Helping Abandoned and Feral Cats Survive the Winter

Did you know that according to the Humane Society of the United States there are nearly 50 million feral and abandoned cats living in the U.S.? Even if you haven’t seen one in your neighborhood, it is likely there are living nearby.

If you are interested in supporting efforts to help these cats, you can donate to organizations like the Feral Cat Program fund (http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/feral_cats/facts/feral_cat_program_fund.html) and help efforts to provide spaying and neutering clinics and building shelters for these cats. Most of these programs rely on a Trap-Neuter-Return strategy (also known as TNR) rather than euthanasia.

kitty tubeIn the coldest parts of the U.S. winter poses a significant hazard to feral cats. Besides making donations, you may also want to provide a shelter yourself meant for such cats. You can purchase an outdoor cat house like the Kitty Tube, which has an option built specifically for feral cats:

http://weheartcats.com/product/the-kitty-tube-insulated-outdoor-cat-house/

Or you can try building one yourself using a 35 gallon plastic storage bin and a straw (see the Simple Shelter Design on page four of this article by the Human Society:

http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/publications/2010/julyaug2010/accidental_cat_lady_pdf.pdf

If you notice a feral cat in your neighborhood that has recently had kittens, another important action you can take is help socialize the kittens to humans so they can find good homes, and not continue within the feral cat cycle.

For more information, you may also want to read this article on how to start a feral cat program in your own community:

http://www.maddiesfund.org/Maddies_Institute/Articles/How_to_Start_a_Feral_Cat_Program.html

Working together, we can help humanely reduce the number of feral cats in our society.