Friday, December 19, 2014

Interviewing Cat Caretaker Voulenteers

As a feral cat colony caretaker since 1999 I have learned that not everyone is suited to be a volunteer. That is why I have an informal interview with all people who are interested in helping out with the cat colony. This interview helps me to determine the right position for the volunteer.

Some Caretakers care for feral kittens 

As an example; a friend contacted me today and told me that she would like to help out with taking care of the  cats in our neighborhood, She said she would like to participate in feeding the cats that were close to her home. 

I told her that I would do a schedule for her and that she would be responsible for providing the cats with their food and water and that she must be punctual that there was no excuse for weather, they cats had to be fed during rain, snow or sleet. I also noted that if she could not feed the cats at a specific time that it was up to her to find a replacement caretaker.

My friend told me that if it was pouring rain or snowing that she would not leave her house to feed the cats and I reminder her that they were dependent upon their human caretaker to feed them and if she was not going to leave the comforts of her home then how would they eat? My friend replied they are cats and are resourceful so they will have to hunt for their meal on a rainy or snowy day.
All cats must be fed daily, no excuses

From her response to my question I knew we cold not depend on her for regular feedings and that she did not take the cats seriously so I offered her the position of cleaning out the cat beds, changing the straw and or helping with trapping the cats for spa or neuter or maybe she would be interesting in networking community for cat adoptions. 

Setting up Feral Cats Winter Feeding Station

The weather is getting colder  and husband and I thought it would be best to move the feral cats feeding station closer to the house. We may have snow or icy weather and the location in the woods would be difficult to get to. 

 In order to get to the feeding station I need to hike a good 70 feet from my home and normally this is not a problem but coyote have migrated over into our woods and personally I do not like setting up the woods station with food because it puts cats in harms way.
Cat inside thicket den in woods

It would be better to have the feeding station close to my detached garage where there is a kitty door and warm beds inside.  Better and safer for the cats to be in the shelter rather than in their thicket dens in the woods.  
Feeding station close to house

With the help of my husband we shut down the feral cat feeding station in the woods and set up a new one closer to the house. 

 We selected an area that has a windblock due to the backside of the detached garage, it also provides a safe passage to our yard from the back entrance to the park. then there is an overhang from the garage roof that protects the station from rain.  

The front of the feeding station is blocked from view due to the ornamental grasses and then the entrance to our garage shelter is eight feet away from the new winter feeding station.  

Here is a photo of one of the feral cats sleeping in straw bed inside our garage shelter.  I am hoping that with the feeding station closer to the shelter that feral cats will enter and be safe and warm this winter.
I am glad the feral cats feeding station is located in the back of our yard because it is a safer place for the cats and it also enable us to provide them with food even if there is a bad weather;  snow, sleet or ice.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

K&H Verses Wooden Cat House Comparison

We take care a few stray and feral cats and because our winters can be long and cold we did buy a few K&H outdoor cat houses and we also built some insulated wooden houses.

Know that I like the K&H thermo cat house for the stray cats that go into our shed at night but this house is no match for a shelter that has an insulated interior and wood exterior.

If you plan on setting yo the K&H cat house in your garage, shed, workshop or on a covered porch then this light weight will serve its purpose. But you cannot set it up in the middle of your yard.

The K & H cat house is easy to assemble; it goes together quickly and stays together with heavy duty Velcro. It has a heated pad with a fleece cover that is nice too, but this house needs weather protection and it is not meant for the cat to sit on top of it because the house will flatten like a pancake. Also the K&H cat house need to be protected from wind as it can easily be uplifted.

In comparison to the K & H know that the cat houses that we made from wood, can be set up anywhere and they withstand, wind, sleet and snow. We set them up against a hard service; backside of my garage or privacy wooden fence. This location blocks the wind. We also lift the wood cat house up by putting it on cement blocks, this keeps the rain runoff away from the entrance and also keep snow out of the cavity. Our wood cat houses were built well, treated with water protection and will withstand weather. We can set them up with straw and not worry about them.

The K & H heated or unheated cat house is not as durable, it needs to be kept on a porch that has weather protection. It is best suited for the garage where electrical outlet is accessible.

Learn more about K&H Thermo Cat Houses here