Water for outside strays during winter. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Water for outside strays during winter.

Here in Michigan it gets cold and the water I leave for stray freezes fast. Does anyone know of anything that can be added to the water to keep it from freezing or at least slow it down and will not hurt the cats? The last few days it has been in single digits and water does not stay unfrozen for long. Thanks.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 02:03 PM
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Let me move this to Cat Chat for ya now that you are approved and can post in more than just the intro forum.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 02:39 PM
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Depending on where you live, windchill factor is major, it's pretty hard to guard against that outdoors, maybe placing the water inside a small cat house will slow the process.

The only real solution would be if you purchase heated water dishes, which from my understanding will need to be hooked up to an electrical outlet somewhere, but maybe there are battery operated ones as well.

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 02:57 PM
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I use a birdbath defroster for my birdbath. Does a good job keeping the water from freezing. It would work on a large bowl of water, too. Would require power though if that is a problem.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-24-2013, 03:16 PM
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 01:04 AM
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I don't know of anything you can add to the water. I bought one of those bowls - this one: Thermo-Bowl: Heated Dog Bowl | CozyWinters

You do need to plug it in somewhere. I haven't tested it, because my outdoor outlet isn't working, and I already have the heated pet bed cord running into my kitchen (which means I can't close the door all the way).

If you're willing to plug it in, you are seriously welcome to have mine. It's been sitting here collecting dust for 2 years (I'll remove the dust for you ). Send me a pm.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Where I tend my strays all I can pretty much do is use regular bowl because anything else would disappear due to the area they are in and also I do not live near them. Someone in another group mentioned adding sugar but not sure how that would effect them and their teeth over time. Thanks much.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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They are places where I can leave dry for them out of the weather so they pretty much always have dry food.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 09:53 AM
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I have this same problem, and have been contemplating solar birdbath heaters (the feeding stations are not near any power sources.) I haven't had a chance to do much research yet though, so in the meantime I've been a) boiling the water right before I put it out, b) using a taller, skinnier container for the water to slow the escape of the heat, and c) placing the water dish on an old cutting board, rather than directly on the ground, since wood doesn't conduct heat as easily as pavement does.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 09:56 AM
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well, technically any solute added to water will depress the freezing point (however, the vast majority of those solute compounds are def not those you want cats ingesting).. salt is effective and used often on roadways and such because it's cheap, but sugar, like suggested above, also lowers the freezing point, but it's still not particularly dramatic (let's say, 5 degrees F, I'm not sure exactly at all off the top of my head). However, a significant amount of sugar would have to be added (~1:4 sugar to water ratio) to have the full effect. I'm not sure if sugar water like that would be healthy for cats though (for teeth though, maybe leave out those treats that are supposed to promote good dental health??). But it's probably the only readily available, non-toxic, material.

At my house we have a heated birdbath, maybe you can find one that doesn't look fancy, and just looks normal, or maybe could feed them by your house?
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