Seven Ways To Help Stray Or Feral Cats Survive The Winter

Winter is a hard time forpets and while pets have warm places to sleep and humen to snuggle, animals outdoors have a much rougher day.

In many areas of the country, feral cats are everywhere. These are the same animals as domesticated cats, but they’ve been living on their own for so long that they’ve basically become wild once again.

If you hear yowling outside, it might be that you have a few strays taking up residence in your yard. And during the winter, they face cold and thirst, too.

Feral cats live a precarious life as we can see from some of the crazy situations these curious beings get themselves intobut you can make it better!

With simply a few simple tips, and some diligence, you can help a cat survive the winter and you don’t even have to be a cats person!

Remember, feral cats aren’t pets, so don’t try to pet them or pick them up if they’re not used to you they might scratch or bite you! Dedicate them their space, and they’ll appreciate it.

1. Build A Shelter


LittleThings/ Maya Borenstein

You might not be a cat person, but you can save a cat’s life this wintertime use nothing but some plastic bins, Styrofoam, and straw( not blankets !).

Build it snug and well-insulated, and the cats will stay warm thanks to their own body heat.

There are tons ofgreat tutorials out there on how to build a cozy, comfy shelter like this one!

A shelter like this is also perfect if you have outdoor cats who prefer to roam rather than come inside for the winter.

2. Shovel Out Shelters


LittleThings/ Maya Borenstein

If you have cats living on your property, either in their own shelters or in ones you’ve constructed, make sure the cats can get in and out after a snowfall.

Take a moment and shovel out the entrances. That route, the cats can get out and access food and water.

3. Cat-Proof Your Garage


LittleThings/ Maya Borenstein

If you’re having outdoor cats stay in your garage, make sure it’s a safe place for them to be.

Remove anything breakable, claw-able, or poisonous and be sure to clean up any spilled antifreeze, as this toxic chemical is tasty to animals.

And naturally, if you keep your vehicle in the garage, make sure you know where the cats are before pulling in or out!

4. Check Your Engine


LittleThings/ Maya Borenstein

In times of extreme cold, cats and other small animals sometimes like to get up under the hood of your vehicle and snuggle with your still-warm engine. It sounds crazy, but it’s true!

If you’ve driven on a cold night, it’s a good idea to check under your hood in the morning to make sure no one is camped out inside.

We don’t need to tell you what can happen to a small animal inside a running car.

5. Install A Small Door


LittleThings/ Maya Borenstein

If you have a safe, designated area for strays, a pet door can be a great way to let themcome and go as they please.

But be careful that you don’t let the rest of the animal kingdom in, too! Be sure to get a small door that merely a cat can fit through.

Outdoor and stray cats tend to be on the thinner side, so don’t worry about omitting larger cats. A smaller door will omit other animals, though, like raccoons.

Again, simply recollect togive strays their space both for your safety, and their comfort.

6. Invest In A Heated Water Bowl


LittleThings/ Maya Borenstein

Staying well-hydrated is important in the winter, but tricky if the water dish is outside in freezing temperatures.

To avoid the water freeze, you may want to invest in a heated water dish that plugs in to keep water liquid.

7. Opt For Dry Food


LittleThings/ Maya Borenstein

Like water, wet food can freeze in low temperatures, so choose dry kibble instead.

Food and water are best left inside, like in a garage with a kitty door, where merely the cats can get to it. Otherwise, you are able attract other animals.

To learn more about caring for strays during the winter, be sure to watch the video below!

If you have a colony of cats skulking around your neighborhood, consider giving them some goodwill this winter.

And as always, if you find one that seems sick or injured, call your local animal control office, shelter, or police department.

Please SHARE if you would ever help a stray cat!

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