Keeping outside kitty warm

I have a stray cat that I've been taking care of for four months now. Winter is approaching. I've tried a box with blankets, a small dog house, tried my basement but he walks around and as soon as the door is shut, bolts upstairs and wants out. He will sleep in a chair outside with blankets and I have moved it to a corner on the deck where my husband put wood on the sides and put a roof over top. He goes somewhere late at night but I don't know where. I have no garage or shed. I worry about him when it will start to snow. He doesn't like to be inside or feeling like he's closed in. What can I do for him? Just let him go wherever he goes at night hoping he's warm? I don't know what else to do. I thought he might like the corner spot we built for him but maybe I should add straw? Does anyone have any other suggestions I can try for him? Thank you.

Best Answers

  • JEN ATKINSJEN ATKINS Member Posts: 123
    Accepted Answer
    For my feral, I take a medium pet carrier & place it outside my door (I'm in an apartment complex so I don't have many options). I fold up a wool blanket & place it on the bottom of the carrier. Then I lay additional wool blankets on top of the carrier so that there is just a small slit for her to get in. Wool is a very good insulator. Then, I take an electric blanket & fold it over a couple of times & arrange it inside the carrier so that it covers the ceiling of the carrier. I run an extension cord under my front door so that I can supply power to the blanket. Be careful with electric blankets. They are meant to lay on top of the body, not under. If she were to lay on the blanket for hours, she could get burnt without realizing it. By putting a heat source inside the carrier and then covering the outside so that only a slit remains, it creates a really warm, cozy little spot. She sleeps in it every night. You may want to elevate the carrier & use a tarp to keep out the snow
  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    Accepted Answer
    I don't know if your stray would go for this, but a couple I volunteered with in my rescue group used very large Rubbermaid storage boxes. They actually used 2" of insulation around the inside, put linoleum on the floor and topped that with straw. They drilled drainage holes in all four corners, then cut a cat-sized hole on one side. They placed it in a sheltered area out of wind and also raised it up so it wasn't on the ground.It's also important to make sure the kitty is well fed during the winter. He will need extra calories and fat to keep warm. Good luck, God bless you for caring, and let's hope for an easy winter.
  • sherry LaRosa-Silvestrisherry LaRosa-Silvestri willow groveMember Posts: 888
    Accepted Answer
    I put heavy blankets on my love seat on my covered front porch for the 7 feral cats I manage. They are comfortable enough with me to know that they are safe there and will go under the blankets when it is too cold. I also supply them with a heated water dish I purchased on the internet. I plug it in on the front porch and it works well. I feed them wet food and dry food every morning at 5:30 a.m. and they have access to dry food all day. I don't leave any food out after 9:00 p.m. I don't want to feed any other animals (skunks, racoons, etc.) The cats also have two shelters on the sunny side of my house which I'm sure they use. Keep the same feeding schedule times every day for your stray kitty. This was he knows when to be there to get his food. As it gets colder you certainly don't want him to eat frozen food. Most importantly, make sure that cat is fixed and at least vaccinated for rabies. Good luck. Hopefully our winter is not too severe this year.
  • Lindsay ColbertLindsay Colbert Member Posts: 376
    Accepted Answer
    Me and my feral friends have an indoor/outdoor electric heated plastic mat that we keep half under our Alley Cat Allies style wooden cat shelter. (http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=30e07a59-7b6a-11d5-a192-00b0d0204ae5) At night we go inside and stay toasty warm and during the day we can sit on the part that sticks out to warm our fannies! You'll need a ground fault interrupter outdoor outlet where you want to use it but it's much more convenient than those microwave discs your person has to nuke for 6 minutes every night. We also have two of those double-storage bin shelters which are nice and cozy for single sleepers but if Ozzie's not one for confined spaces you may be better off with a larger dog house like structure. Whatever shelter you settle on make sure to use proper outdoor pet bedding and not blankets- blankets trap water against our bodies and make us chillier! I like cedar chips 'cause they keep away fleas and make me smell fabulous!
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