Tag: <span>shelter</span>

Caring for Feral and Stray Cats in Summer

Excerpts from: Beverly Forehand   (barkleyandpaws.com) It’s hard to be a feral or community cat. Spring and fall seem to last no time at all compared to cold, wet winters and scorching summers. For caregivers, summer brings a relief from worrying about ice, snow, and below zero temperatures, but has its own set of challenges including summer storms, heat advisories, and parasites. Simple kindnesses like providing shade and cool water and making sure that shelters are tick and flea-free can not only make feral kitties happier, but they can also save lives. If you’d like to give your ‘community critters’ a helping hand this summer, here are a few things you can do to help: Provide Shelter There is no better way to beat the heat than a little shade. Offering feral and community cats a way to shelter from the sun is a great way to make their lives easier. Many pet and online stores offer shelters that are both insulated from the cold and reflective of sunlight and heat. But if you are making your own warm weather shelters, you’ll want to find material that is reflective of sunlight (light colors work best) and weatherproof. Although you can find ready-made dog and cat houses at your local pet store, it’s easy enough to make them yourself and much cheaper. You might even want to make a day of it with friends or your children. Lots of websites offer great tips on crafting ‘cat houses’ for feral kitties or strays who might need a little TLC this summer. For a few examples check out the Humane Society’s website, as well as Neighborhood Cat’s website and Alley Cat Allies. Although some of these designs are specifically for winter shelters, they can be used in summer as well. If you do decide to use bedding or straw, you will want to change it every other week to keep the shelter clean and free of parasites. The most important thing is that the bedding be kept dry. So be sure to place your ‘cat house’ in an area sheltered from the wind and rain. Shaded areas will also help keep the heat to a minimum. Fresh Water & Kibble Be sure to place fresh water and kibble near (by not right beside) the shelters. Leaving food right beside the shelters will attract predators and make the shelters less attractive (and safe) for their occupants. Place water bowls in the shade and make sure you choose light colors to reflect heat. You may even want to place a large block of ice in the center of the water dish so it can melt throughout the day and provide your community kitties with a cool treat. I’ve seen a few kitties who enjoy playing with ice chips in water, as well as licking ice. As for food, dry kibble is the easiest to provide (cost-wise and because it doesn’t attract insects like ‘wet’ food). But if you can afford some canned cat food, it is always a welcome …

Baby, It Is Coooold Outside!

As the old song says, “Baby, it’s cold outside!” January is a mighty cold time of the year. To help community cats stay warm this winter… As temperatures dip below freezing and even colder, community cats face additional challenges to find adequate shelter. If you are providing food and water for community cats and need ideas on how to help them stay warm, please call Scruff at 518-526-3372 for more information. Here is an example of a DIY shelter to get you started: https://www.alleycat.org/resources/how-to-build-an-outdoor-shelter/