10 Ways To Help Stray Cats This Winter

| Published on December 8, 2014

No matter how many rescue groups there are, homeless cat colonies are still found in every city and town. This winter, help those kitties survive the cold temperatures by doing one (or all) of these simple things.

#1 – Shelter Building Party.

Amanda Blackwell, Social Media and Email Marketing Coordinator for Parma Animal Shelter in Ohio recommends neighbors get together to help stray cats in their neighborhood. People can get building materials donated from home improvement and hardware stores. The shelters could be filled with straw or shredded newspaper. The roof and interior walls could be filled with insulation. Ventilation is needed, so put holes along the side. Shelters should be off of the ground.

Image source: @JulieKrawczyk via  Flickr

Click page 2 below for the next way!

#2 – Open Your Door

Blackwell also suggests that people with closed in porches add a “doggie door” or in this case a ‘cat’ door. This way cats can take shelter on the porch. Of course, you’ll want to have an insulated and/or heated cubby/building along with fresh food and water — litter box too!

Image source: @tataquax via Flickr

#3 – Modify Dog Houses

Modify dog houses to accommodate cat shelters and insulate with straw and/or shredded newspapers, is another easy way to help strays Blackwell says.

Image source: @rsaxvc via

#4 – Insulated Cat Boxes

Popular in many cities, Blackwell says insulated boxes work well too. Place two 35-gallon plastic storage bins on a piece of plywood (can put foam over the wood) — make sure the bins are far apart. Put straw and/or shredded newspaper inside for insulation and provide food and water.

Image source: JuliKrawczyk via Flickr

#5 – Warm Water

Dr. Cathy Alinovi  of Healthy Pawsibilities, says that when everything is frozen it’s really hard for these stray animals to get enough water. Water is the most important thing for life. With accessible warm water, that they don’t have to use their own body energy to melt, stray cats can make it a long time in the winter, especially if people provide shelter and other foods.

Image source: @oncetherewasagirl via Flickr

#6 – Wet Food

Wet food warmed slightly can be a great treat for a stray cat and add some much needed fat during the cold weather. If you have a colony of strays, consider giving them some wet food a few times a week to help them out.

Image source: @Jayshouldol via Flickr

#7 – Round-up

Of course, a home is the best way to help those kitties survive the winter. Work with a local no-kill animal rescue to round them up with live traps. If adoption isn’t possible, at least sterilize and release them so they can’t increase the population.

Image source:  @CollinKnopp-Schwyn via Flickr

#8 – Convert a Building

If you live in a rural area, there are probably some abandoned or old farm buildings not in use. Can the city donate it as a “cat shelter”? Having even a semi-good roof can help the strays stay warm. You can set up insulated boxes, food, and water there and if it’s not far from where the cats are currently living, they will find it. Otherwise you may have to catch and relocate them.

Image source: @ToshihiroGamo via Flickr

#9 – Donation Drive

Put up donation boxes in your local community asking people to help feed and shelter the cats in your area for the winter. It’s amazing what you can accomplish together.

Image source: @RockyMountainFelineRescue via Flickr

#10 – Restaurant Boxes

Blackwell has a great idea that kitties will love. Contact local restaurants and ask for fish and steak boxes.  Cut a 6-inch opening in the boxes and insulate with straw and/or shredded newspapers. Fish/steak boxes should be off the ground. Spray with a non-toxic sealant. The kitties will love it if the boxes still smell like fish or steak, which will attract them to use the new items in their colony.

Image source: @ALexMuntean via Flickr

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