Many cats are quite happy living cozily inside, but there are some who prefer to spend some time outdoors or even spend all of their days and nights outdoors, like barn cats or feral cats who fend for themselves.
While these cats may be tough and used to looking after themselves, their fur coats and ability to hunt for prey isn’t always enough to keep them warm and safe during the cold winter months, so you can help with food and a heated cat house. Whether you’ve got a kind heart and want to look out for the feral cats in your area or have a cat who likes to explore the outdoors from time to time, here are some things you can do to keep an outdoor cat safe and cozy during the cold weather.
#1 Provide Shelter From the Cold:
Outdoor cats need somewhere to go when the temperatures start to drop. There are many different ways in which you can provide this shelter – you can make your own, use a basic small dog kennel, or buy a cozy cat house, which will surely be a popular location with outdoor cats looking to get warmed up. The best kind of cat house should be approximately two by three feet and around eighteen inches high. This is just about the right size for a cat, or for a few cats who want to snuggle together for warmth.
#2 Provide Food and Drink:
Outdoor cats need extra calories to help them stay warm, and the winter months are not always the best for hunting, either. So, you can help by putting out some slightly warmed canned cat food at regular times of the day – make sure that you stick to a routine so that the cats know what time to arrive and eat before the food gets cold. And, it’s a good idea to leave plenty of dry food out as well as tinned cat food will freeze if it’s left out in the cold for too long. And, many outdoor cats tend to be very dehydrated — and the winter chill makes it harder for them to get access to water. So, the best thing that you can do is leave some water out for them every day and check it regularly to make sure that it hasn’t frozen over.
#3 Check Your Car:
Outdoor cats find that warm car engines or on top of car wheels can make for great, warm shelters from the cold during the winter weather, so make sure that you are thoroughly checking your car before setting off anywhere during the winter. If you start your car with a cat hidden somewhere inside, they will certainly be seriously hurt or worse. So, bang on your hood a few times before getting in your car or even honk your horn to startle any sheltering cats out of there. Make sure that any cats seeking shelter in your car are safely out of the way before you start the engine.
During the winter, there are lots you can do to help protect outdoor cats. What are you going to do this winter?