How to take Care of Stray Cats during Winter

Keep in mind that cats are pets and despite the fact they are predators, many stray cats do not survive on their own. Winter might be an extra hard time for them.

– Cold

Cats have a good isolating fur that keeps them safe from the cold and on average suffer more from heat, but this does not mean that they do not suffer or that they might not freeze to death.

Best way to keep them warm is by providing them shelter. If you got a shed or barn in your yard or any place where they can keep warm, do offer it to them. You can put old blankets there for the cats to cover themselves.

If they are not that long out on the street, you might consider taking them inside. When they are adapted to a life as a family cat, it might not only be a good solution for winter but for a cat’s lifetime if you consider re-homing it. If you do not want to keep it yourself, contact shelters and animal rescue organisations.

– Food

Cats need to eat and drink and keep in mind that water might freeze outside or be too cold to drink for a cat. They like their food at room temperature. Best might be to keep the food in a heated place.

Heated barns and sheds and even your porch might serve as dinner place. Make sure that the food is always fresh and that the water does not freeze. If you want to offer milk, please only use cat milk, since normal cow milk is hard to digest for cats.

Providing their own food is not what stray cats are good at. They may catch a bird or a mouse, but this is enough. Mostly they put more energy in the hunt than the food provides. Starvation is the main cause of death among stray cats.

– Medical

Some cats might need medical attention. This is not only in winter, but severely starved cats, pregnant and ill animals always need more care. Best is not to leave them out. This is something to mind all seasons, but in winter an ill animal might even suffer more.

For those cats it is most important that they are looked after. If a stray cat gives birth in the cold, her kittens have less chance of survival and also they will grow up as felines. Even if the mother might be too wild to handle, it is best that her kittens grow up in among humans so they can have better future.

You might encounter cats that might be so badly affected by disease, starvation or accidents, that they might need to be put down.

There are organisations that catch stray cats to neuter them or to have them examined by a vet. Contact them when you have a stray population in your neighborhood.