In the midst of Old Man Winter’s wrath and record-low temperatures, it’s important to consider the health and wellbeing of all living things.
We assume if you’re reading this, you care about caring for animals as much as we do, and in these very cold temperatures, stray cats will need all the extra help they can get.
Stray cats are resilient and able to survive on their own in most extremities, but of course there are still things that you can do to make their lives a bit easier, especially in sub zero temperatures.
Cats benefit from extra food during the winter, as hunting may be a bit harder, so putting food portions outside for them may help them keep their bellies a bit more full; putting dry foods outside is your best bet because they don’t freeze. Setting out fresh water a few times a day is good too, especially if the temperatures are below freezing and the water keeps freezing up. Placing bowls in sunny areas may help to delay freezing as well.
A tip to help prevent wet foods and water from freezing as quickly is to spray insulation foam underneath the plastic bowls –the food and water won’t freeze as quickly as it would have in a metal bowl.
If you want to go further and provide a warming shelter for the cats, it doesn’t have to be big or complicated. Bigger isn’t always better, as heat will disperse more quickly –cats don’t mind squeezing together and cuddling into small spaces for warmth.
Make sure that the shelter’s doorway is only small enough for cats, so that no larger predators are able to walk in and harm/disrupt them. Insulation can be done through material as simple as straw, which repels moisture and makes for a more comfortable, warm spot to lay than the hard ground.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet related topic.