Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ways to Keep Garage Cats Warm in Winter

Today I received a message from a follower at my Cat Adoption Guide and they told me that they have cats that live outdoors.  They went on to say that they allow the cats to go into their garage but feel that they need to do something to keep the cats warm.

Know that your outdoor cats will need a shelter inside the garage unless it is heated and there are few that I recommend

K&H makes a soft sided insulated outdoor cat house that comes with a heated pad that is covered with soft Sherpa pad.  The heat element on this pad does not generate heat until your cat lies on it and then it will keep your cat warm.  I own this cat house and recommend it for garage use because the product needs protection from rain, wind, ice and snow.

Here is cat K&H cat house and it is showing wear from being outdoors on covered porch.  Note it elevated off the ground  to prevent rain or water runoff from penetrating.  This cat house is very light weight and can be lifted by the wind.

I find that this particular cat house is good for a porch or garage that does not have heat.  Shown is my cat Sam lying on the pad.  Know that it is helpful to spray the heated pad covering lightly with catnip to attract cats to the shelter cavity.  Feral  and stray cats are hesitant to enter through the clear plastic door flap .

Now if you are on a budget but still want to provide your outdoor cat warmth in the garage then you can always get a heavy cardboard box and fill it with straw.

Here is a photo of the dish pack size box that I set on its side and started with layers of carpet on the bottom then topped that with a fleece blanket that was folded to provide additional insulation, then a foot of straw.  The straw is a natural way to provide the cat with a cozy and comfortable resting area.  Straw is natural insulation.  I set this box cat bed under my work bench in my garage. The area was away from the door opening and excess drafts.

Here are photographs of the box and the feral cat in the box bellow.

Know that K&H also makes a self-warming bed (see my photo bellow)   These beds are great for cold rooms however if your garage gets bitter cold then  I  recommend that you put these beds  in an insulated cat house like an igloo or other cat house.

Also if your garage is not heated then it does get cold and while the cat's internal body temperature may be warm from the self-heated bed their ears and nose will be cold.  It is wise to invest in an insulated cat house or make your own especially if you keep your cats outdoors or in your garage during the winter months.

Here is a video that will show you how to make an outdoor shelter for your cat.

Will a Cat Abandon Their People?

Recently  I received a message from one of my Cat Adoption Guide followers and they told me that their cat when left outdoors would wander off and be gone for 3 days to a week before returning home.  They asked me if their cat wold abandon them for another person?

Know that a cat that is not sterilized will wander the neighborhood looking for a suitable mate, or they will seek intruding unaltered male cats that have entered their territory.  A tomcat will patrol their turf and fight off any other male cat that tries to move in on their turf.  

This is a method of communication that tomcats are not welcome in your cats territory.  Now if your wandering cat is a female and she is not spayed then she too will want to go outdoors to mate and will wander away from your yard. 
Neighborhood cats will leave their home six blocks away to mate with cats in the woods.

Now if you cat has been sterilized and is still leaving your home for several days then  you need to ask yourself if your home has changed.  Cats do not like change and they get stressed out for the littlest thing. 

Know that cats that are suffering from change in their home; new baby, new person, new cat or dog may wander off and be gone for several days.  If the cat is suffering from stress or feels anxious in their home they will leave for greener backyards.

Bombay Cat Lying in Green Clover Puzzle
Bombay Cat Lying in Green Clover  is the cat that left his home to live in my yard for 6 months.

Several years ago a Bombay cat showed up at my backyard feeding station and this cat never went home.  After six months the owners of the cat did show up and they said they had taken in a young female cat that had kittens and their other cat (one in my yard) was put outdoors because the queen cat did not like him. So their 17 year old cat wandered away and came to live in my yard that was four blocks away.. 

So to answer this question I would say that cats will abandon their people for another.  You must remember that cats choose the people that they want to love.

Learn more about why cats leave home by reading my article here.