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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Winter Feeding Station for Feral Cats

Whenever the weather is cold or snowing it is important to have a feeding station that will keep the food from getting wet. It is also important to keep to your feeding schedule because the cats are dependent upon you.
Cat in winter

On chilly mornings in winter it is easy to think that it is too cold to go feed the feral cats, but you should know that these cats are accustomed to a certain feeding time and they will come out of their warm and safe shelters to go to the feeding station. If food is not there they will sit and wait, waiting could cause these cats to develop frostbite so if you feed the cats at 6 in the morning then keep to your schedule through the winter season, the cats are dependent upon you for food and water.
Insulated wooden feeding station 


This morning it was a chilly 37 degrees Fahrenheit and even though I would have preferred staying in bed all cozy under the down comforter I got up at 5:30AM and put on my winter hoodie and my insulated hiking boots. Then took to the trail to hike to the feral cats feeding station.

The feeding station is a wooden insulated box with an entrance and an exit and it is elevated so that rain water does not pour into the box. . I also have a feeding station set up in my yard for the stray and feral cats that frequent my shelter in the shed and a station in the woods.

Two bowls are set inside the feeding station for dry kibble food and water. Two cats can fit inside the box. Food is never left in the feeding station as it would attract predators. I feed the feral cats twice a day, 6 AM and 4 PM.

Know that if there is snow, you must still feed the cats, if you cannot get to them then they cannot get to you so take your snow shovel and clear a path to the cats. Here are photos of my feral cat feeding station in my yard and of the path we cleared in winter to get to the cats at the colony.
Pathe we cleared to cat colony



You can make a feeding station from a plastic storage container and styrofoam insert for insulation. Follow directions for a shelter, but instead of cutting for one entrance, add an exit also. No straw needed, this is for food and water. The insulation is helpful as it will aid in preventing the food / water from freezing.  I found this video at YouTube.com and think the directions are easy to follow.





Thursday, October 6, 2016

Why Cats Should Live Indoors

This week I was asked if I thought it was best for the cat to live indoors and
normally I would say yes to this because so many cats are left out of the house with NO supervision and these cats are in danger of being chased by a dog, tormented by people and getting into fights with cats that are diseased; Feline Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency.

When a cat lives indoors one does not have to worry about a cats outdoor behavior. Cats are more aggressive when living outdoors. They have to be cautious at all times.

I have heard both sides this topic and what I heard was positive and the negative. Many people believe that cats are meant to go outside to urinate and to have access to nutritious grass. That a walk around the block for a cat keeps them happier and healthier. Other pet owners told me that “when I go to work the cat goes outdoors, that my cat loves going outdoors and the cat is current with vaccines, then there should be now worries. Followed by my cat has claws, can climb a tree or fight off a dog

It is a good thing that your cat is up-to-date with vaccines including feline Leukemia then your cat will not be infected if it gets into a fight with a diseased cat, but it does not mean your cat will not get FIV. There is a vaccine for FIV but most veterinarians do not vaccinate cats because the vaccine will show a false positive for the rest of the cats life. Lets say your cat is lost and is found and they test it for immunodeficiency feline disease at shelter, your cats results are positive, you know it is false due to the vaccine, but shelter does not. Most shelters euthanize sick cats.

Cats have claws but a large dog can overpower them and a two or more dogs are no match for a cat with claws. My neighbors cat was killed by two stray dogs in the yard, her claws were no match to the dogs and she had no access to a tree or getting back into the house because the owner had shut the door, it was a nice day and they thought the cat would like being outdoors for a few hours.

Know that this same neighbor who let their cats out unsupervised lost another cat because it was hit by a car. That’s two cats in less than a year. Even though my neighbor has lost two cats in a year, he still lets his other cat out of the house unsupervised.

There are other concerns that a cat owner should be aware of and that is kids that torment cats. Kids will be kids and some kids are not nice to cats. They torment them and some kids and adults are down right mean to cats. People that do not like your cat doing their business in their garden may poison your cat. It has happened before in my neighborhood, so I advice everybody to supervise the outdoor cat or keep the indoors.

Yes there are positive and negatives to cats being allowed to go outdoors. I take my cat Leo outdoors with me. He has free roam of the backyard and I watch him. I also take Leo for a walk around the block. My cat is fitted with a harness and I use a light weight extension leash. The harness and leash is great because if need be I can pick Leo up and protect him from dogs that are not on a leash.


So there you have it, my recommendations on why a cat should be kept indoors.