Food and Water Access
The cats will require extra calories and fat during the cold weather months in order to maintain their energy requirements. If you can inspire your neighbors to be involved in the project, even if only through drop off donations of food to the designated “feeder of the cats,” the project will have a much better outcome. A dry kitten formula is an excellent source of extra calories and balanced nutrition. Canned cat foods are also a great source of high calorie nutrition, but because of their higher liquid content they may freeze during the coldest temperatures.
Feeding and water stations should be protected from the cold and placed as near to the sleeping shelter as possible so that the cats do not have to be exposed to harsh conditions when they need to eat or drink.
Feeding the cats at the same time each day will allow them to expect and rely on a schedule. If they do not know whether they will be eating or not, they will venture out into the cold to look for food, defeating the whole purpose for the care project. Having a dedicated “feeder,” or a small group of scheduled “feeders” who take turns, can make the process much smoother. Also important to the cats’ survival is fresh, clean water. Of course, snow is an excellent source for water, but don’t forget to check the water bowl regularly to make sure it hasn’t frozen during the night.
While the cats may not be able to thank you in ways you can understand, you will know that they have repaid your kindness with the absence of rodents, and you will know that it is all worth it.
- Best Friends Animal Society: Feral Cat Resources
- Feral Cat Caretakers Coalition
- Alley Cat Allies
- Stray Cat Alliance
Image: ~ Jetta Girl ~ / Flickr
Helping Homeless Cats Through the Winter originally appeared on petMD.com