Feral Awareness for Winter

by Mary
(NC, USA)

Feral Housing

Feral Housing

Hello Cat Lovers Everywhere,

Here in North Carolina, USA we are feeling the first signs of winter approaching.
The mornings are getting cooler (was only 38 degrees F a couple mornings this past week) and the nights are sometimes downright cold!
The leaves are turning gold and brown and falling to the ground.

All these signs tell me that winter is preparing to move into our area like a roaring lion. When I go outside and I feel these cold temperatures, my mind immediately turns to thinking "What about the Feral Cats and Strays"?
How will they survive the harsh winter without my help?

Some folks say: They are only cats, they know how to survive.
Statements like this makes my blood boil as a true cat lover would NEVER make a statement like that.
ALL God's creatures need help from time to time and winter is hard for all outdoor animals who have no real home and a human owner to look out for their needs.

Even the Ferals need our help in the winter if not year round.
Remember this:
Just because you cant touch them or pet them don't mean they don't need your help.

The other day I was shopping at Walmart for my weekly pet food supplies and I took notice to what people was buying.
Some had bags of bird seed and squirrel feed (these are animal lovers, obviously) but I wanted to say :
Hey how about the Ferals and strays? Most everyone can afford a cheap 20 pound bag of dry food to set out for the less fortunate cats that have to hunt all the time for their next meal.
Note: Don't get me wrong....when I say a cheap bag of cat food, I am NOT saying I agree with feeding your PET sub-standard cat foods. (My cats get only the best with no dyes and dangerous additives) and cost is never an issue where THEY are concerned.They are fortunate and SPOILED!!!!
What I am saying is that SOME KIND OF FOOD IS BETTER THAN NO FOOD if your a starving Feral or Stray.

So when your out shopping this week and every week, remember the Ferals and Strays who are out there trying to stay warm and live during the winter and grab up a bag of cat food for them.

FERAL HOUSING:
I added a picture to this post to show you a cheap Feral House you can make for the winter.
It consists of a Styrofoam cooler with a square cut out for the cats to enter and exit through.
Before closing up the Cat shelter, add hay or warm old blankets inside to keep them warm.
Try to place the house in an area out of the direct weather (if possible) but close to the area where you see the Ferals retreat to. This is where they feel safest.

Find a covered type area to place bowls where you can leave a daily allotment of Dry Cat food and fresh water that will be out of the way of taking on water or snow.
Change the water daily and empty frozen water often.

By supplying shelter and daily food and water, you will help these unfortunate cats to possibly have a better chance of survival in the harsh winter months.

NOTE: If your feeling REALLY helpful, call your local Humane Society or Local Rescue Group and ask to borrow a HUMANE TRAP and bait the trap with some stinky cat food (canned preferably) and try to trap the female Ferals and strays, and get them to a local low cost Spay/Neuter Clinic and have them fixed BEFORE winter hits to spare poor litters of kittens from being born in the cold temperatures this winter.
YES, KITTENS ARE BORN IN THE WINTER TOO, BELIEVE IT OR NOT.

After having them fixed, ask your Spay Clinic to EAR TIP the fixed Cat to show they are FIXED to make sure they aren't trapped again and taken in and opened up surgically un-necessarily.

If you cant afford to pay for this then call a local Rescue group and ask for information about assistance from a local Feral Group on having your strays and Ferals fixed through a TNR PROGRAM. (TRAP, NEUTER, RETURN)
Once they are fixed, return them to their known area where you trapped them so they can return to familiar territory for survival.
Turning them loose in Un-familiar territory is signing their death warrant as they do not know where to seek food and shelter in strange areas. They are creatures of habit.
They need to go back to where they came from.

All these tips and suggestions will help your local Ferals and Strays survive alittle easier during the winter.
Of course, IF your lucky to gain the trust of a Feral or Stray and can get them Vetted and vaccinated then bringing them inside and giving them a forever home is the ideal answer.
Otherwise, just buy an few extra rations for them and provide them a warm, dry place to sleep and fresh water daily and you will be showing them a great act of love in their time of need.
If you need assistance in locating a Feral Group or Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic in your area, just ask Kate on this site to contact me and I will direct you to someone who can help you.
Until next time:
Remember the Ferals and Strays and hug your own kittys.

Mary in NC, USA

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