Help for Cats
How do I take care of a feral cat colony in the winter?
When it starts getting colder we get more calls about feral cats and how they will survive the winter. The great news is that feral cats do a great job surviving the cold on their own, but there are things caretakers can do to make it easier and more comfortable.
Below are a few tips on what you can do to help your colony in the winter.
Making a winter enclosure is easy and only requires a storage container, insulation, duct tape, and box cutters.
They provide a great place to keep warm and are very cheap to make. Use straw instead of blankets inside. That way if the inside gets wet it will dry out and not get moldy.
For downloadable instructions on how to make your own click here.
Provide a winter enclosure
Provide extra dry food, but still don't leave food out all day. We recommend in the winter giving each cat 1.5 cups of dry food per day instead of 1 cup.
Dry food is also easier to give in the winter as it won't freeze. You can still provide wet food but place it in its' on separate bowl or in a heated bowl.
Providing extra water is also important because most of the cat's natural water sources will be frozen or not available.
Provide extra food and water
Always provide fresh and clean water. Rubber bowls or heated bowls help in winter from stopping the water turning to ice.
It is important for the cats to have a clean water source. It helps prevent giardia and other intestinal parasites and keeps the cats healthy.
Provide water in a heated or rubber bowl
The best way to feed feral cats in the winter is to make a feeding station. They are super easy to make and all the materials can be bought at most stores.
You need a 20 gallon storage container, a large rock or brick, and a box cutter.
First turn the storage container upside down. Choose a side to cut your door in. Trace a door that is 6 inches by 6 inches. Place the door close to one of the edges.
Once that is done take your box cutters and cut the door out. To make it easier you can use a drill and put holes in each corner then start your cuts at these holes.
Place your food bowls in the container in the furthest corner from the door. This makes it harder for predators to grab food from the bowls if they are not able to get into the door.
Place your rock or brick on top of the container to keep it from being blown away or easily moved.
Make a feeding station
Removing snow from where the cats eat, hang out, and sleep can also help provide areas for them to keep warm.