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Old 01-06-2014, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
19,717 posts, read 15,513,447 times
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I really worry about pets that are outdoors in the Winter time. It must be horrible for those who live up North. Even here in Florida we are getting a cold snap this week, they are calling for temps to drop into the 30's.

Tonight my Son and I went to our shop to feed Mama Cat and we decided to lure her into the office and shut her in there for a few days until it warms up again. It was an ordeal because she was afraid to go in there, but hunger finally got the best of her and she went in and started eating, so we closed the door before she could get out. She was a little freaked out, but she will calm down.

We set her up with the litter box she used when she lived in there after having her kittens, some water and some food, so she should be pretty comfy. I will sleep a lot better tonight, knowing she isn't going to be cold and wet.

These poor animals have it so rough, ours at home have no idea how good they have it.

Don
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:56 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
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That's kind of you. Can you perhaps do some TNR?

2 out of 3 of my animals DO know how good they have it here with us - they are rescues. The little kitten was only a month old when we found him in our yard. He's now 3.5. The other is a foster dog, been here almost 9 months, and she is so appreciative of the love and warm home she has with us. She almost had a lot of company this week - there was a litter of 7 pups dropped off at the pound and we ran up to get them only to find out other kindhearted folks beat us to it - whew, dodged that one. We aren't looking to foster a load of puppies, but I will not let an animal be out in this cold. Here in SW TN, it's down into the single digits. Only 1 more day and we should hit 40 with 50 by the end of the week.
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:18 AM
 
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I just saw a facebook post suggesting making a shelter out of an upside down styrofoam cooler, cutting an entrance hole and placing it in the sun, out of the wind, with the door facing south. Anyone feeding ferals should consider this if they can't trick them into coming inside as you did. Good job!
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:51 AM
 
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There are three strays I feed.

I bought them an insulated dog house which has a flap door. I lined it with straw and to entice them sprinkled catnip inside. I set it out yesterday afternoon.

When I got up about an hour ago and looked outside, I see a fuzzy face staring back at me from the doorway of the dog house.

Success!
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
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Last winter I did something similar to what you guys are suggesting. At the time we had about 8 ferals eating every night at our shop, I put their dishes up on a little trailer I have. I put two upside down plastic tubs under the back of the trailer with holes cut in big enough for them to get in out of the cold and I put blankets in there for warmth. But they never used them. I think they were afraid of getting trapped in there and not being able to defend themselves.

As for the trap and release, we have done that already. We basically now only have one cat who comes around every night, Mama Cat, and we got her last litter adopted out and then had her fixed. So the cycle has ended in the immediate vicinity of my shop. She is the last female cat, although there are two big males who occasionally come around to eat.

Don

Last edited by don1945; 01-07-2014 at 09:24 AM..
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:37 AM
 
Location: FL
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What kind, ingenious people you are!! When I was a kid I worried about the homeless kitties in winter and now wonder where our resident kitty goes when it gets cold as it is now. It's 45 now so it must have dropped considerably overnight. That may sound warm to those who are experiencing single digits but when you live in South Florida 45 is cold. I wore a winter coat to walk the dogs an hour ago and the wind still was biting especially near the ponds. I'd offer the kitty a home but my cats are not kind to other kitties and having 5 fur friends is as much responsibility as I can handle.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:09 AM
 
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Animals, just like people, are adjusted to the climate they live in so 45 and whatever the nighttime low was would be cold for a cat in South Florida. Just had to add that I'm *hoping to reach single digits* here in the next couple of hours! It was in the negative teens, actual temps not windchill, all day here yesterday. I think we are getting close to zero now. There are almost never wandering kitties in my immediate neighborhood, thankfully. But I know there are animals outside in need all over the area. Please send some positive thoughts our way! And wherever you are, if you see animals outside in cold conditions, please help or contact someone who can! Don't look the other way.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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I finally got my box out from last year over the weekend, but there's been a bit of snow on the ground and no evidence of tracks in last two (cold and very very cold) days. One more super cold night coming up. It's 4 degrees now and may stay above zero tonight but still down around there.

I don't know if any of the cats used the shelter box last year really. Didn't get good evidence. I have an outdoor camera now but not sure it isn't a bit frozen over from the wind blown crap Sunday night. The cats, I'm not sure what happens. I mostly don't feed them because they won't come here during daylight/twilight and thus very hit or miss unless I leave the food out all night. If I do that though more likely than not a possum will come round and eat it. I did put some out and try to keep it dry. Still there looks like. Only tracks I see look like birds.

Anyway, I know a few different cats pass through out back at night sometimes, but their tracks lead across the road at times and I suspect if there is a colony base of some kind (late night only usually suggests ferals) it must be over there. Over there is other people's back yards though so I can't really go checking or anything.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:18 AM
 
Location: CA
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How nice of you all to think so much of the 'least of these'. I just know your efforts are not going unnoticed!!

When we had a feral 'group' I put a heavy tarp over a little table in the backyard with cubbies and such inside. It can be easy to lend a helping hand - and very gratifying when you know they were able to 'come in out of the cold'.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:30 AM
 
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Last winter we took a large dog crate and put it out on the back porch which is covered but open.
Anyway, I took blankets and lined the inside and put a cozy kitty bed inside the crate. Then I put blankets on the outside of the crate and shrink wrapped those on.
Our girl Suze Quze lived in that crate for a few months at night only because I would feed her in the crate then close the door so she was warm and safe from other critters. She is now our indoor/outdoor kitty and she has been spayed as well.
With the temperatures way below zero though she has not been outside for a few days and won't be going outside until it warms up quite a bit.
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