Ryan Hughes has loved cats all his life, starting as an infant when he would observe his mother, Nancy, feed feral cats outside their home in Hampton Bays. In fact, Christina Vargas, volunteer director at the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation in Hampton Bays, said she would not be surprised if the number of stray cats in the town was actually in the thousands. Ryan, who is now 13, and his mother used to care for a pair of cats—Huggie, a Russian blue who was adopted in and died in , and Morris, an orange-and-white tabby that they took in back in and died last year. Though they were welcome inside their home, both cats preferred being outside, which is why Ms. Hughes and her son constructed outdoor houses for them in their backyard.
Feral Cat Shelter Rubbermaid
Keeping Cats Warm in Winter, Cat Care Tips from the Black & Orange Cat Foundation
Winter shelter is critical for feral and stray cats living in frigid climates and can help them thrive despite the low temperatures. Listed here are mostly examples of inexpensive, do-it-yourself shelters that can be built in a matter of hours or less. Further down this page, you'll find info on placement of shelters, insulating materials to place inside your cat cabins, extra protection for extreme cold and flap doors. For more on winter care, see how to stop freezing water. When we first started out, Karin Hancock of Port Jefferson, NY, showed us how to turn a Styrofoam sheet used for insulating walls into a great winter shelter that can comfortably house three or four cats.
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The popular Urban Cat League shelter is made using a gallon Rubbermaid bin lined with 2-inch insulation, a linoleum floor, and straw bedding. Shelter from the elements is a crucial part of proper colony care. If permission, space, and finances allow, you can install man-made shelter s to provide refuge for your colony. You should build or buy and install your shelters before the weather turns cold. Several shelter-building designs are available free online.
Feral cats are at home outside, but they can always use some extra help in cold or severe weather. In cold weather, shelter is actually more important for feral cats than food. Feral cats need warm, dry shelter to protect them. Feral cats can get frostbite on their ears, nose and paws. Feral cats typically build a protective coat for winter, but the effectiveness of their fur as insulation is greatly reduced if it becomes wet or frozen and can often times result in hypothermia.