Winter Colony Care

Top Ten Tips

Caring for Community Cats
in Winter

  • Create a lifesaving shelter (Shelters 101)
    Ask your community to donate storage bins, Styrofoam containers or old dog houses. (Detailed Instructions on Building a Shelter)
  • Insulation
    Because it resists moisture, straw is the top choice for insulation and bedding in cat shelters. Avoid blankets, which absorb moisture.
  • Feed Cats on a Regular Schedule
    Cats will know when to come around and both the food and the cats will spend less time exposed to the weather. (See some examples of Simple Feeding Stations)
  • Feed Larger Portions
    In cold weather, make sure to feed larger portions (at least 30% more) than usual for an extra caloric boost. If cats eat all or most of the food in 15 minutes or less, increase portions.
  • Provide More Water
    Cats can dehydrate quickly in cold weather so provide more water. Wet food is easier for cats to digest and is also an important source of water.
  • Build a Feeding Station
    Feeding stations establish a specific area for cats to feed and should be located near shelters to reduce the amount of time cats are exposed to the elements.
  • Shovel Out Cat Shelters
    Keep entrances to shelters, feeding stations, porches or other hiding spots free and clear of snow.
  • Salt and Chemical Melting Products
    Stay away from salt and chemical melting products that can be toxic to animals and harmful to their paws.
  • Toxic Antifreeze
    Antifreeze, which often tastes irresistible to animals, is toxic and deadly. Keep out of reach and clean up any spills immediately!
  • Before Starting Your Car
    Before you start your car, give the hood a tap and check between the tires. Cats will climb inside the engine for warmth or hide under the car for shelter.