As the temperature outside drops, compassionate people around the nation are caring for the cats they see living outdoors in their communities. As many of you know, feral cats (unsocialized to people) live outdoors in all weather conditions, and have strong survival skills. But, they don’t mind a helping hand.

Though cats grow a thicker coat in the winter, you can still help them stay warm by building a feral cat shelter where the cats can escape the wind, snow, and rain.

Providing specially-built shelters guarantee the cats a warm spot to escape the harsh winter weather and deter them from places where they may not be wanted, like your neighbor’s shed.

There are endless variations for building or providing cat shelters. See a variety of options in our shelter gallery and find guidelines for building your own shelter.

It is also important to keep the cats’ food and water from freezing. Feeding the cats canned food in insulated containers is most ideal for winter, as it takes less energy for cats to digest than dry foodand cats can use the extra energy to keep warm.

Keep water drinkable by using bowls that are deep rather than wide, and placing them in a sunny spot. Refill the bowls with warm water or add a pinch of sugar in the waterboth keep it from freezing as quickly. Alternatives include heated electric bowls found in many pet shops.

A little extra help during the winter months can go a long way to help protect stray and feral cats and allow them to co-exist with neighbors in their communities.

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