Winter is here! For many of our cat-loving readers, winter is a time when your cat is turning into a heat-seeking missile aimed at snuggling on your lap. But spare the thought of those less fortunate felines who are feral or stray, and lack the comfort during the harsh winter weather. Homeless cats are still out there on the streets no matter how many rescue teams there are. They are still found alone on the streets or stuck in the sewers or even almost die in the corner of buildings.
You know that they’re just a little creature that have the same right to live happily just like humans. Support these kitties withstand the cold temperatures this winter by doing one (or all) of these simple things.
Imagine living outside in the winter without adequate shelter. When your clothes are soaked, with no place to clean you lose body heat and your immune system weakens, you are less able to fight off disease, and you get sick on a slippery slope. The same is true of stray cats.
Providing a windproof, dry shelter offers them a place to escape the weather as they sleep. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s perfect for a double insulation, such as an exterior plastic carton holding a solid cardboard box with a straw insulation in the gap between the two.
#2 Make The Right Bedding
People can get donated building materials from home improvement stores and hardware stores. The roof and the interior walls could be lined with insulation. Ventilation is required, so place the holes on the ground. Shelters are meant to be off the surface. Try to raise the shelter from the ground, so that the earth doesn’t act as a heat sink. Again, make the shortest, cat-sized entrance possible so there’s less space for the warmth to get out and the wind to get in.
When necessary, rig up a porch or a protective cover over the entrance, such as a folding roof or a plastic curtain. Instead of using paper or shredded newspaper that can be wet, fill a pillowcase loosely with peanuts that are an excellent insulator and do not absorb moisture. Alternatively, give the cat a deep layer of straw to burrow in and keep warm.
#3 Install A Cat Door
If you can, build a cat door in a safe spot, such as a shed or workshop. It could provide vital life-saving access to a dry place in extreme weather conditions. It’s also better for people with closed in porches to install a ‘cat’ door. This way cats can take shelter on the porch.
#4 Prepare A Feeding Station
Cats require food as a fuel to keep them warm. Provide a feeding station within a few meters of the shelter so that the cat does not have to waste energy in severe weather to find life-sustaining meat. A wooden cardboard bag or a small storage box on its hand holds the worst of the products out and prevents the meat from being waterlogged. When you are very vigilant then install a temporary roof between the shelter and the feeding station so that the cat doesn’t get soaked for a meal.
#5 Provide Water
Water is important for health however, sadly, it can dry up or freeze in the winter. Dr. Cathy Alinovi from Healthy Pawsibilities says that when everything is frozen, it’s really hard for these stray animals to get enough water.
Make sure that you provide clean, warm water twice a day. Isolate the bottom of the water bowl by covering it with foam insulation to keep the water warm longer. With available warm water, they don’t have to use their own body energy to heat, stray cats can do it for a long time in the winter, particularly if they provide shelter and other nutrition.
#6 Provide The Right Cat Food
Some people think that dry food is the most suitable for cat in winter. However, dry food will take more energy and isn’t good for their bladder. Wet food heated up slightly can be a great treat for a stray cat to give some much needed meat during the cold weather. If you have a group of homeless dogs, consider giving them some wet food a couple of days a week to help them out.
#7 Invite Neighbors To Do The Same
Tell cat-loving caring residents to take part in a feeding roster or even to set up temporary shelters of their own. Note, take pity on the strays during the winter and come back to the city, by holding the vermin population down.
#8 PAY ATTENTION to your environment
Winter threats include spilt antifreeze (its consistency is bizarrely enticing to cats who lap it and go to kidney failure), salt (paw salt when licked can also cause kidney damage), and snow in. Be careful with what you put on the ground, and don’t forget to dig a cat shelter when it’s snowing heavily.
Often, a hot car engine will draw strays desperately looking for heat. Also test the engine before starting the vehicle, and search underneath the car and behind the tires before moving away.
#9 Make A Routine for stray cats
Each time a cat ventures out of their shelter, they fear getting cold or wet, which saps their resources. Set up the feeding schedule and put down the food at the same time every day. That way, the cat knows when to move without wasting precious resources.
#10 Try to raise fund from neighborhood
Place donation boxes in your local community encouraging people to help feed and shelter cats in your region during the winter. It will support their lives and it is amazing if everyone is participating
Easy right? You don’t have to do all of them, provably just some. So, are you ready to be a hero for stray cats this winter?