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Discussion Starter #1
i just peeked out to see if it was still snowing. Its not, but i did see kitty prints :(

I opened the door real quick to make sure it wasnt my neighbours cat - she comes running for that sound. So, its not her, but theres still some poor kitty out there in the cold :(

I feel bad. I know i cant save everyone. but i feel like i want to set up like a dog house, but for cats. Somewhere with a roof and a snuggly blanket. Someplace to hide overnight.

it very well could live somewhere, but still, its so bitter cold, who lets their cats out in this weather? What cat wants to go out in this?

(no, not looking to start the indoor/outdoor thing)

does anyone else have a 'safe place' set up for strays?
 

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If/when you set up a house, use straw instead of blankets. When blankets get wet, they stay cold and suck away body heat... straw insulates and keeps body heat trapped right against the cat's body.

I got a few shelters from the local TNR group that were made of thick styrofoam boxes (like the kind that meat is shipped in), filled with straw. When I realized I needed one more, I made my own.. used that styrofoam sheet stuff that has silver on one side that you can get at the hardware store. I cut that out and put it together as a box, and put straw in that one too. I don't know which one is warmer - but I would guess that anything is better than being out with NO shelter at all.
My shelter cost about $15 for materials Styrofoam, garbage sacks to wrap around it, and duct tape to secure everything together. I got straw for free from a friend who has horses.

edit: if you look up "feral cat winter shelters" there will be plenty of links about how to make them... or buy them, but they're much more than $15!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
what kinds of other animals would this attract though? like skunks or anything? I would hate for fights to break out in the yard because of it...
 

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Usually it's food that attracts animals. For shelters, you could have the doorway be small enough only a cat could get through...I think it's 6 inches diameter for standard cat doors. Though the TNR lady I got my shelters from said she has had skunks come in, but not raccoons (which is good...'coons are nasty and mean little buggers!)

As for food (which I didn't see you mention putting out), any nocturnal critter that's in your area, most likely. Skunks, raccoons, opposums, probably even birds!
The magpies were stealing kibble during the day. I covered the feeding station with a tarp, and apparently birds don't have a sense of smell...despite the food being in the exact same place, they don't take it anymore - "out of sight, out of mind" I guess!
For night animals, I've been bringing in the food just before true dark...I'm too poor to be feeding non-felines! A few of the more shy cats won't come out until after sunset, but I don't feel like bumbling around with a flashlight...so I wait until it's dark enough for the shy cats to get some, but still light enough for me to see what I'm doing!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If i did do food, it would have to be grocery store foods. Mine eat vet kibble which is, well, expensive! lol. but if your cold enough to stay in there, anything is better than no food or shelter, right?

I know skunks are actually in the cat family, they may even get along with teh cats around here, since theyre all technically cats. But, its the smell of them that scares me... if htey got startled and sprayed we would have a stinky yard for a while, and would seep in right through the brick walls of our house too! (its happened before when my dog got sprayed, before we let him inside it just seeped right in through the walls.

Im in the same boat though, dont need to be feeding birds or raccoons or others who are well adapted to life in the cold. This would be more intended for stray or lost cats, who just need someplace warm to be. Especially lost, they definately have not developed the skills to hunt and such if theyre normally fed from a bag or can, right?

My mom might think im crazy but i am 100% thinking about doing this. Even during the warmer months, strays may still need somewhere to hide. so, if its fairly hidden, that would be good too, right?
 
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