|Feral Cat lies next to mud|
Feral cats are generally skittish about entering a garage or shed for shelter, however, some feral cats will enter an outdoor igloo house that is hidden behind shrubs.
Many feral cats will take shelter by lying on the mulch in your garden, under a low hanging shrub or they will lie in-between the leaves of your plants.
These foliage type shelters are no match to the scorching summer sun especially if your area has an extreme heat advisory.
Over the years I have tried many methods to keep the feral cat's body cool but none of my methods worked. The only method that works for a feral cat is derived from nature and it is mud. Making a muddy area in your yard will provide outdoor cats with a comfortable resting place. Mud is a natural way to lower a cat’s body temperature and to keep them cool during a heat wave or drought.
I take the woodland feral cats their food and water daily by hiking to their colony. While at the colony I count the cats to make sure all are present and I check them for health concerns and for stress. In the morning when it is cool an average of 76 degrees the cats are resting and there is no stress but in the afternoon at 5:00 feeding I have noted that the cats are breathing hard and they are panting.
There is morning sun followed by shade the rest of the day. Which means the temperature is good 20 degrees cooler. In this area, I created a mud bath for the feral cats. Since my outdoor water is restricted I saved the bath and shower water. I filled buckets of water and dumped the water into a rain barrel. This water is used daily to create a muddy area for the feral cats.
In order to provide the cats with an all afternoon natural cooling mud, I wet the ground until the top 3 inches of soil is muddy. I then keep the top soil moist by setting the sprinkler on a slow drip from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
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