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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2009, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Hi friends- I am new here

I have a colony of stray/feral cats outside and I am so worried about them in this cold. It is -16 or more out there now and will get colder overnight. I put down a sheet of plywood over the concrete garage floor to get them off the concrete and put out some cardboard boxes in the garage with newspapers and old towels and blankets. I moved the boxes in a horseshoe and I hung a heat lamp up over the center out in front of the boxes. I don't see them using the boxes but they were lying on the blanket under the heat lamp. Some of them have been going under the house as well. I feed and water them in the garage twice a day. I have two kittens that are about 5-6 months old and are still small and four that will be one year in the spring. They are all pretty fat and healthy looking. I was afraid that I was feeding them to much but with this cold I am glad they have some weight on them. My water is freezing up inside the house now and I am so worried about them being outside! Do you think they will be alright?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-17-2009, 12:55 AM
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Re: Hi friends- I am new here

Welcome. IMO, they are doing much better than if you had NOT done anything for them. If they have warmer and more comfortable areas available to them, I am sure they will use them vs staying out in the cold. I think you had a great idea with providing a surface other than concrete and using the heat lamp. That was inspirational! I hope someone else sees this and posts, they have links to ways to make feral cat houses to help keep them warm in the winter. Maybe you could check the Feral Forum stickies?

Do you have a TNR organization near you?
TNR is Trap, Neuter and Release to prevent the colony from growing exponentially with the food/care you are providing, which allows more to survive. If you do not TNR, eventually you will need to feed more and more food and when you have reached your financial limit the colony will go through a natural process of all of the cats getting less food and only the strongest surviving with the limited food source.

Anyhow, welcome and good luck. The ferals need every person helping them they can get.
Heidi



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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 01:46 PM
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Re: Hi friends- I am new here

Hi searcher. I thought that was brilliant idea too with the plywood on the floor. I had posted some easy to put together cat enclosure that would keep them warm too. The heat lamp is nice also for them.

http://www.pacthumanesociety.org/core/WinterShelter.htm
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Hi friends- I am new here

I am currently working with an organization to spay/neuter them. It is so cold outside I didn't know if I should start now or wait until it warms up a little?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 11:22 AM
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Re: Hi friends- I am new here

I think if you request a smaller shaved area for the females, they should do okay. Their hair will grow in fairly fast in response to the cold. I, myself, prefer to do any sugeries on outdoor animals during non-warm/hot weather as it cuts down on flies, parasites and bacterial growth.



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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-24-2009, 12:14 PM
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Re: Hi friends- I am new here

Kitten season will be just around the corner and you could miss your chance. If they can recover in a warmed area I would start now. Also give them a high quality food starting now before you take them in for the S/N which helps them recover faster. You are a saint to reach out to these helpless cats.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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Re: Hi friends- I am new here

i agree, better to start in on the neuter/spay now, before you know it there will be more! since you're providing the nice shelter options i think you can definitely go ahead with TNRing, they should be fine. good luck!
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