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.
  • 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.
  • 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.