Protect outdoor cats from frostbite, chills, urinary tract infections, hunger and thirst this winter by making cat shelters containing food and water.
As the weather gets colder and colder, we start to worry more about the cats in our neighborhood. They can be pets that the owners themselves allow to be outside, they can be stray cats (usually they are afraid of people) or they can be cats that have run away (either they themselves have left a home or they have been abandoned).
If you own a cat that you allow outside, you must be aware that although they have undercoat, the cats originally come from the Mediterranean area and Africa, these countries do not reach the same cold as here in the north. As soon as we get below -8 degrees, it can be difficult for the cat to keep warm.
No matter how resourceful these stray outdoor cats are, they need help surviving the winter. If you have the time and desire to help, the miss cats will thank you!
Follow these tips to help your local outdoor cats during the cold months.
Give outdoor cats shelter from the cold Yes, their thickened winter fur helps feral and stray cats against the winter cold, but they still need warm, dry, well-insulated and appropriately sized shelters. It is cheapest to build your own, and there are many ideas and instructions to be found on the web that can help you get started. It can be a fun weekend project with the kids! Ask your friends, neighbors and colleagues to participate in . Ask friends, neighbors and colleagues about used dog houses, which can be converted into a fantastic smaller hiding place/warm room. You can even use a small wooden box or a flamingo box. Shelter is the most important thing for the cats, as here they can get dry and warm again, inside and out. It is important to make a shelter that is the right size, if it is too big, it will be difficult for the cats body heat to keep the room warm.
Straw, old pillows or use an old pillowcase and fill it with straw or shredded newspapers, these are really good for the cats to dry themselves in and keep warm. However, it is important to keep it clean: replace the straw and newspapers if it has become damp or dirty, and wash and refill the pad as needed. Do not use blankets, towels or folded newspaper; they absorb body heat and cool the cats down when they lie on them. Hay is also not good as it can irritate noses and cause allergic reactions. If possible, give the outdoor cats food and water, because it is a myth that they just go away, cats would almost rather starve than go away from their territory. The logic behind banning the feeding of feral cats is that if there is no food available, the cats will go away. However, this rarely happens. First of all because cats are territorial animals that can survive for weeks without food and will not give up their territory easily or quickly. As they grow hungrier and more desperate, they tend to venture closer to people's homes and businesses in their search for food. Despite efforts to starve them out, the cats will also continue to reproduce, resulting in the deaths of many kittens. Second, it is almost impossible to enforce the feeding ban. A person determined to feed the cats will usually succeed without being detected. Repeated experience has shown that people who care about the cats will go to great lengths, risking their homes, jobs and even their freedom to feed starving animals. In addition, there may be more than one feeder and other sources of food, including garbage cans and food from other outdoor animals.
If you can do it without compromising the privacy and security of the shelter, place food and water near the shelter you've made so the cats don't have to travel far.
To avoid food and water freezing, use a thick plastic water container that is deep and wide, as this is better insulated than a thin plastic, steel or ceramic container. A solar-heated water bowl can prevent or delay water and canned food from freezing. If the shelter/hiding place is well insulated, you can put bowls of dry or moist food inside them, far from the door. Even if the moist food freezes, the cats' body heat will thaw it as they warm up in their shelter. Do not put water bowls inside shelter. Water is wasted, and a wet shelter will feel more like a refrigerator than a warm oasis.
Here is a list of good advice to avoid any diseases etc.
- it's a good idea to be careful about letting the cat out when it's windy, wet and snowy
- check paws, muzzle and tip of tail for frostbite
- check the cat litter, lubricate and clean it regularly
- make a shelter for the outdoor one, just to be safe, if nothing else, you might save another stray cat in need
- you may choose to feed with food with extra calories, either some kitten food or some "outdoor" food.
Hope you can use the information, if you have more questions about exactly how your cat copes in the winter, you can also consult your vet.
Owner of Animal Dealer
Foderboxen Aps in Skovlunde center south
Educated Certified Animal Dealer
Source: idenyt.dk and humanesociety.org