Summer/Winter Weather Tips
The hottest days of the year are an important time to keep food and water fresh for a feral colony.
- Keep to 30 minutes of feeding time and remove all uneaten food. Any food left behind will attract insects.
- Wet food may dry out on particularly hot days, so you might want to add some water or switch to dry food during these times. Dry food will also attract fewer bugs. Be sure to calculate one half-cup of dry food per cat (or more if it’s gone in less than 30 minutes).
- Consider putting out extra bowls of water and remember to clean and fill them daily.
- If you find water bowls heating up too fast, try adding ice cubes to or placing them in shaded areas to keep them cooler.
- Do not trap cats on extremely hot days. If it is too hot for you out there, it is too hot for them.
- If you need to trap a cat that is seriously ill or injured during extremely hot weather, pull the trapped cat indoors immediately to avoid heatstroke.
- Do not place baited traps or trapped cats on hot surfaces like asphalt.
The coldest days of the year are a good time to provide a shelter for feral cats. While not necessary for their survival, a warm spot to escape the winter weather deters feral cats from places where they are not wanted.
- Wet food is preferred over dry food in winter as it requires less energy to digest.
- For watering, use deeper bowls and place them in direct sunlight to help keep them from freezing.
- To avoid freezing, refill water bowls with hot or warm water, and/or add a pinch of sugar.
- When kept to the 30 minute feeding schedule, food will spend less time in the cold before being eaten.
- Build or purchase shelters, ideally those that allows 3 to 5 cats to huddle up. Provide enough shelters for everyone.
- Insulate your shelters against moisture and cold by using straw. Avoid using blankets, as they absorb and disperse heat.
- Trap-Neuter-Return during winter months. Cats use this time to mate.
- When trapping cats in extreme cold, make sure to cover them and secure them in a warm holding area or vehicle quickly.