keep him in it in a dog kennel with food and water dishes. Many ferals WILL use a litter box if you provide it,and it doesnt small like other cats.Use a shallow cardboard box, lined with a plastic bag and filled with litter, or you can buy disposable litter boxes. approach him cautiously, and let him decide to "come to you.You may also be able to board him at a vet until hes well enough to be ok set free,thats safest with a really wild feral.Call local vet hospitals and find one that will board him.The most important thing is getting him to the vet and the humane trap will allow you to catch him without harm to you or him.Housing for ferals is easy-for small cats, styrofoam coolers with the lid tape on with duct tape and lined with straw provides an insulated cheap cubby;Cut a hole in the side for entry.
- —Guest Phyllis
Keeping ferals warm in winter
- We look after a colony of 12 cats who live in our large greenhouse, this offers some heat even winter on sunny days. On the benches in the greenhouse I made a number of large boxes and inside that there is a slightly smaller box with the space in between filled with straw. Inside the boxes we use the self heating pads and even here in Canada they all keep nice and snug. In the centre of the greenhouse I have a stand about 3ft high mounted on a steel pole cemented into the ground. This is where we leave food over night as being rural raccoons can get into the food but a raccoon can climb but cannot jump. We also have a second feeding station down in our bush, again on a pole for those cats that won't come into the greenhouse.this feeding station is enclosed .
- —Guest Geoff
- It sounds like your already doing a very good job as cats take a long time to adapt. One thing they don't like is change. Is there any way you could rebuild their shelter. Also does the county or area loan traps(cages to catch) them in? Also a cat can't resist play, something on a long string, preferably something with catnip on the end. Keep the length of string long enough to keep it a safe distance from you. When the cats forget about you and are hard at play draw in the string. Play this several times, over the course of a week until the ones you wish to catch are at your feet. Have some one else doing it while you grab. Continue playing. Have something secure to put kitty in. I hope I understood your need and could be of help.
My 17 Feral Cats
- I got a big wooden box from work an engine came in it. I took the box cut the front of it and insulated it top bottom and the sides with underlying carpet. Then I took 5 heating pads and bought cat/dog carpets at Walmart for 5 dollars each. Put the down-filled duvet on top of heating pads / and then the cat carpets on top, it is toasty warm in there. Over top of the whole box I put very thick plastic I got from work holds out the cold / covered the whole thing and then cut thick strips in the front to get in and out. Every morning at 5:30 am they all come out from in there house and they are all very warm when they all surround me to get their hugs,.and then their food. I love my cats so much. I have my two favorite that I let in the house every morning while my dog sleeps and doesn't know there in the house. They have to go back outside at 6:30 am because Luke my dog wants to come out of the bedroom then. My cats have warmth, food and most important love lots of love
- —Guest sherrill
- A few women and a married couple and I feed and tend to between 20-30 feral/abandoned cats. Two of the women catch, release and rehome when possible and some of us have adopted and rehomed. But people keep dumping kittens. We have a couple low shelters filled with staw and covered with roofing material. Then we have about 16 rubbermaid totes filled with straw and a small hole cut a few inches above ground so water wont get in. Also, TJ built wood coverings 8-10" openings above the openings to help keep rain and snow out. Worst thing is keeping water from freezing - we have no electric available. They are behind a large businesses parking lot next to woods and creek. I wish i had $ so i could get a piece of property fence it and build them a warm feral preserve.. where they would b safe. Most if them are afraid to b touched. The feral i adopted took 7-8 mths before she would even rub on my leg, now about 10-11 mths she's almost completely tame. Patience and love is the key.
- —Guest weirton cat lover
- I have a dog house the cats do not go in-keep hoping-where can I buy straw-I live in Orlando
- —Guest Ronnie
- I moved to an apartment building in NYC last year and started to look after a colony of strays. There are about 15 of them. I feed them daily and keep plenty of water around. In Dec I bought two kittytubes. They share the space. I also put made a tent with blankets and a down quilt for the few that didn't crawl into the tubes. It's the best I can do but I still feel awful that they are out in the cold at night. I notice now as we are into day 4 of the very low temps that they are eating and moving around less. I wish I could do more. Poor things!
- —Guest Tessie
Solutions for keeping cats warm
- This is a tip that I got from the feline fix in Denver, CO. They suggested large plastic storage bins with a whole cut into the end of it. I use an insulation foam DO NOT use the insulation that you have in your attic; the kind that rolls out. It has fiberglass and is not good for this application. I get the foam insulation at home depot, it's about $8 for a 4'X8' sheet and you can cut it into 3rds length wise and line 2 plastic bins it is bendable just curve it, and put it in. Then just add a blanket or towel to the inside; I cover mine with moving blankets that you can get at harbor freight for about $6. Total cost for 2 very warm shelters is about $30
- —Guest Pam Phillips
- I've been feeding 3 feral cats that were born in my yard for almost two years now. I couldn't get near them in the beginning with the mother protecting them. She left them after a few months. I built a shelter out of wood and insulated it with foam panels. Added a small window in front, shingle roof, and emergency exit door on the back. Put it up about 8 inches off the ground. Added straw inside. I trapped these girls when they were smaller and had them neutered and vaccinated. One is very friendly and will always run to me and let me pet her and rub under her chin. After the storm Sandy came and went, the next morning she came limping toward me with an injured paw which has healed since then. It was like something out of a movie. She loves the attention I give her and I'm sure I could bring her inside but I have two cats already plus a wife that doesn't like cats. I feed them dry and wet food, sometimes leftovers. I've gotten attached to these kitties. I used to have mice in my home d
- —Guest jnocella
1-15 of 110Next