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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2010, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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More than just Food for Ferals

I have TNR'd five cats so far. Number six still needs done, but I'm going to wait another week, as she is still somewhat nursing her four babies.

I am in Central, Arizona, so I know I sound like a wimp about the cold, but winter is coming on and it's getting into the 50's and 40's overnight. I've put out a carry-kennel with the door removed and a towel in it, hoping to lure the family into it as a home, but nothing has happened. I also have a cage, about 20"x36"x 20" high, with three tiers, a littler box and food and water dishes that the babies go in to play. I'll keep the babies in the cage the night I take momcat to get TNR'd.

I'd like to find some way, or something I can do, to allow them to stay a little warmer over night. I already have four indoor cats, so bringing them in is not really and option because of space. It's just not that big a house. Any recommendations or suggestions.

Thanx in advance.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2010, 11:21 AM
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2010, 12:50 PM
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Do you have a shed that they can move into? They need to be out of the rain as well as stay warm.
Feeding them well and making sure they have water will really help keep them warm. There are lots of ways to build "cat nests;" some of them using large cardboard boxes.
I built my ferals a straw house; it is inside my barn. Straw bales for the walls, insulated from the ground with old carpet and then cardboard. On top of the cardboard is loose straw.
There is a flat plywood roof, and on the underside I stapled a mylar emergency blanket that will reflect their heat back. They have 2 ways to get in/out.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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I do have a shed. But it is so full and precariously stuffed at that, that I am afraid I'd lose somebody in there.

Cloud has made their home under a plank leaning against a wall of a laundry room that is detached from the house. The wall is well worn tongue-and-grove wood, with holes at the base and needs replacing. However the little ones were at some time able to go through the openings and into the laundry room. I don't know if they still fit or not. And I would worry about the washer and dryer

The carrier, cage, and their feeding cage (to keep the birds out of the food) are all on a covered patio. I have towels and such that I can wrap around the cage so as to reduce wind and draft.

Before investing in a heating pad, what are some recommendations for how to get Cloud to move the babies into one of the enclosures. She lets me pick her up, but still doesn't really care for being held. I'm afraid that if I try to put her in one of the 'homes' she'll just bolt out just for being loose. The babycats have been in the cage hopping around, as I have food and water in there, but not in the kennel, where I have also had food and water.

Tangent:
The babies are all out and gamboling around the little 'cement pond' adjacent to the patio. They are such a riot. Two are off-white, and two are grey with tabby-striped faces. I love the way they'll stand up on their hind legs, spread their front legs apart like wings, and fall on another one.

Thanx again for any suggestions.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 03:27 PM
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So the shelter you're offering is on a covered patio - great.
Maybe wind-proof it, as you say.
Sounds like they will be fine.

It can be 0 degrees overnight or a bit less here in NY.
During cold spells the daytime temperature can stay at 10 degrees or the low teens for a week at a time.
What is it like where you are?
That might give us a better idea.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 03:34 PM
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If it were me, I would simply grab a big ol cheap plastic container, put it upside down, and cut a hole in the front as an entrance and put it where they already picked as their preferred spot. Should move in on her own, I'm sure.

For a mere $15, you can get a slumber pet thermal cat mat, which likely just has a radiant barrier inside:




Or just make your own. Emergency mylar blankets, aka space blankets, are often as cheap as $5. Throw that down, put a blanket on top, and your cats heat will reflect back and warm itself.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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As I said...

I am in Central, Arizona, so I know I sound like a wimp about the cold, but winter is coming on and it's getting into the 50's and 40's overnight.

Afternoons are in the 60's and 70's.

I'll see what I can do to make the kennel look more inviting.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 03:49 PM
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I'm with you - it's been in the 40's here when I leave for work. I feel bad for the little feral kittens next door, but they do have a shed (which my neighbor has made cozy, I'm sure) and I'm sure they huddle together for warmth during the night.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2010, 04:19 PM
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My upstate NY feral cats would like to come and visit your Arizona feral cats for the winter.

Sorry...didn't mean to make you repeat yourself.
I was thinking it would get a lot colder by Jan.-Feb.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-18-2010, 01:06 PM
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It's already getting to 32/0 at night here in Utah. Good thing I have insulated shelters! (boxes made of thick styrofoam stuffed with straw). It was 42F when I went to set the trap this morning...and today is supposed to be one of the warmest this week.
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