Winter is a time of year when outdoor cats are in need of adequate shelter, food, and water supply. Without the proper provisions, and depending upon geographical areas, thousands of outdoor cats are at high risk not to survive the elements of winter. To stay alive, cats will wander away in search for food supplies and find refuge in places that may prove to be highly dangerous.
Below are some useful tips to help keep outdoor or feral felines safe:
Even though cats have a thickened winter coat they require a warm and dry shelter. For the budget conscious individual, creating or building a cat shelter can be done with little to no money. In more moderate climates building a cat shelter can be as simple as placing a cardboard box on a front porch sheltered from rain, and lining the inside of the box with straw, shredded paper or retired linens.
Inexpensive or free materials to build a cat shelter may be obtained simply by asking a contractor or visiting a hardware store for salvageable building supplies. Ask friends, neighbors and coworkers for used dog houses, which can be modified to make good shelters. You can even use a storage bin from the local hardware store (HSUS). When crafting an outdoor cat house keep in mind the shelter should be made small. A small enclosed area is best so that a cat can use her body heat to warm the interior of her shelter.
There are many ways to help make the cats shelter more comfortable by adding straw, shredded paper or retired linens as insulators however; when using straw or shredded paper make sure to change it out regularly as it can become moist, and prevent helping to keep a cat warm. In extreme and cold climates it is suggested to wallpaper the shelter with Mylar as Mylar reflects back the body heat and it is safe for cats to lie on it (HSUS).
Food and Water
Place a bowl of water and food as near to a cat's shelter as possible but not in the shelter. Other types of animals may be on the prowl for food and water and you do not want them to enter the cat's sanctuary. To keep the food and water from freezing maybe consider constructing a separate shelter to place it in near the cat's refuge.
From your friends that The Pet Post we thank you for protecting outdoor cats during the winter months.