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Blog - Alley Cat Allies

4 Tips for Helping Feral Cats This Winter

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As temperatures drop and birds fly south for the winter, cat volunteers everywhere are gearing up for another busy winter. Often, people ask, "What is the best way to help feral cats when it gets cold? Should I invite them inside my house? Will their food and water freeze?"

Read on for our top 4 tips for helping feral cats in winter.

Keep food and water accessible.

If your region regularly experiences temperatures below 32° Fahrenheit or 0° Celsius, your cats' food and water may freeze. To prevent this from happening, serve wet food in a plastic container, and heat it up before setting it out. Also, choose food bowls that are deep instead of wide. Set food bowls in sunny areas. If your region is particularly cold, you may want to try a heated food bowl

To make feeding time a breeze, you can also get a feeding station. Choose from 3 different sizes of food shelters and keep your cats' food and water clean and off the ground.

In addition, Alley Cat Allies recommends that you provide extra food in winter to help feral cats conserve energy. A good rule of thumb is to increase portions by 20-30% of their normal rate.

Provide insulated shelter.

When temperatures drop, feral cats need a warm place to sleep at night. The Ontario SPCA recommends, "An ideal shelter size will fit 3-5 cats; anything larger will make it difficult for the cats to generate enough body heat to keep the space warm. It’s better to provide a few smaller shelters than one large shelter."

Our high quality cedar cat shelters are easy to assemble. Each one is insulated on all 4 sides with Thermal-Ply insulation, and you can even add a heated pad for extra warmth. The Extra Large Insulated Cedar Cat House will comfortably house 3-4 cats. For more sizes, click here.

For expert tips on setting up your outdoor cat shelter, check out this blog post.

Check your car.

If your feral cats don't have access to warm shelter, they may curl up inside your car hood or under the car. Before starting your car, tap firmly on the hood a couple of times. This will wake up any sleeping cats and prevent any tragic accidents. In addition, check between and under tires to ensure that no cats have taken refuge there.

Need a winter cat shelter for your colony? Get free shipping at UnderCover Pet Houses now!

Avoid using winter chemicals.

To keep your kitties safe, avoid using salt or chemicals on your property to melt the snow. Instead, try sand or another pet-friendly deicer. Ask for recommendations at your local pet shop. According to Alley Cat Allies, antifreeze is toxic to cats and highly dangerous. Keep it out of reach of cats, and switch to a brand made with propylene glycol (less toxic than ethylene glycol). Also, watch your kitties closely for signs of antifreeze poisoning. You can find a complete list of symptoms at Alley Cat Allies.

Shopping for the best feral cat houses? Find the right one at www.undercoverpethouses.com!

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