Feral caregivers, aren't you dreading the cold weather? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-30-2013, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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Feral caregivers, aren't you dreading the cold weather?

I was just thinking, in a way I am very glad that I live in Florida, and we have a pretty small amount of cold weather compared to most of the US. And I am glad of that. I used to love our cold weather, those few nights that got down in the 30's and highs of maybe 50, if we are lucky. Now I just dread them. My Arwen, who knows how old she is. She is probably anywhere from at least 5 - 10 years old, I would think a pretty old cat for a feral cat. This will be my second winter of caring for her. I remember seeing her one cold night the previous winter before that, seeing her huddled underneath a car. I know she is a smart girl, but I so worry about this girl as she gets older, I worry about her hearing. She curls up and goes to sleep on my doormat, or on the kitty bed I leave outside. She isn't getting any younger. I love her so much, but she will not even come in my garage for more than 30 seconds much less into my house, and I have 3 indoor kitties.

I'm just lamenting about how much I am dreading the cold weather because of her. Last year I left a heating pad outside on the really cold nights and she did huddle nearby it for a while, but slept under my neighbors shed instead.

Going on Amazon to look at reviews of heated pet beds. And going to pray for an extremely mild winter this year.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-30-2013, 08:40 AM
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I just have one feral kitty, Mr. Kitty. I had him neutered about 2 years ago and the vet estimated he was 4 or 5 years old, which is pretty old for a feral. He is extremely territorial and chases off any other kitties that come near my porch! He still hisses at me for coming anywhere near him, but calms down a bit when I have food. Anyhow, I bought an outdoor, covered, heated bed last year, and he wouldn't sleep in it. I left tuna, sardines, treats, etc. in there (which he ate), but he wouldn't stay in there. I think after the trapping incident, he's very scared of closed spaces (can't say that I blame him). His favorite place to sleep is on the adirondack chairs on my porch (which are completely exposed to the air, but at least covered and somewhat sheltered. So I put a heating pad on the chair, and old towels on top of it, with some cardboard on the sides to at least block some of the air. I also left a big rubbermaid container out there with a hole cut in it and some old towels in it thinking he'd prefer that to get into since it's very private, but he still preferred the chair. I think he likes to keep a watch on things and be ready to move if something happens? He seemed completely fine all winter long. I did leave warm cat milk out for him quite often, which he really seemed to enjoy.

So long story short, wanna buy a heated outdoor bed?
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-30-2013, 01:47 PM
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Yes, I am.

Toronto isn't as consistently bone-numbingly frigid in the winter as a lot of other Canadian cities that are further North, but it can still get really cold. Typically, our average winter temperatures are above -10C (14F) with average daytime highs between -5 and 0C, but we sometimes have cold snaps that last a week or two where the daily high is below -10C and the nighttime low would probably freeze a Yeti to death (if they existed).

Proud people-mommy of Galileo, Dante, Cosette, Autumn,
Ramona & Choco-cat (and foster kitty, Poe).

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-30-2013, 05:34 PM
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Absolutely. My feral backyard cat survived last winter but I have no idea how. He never used the shelter I built. He appeared to have broken his leg at one point and it healed but badly. He suffered an eye injury from a fight with something leaving his right pupil slightly larger than his left and he is missing his right canine teeth. I doubt he will make it this winter but he has been un-trapable and likely would not do well even if he were trapped. We will continue to offer him food if he shows up and hope we can entice him into a trap or inside but I really have stopped trying.
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