Tis’ the season when the weather gets cold and people think these outside cats can no longer survive on their own, so they call to surrender an animal who has lived outside for most of its life. “But it’s going to freeze if you can’t take it!” While this is a valid concern on the coldest of the cold days, cats are really resilient and actually thrive outside. Alley Cat Allies says “You can also take comfort knowing feral cats are happy and healthy outdoors. You may hear some individuals or groups claim that community cats are suffering. In reality, feral cats live full, healthy lives outdoors.” They will find warm safe spots to hunker down.  

If you’re still concerned about your outdoor cat you can always make them an outdoor cat house. At the end of this article is a link from Alley Cat Allies giving you options for different outdoor houses that might suit your needs and your budget. They even have a video of a DIY cat house. There is not one right or wrong way to build an outdoor house for your cats, just like most other things in life it is finding what works best for you.

Our feline friends would much rather be left alone outside this winter than be in a noisy, unfamiliar shelter.  Truly feral cats do not do well indoors where they have to be around people all the time. It’s better for their physical and emotional wellbeing to be outside, as many of these cats get too stressed out in the shelter and lash out at staff making it an unsafe environment for both parties or they go on a  hunger strike and we have to scramble to save them before things progress.

Link to Feral Cat Housing Options:

https://www.alleycat.org/resources/feral-cat-shelter-options-gallery/

Additional resources on feral cats:

https://www.alleycat.org/community-cat-care/feral-cats-belong-outdoors/

 

~Becca Morgan, Director of Feline Care

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