Four Summer Safety Tips for Feral Cats | Lola The Rescued Cat
Monday, July 18, 2016

Four Summer Safety Tips for Feral Cats

Hello everyone.  This is Lexy checking in with another important PSA. 



We had a heatwave here in New York last week, and Mother was concerned about our well-being during the day when she went to work.  Whenever it's over 90 degrees or very humid, she leaves the air conditioner in the bedroom on a timer.  She also leaves an extra water bowl out in addition to our fountain.  The blinds are not open all the way to avoid the blaring sun from warming up the apartment too much.  Lola and I are lucky, lucky cats because we live indoors and have a good pet parent to take care of us.  But what about the ferals that live outside and have no family? We all worry about them, so I thought it would be a good idea to give you four tips for their summer safety. 


1.  Food: If possible, keep food bowls in the shade. If it’s too hot for you to stay in the sun, it’s too hot for a cat. Wet food will spoil quickly in the hot summer sun so feeding dry food is a better option. (Dry food also attracts less bugs.)  If you do feed wet food, try to remove the uneaten food after 30 minutes so a feral won’t become ill from eating spoiled food. There are also a few ways you can help prevent ants and other bugs from entering the food bowls, such as placing a ring of baking soda around the bowl or placing the food bowl in a center of a tray that is partially filled with water.  Another tip is to raise the feeding station off of the ground. Alley Cat Allies suggests some ant-proof bowls, which you can read about here. Darker colored bowls will absorb the heat, so consider using lighter colored bowls.  




2.  Water: To help prevent dehydration, provide lots of water sources in different places, preferably in a shady area.  Water evaporates quickly in summer, so a narrow bowl, as opposed to a wide bowl, will slow down evaporation.  Another idea is to put out one frozen bowl of water. We found this Neater Feeder Polar Bowl that will keep water cool for hours (See number one about avoiding darker colored bowls.) 

3.  Shelter/shade: Outdoor cats will really appreciate an escape from the blazing sun. If you have some of your children’s old playhouses in the garage, drag them out and put them in the yard for the ferals.  You can also purchase outdoor kitty condos (like this one from Petmate), or make a DIY oasis by simply placing a tarp over two chairs.  The possibilities are endless! The Green Pet Shop makes a cooling pad that doesn’t require electricity or water.  This is very cool and a very easy way to provide some heat relief. 




4.  Be mindful of trapping conditions: If you do TNR, please remember how the heat affects the cat’s safety in the trap. If they are confined in the trap too long, they could die of heat stroke.  We don’t want that to happen, do we? Remember the simple guideline we stated in number 1: If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for a cat! Some people may not be aware that placing the trap on a surface that absorbs the sun’s heat can make the metal on the trap very hot for the cat’s paws. Please place the trapped cat indoors as soon as possible. 

A little bit of kindness goes a long way, and the smallest act of compassion can help change the world. We hope these tips are helpful. 

Do you feed cats in your neighborhood? 
Lexy


Sources: Alley Cat Allies, Cattipper, Feral Cat Focus of WNY
Photo Credits: Deposit Photos - fantasticbunny, verylucky.
                        Creative Commons - Stavrolo


This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links I will earn a small commission. This does not affect the purchase price. 




   

Would you like to comment?

  1. These are great tips! My human followed a feral trapper for a Cat Fancy story a few years ago in the summer, and she did it at night. She did wind up catching one cat, but if she hadn't caught any, she would have taken the traps down at the end of the evening.

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    1. That's so cool your human went on a trapping expedition. It would be nice if Mommy was an investigative reporter!

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  2. Paws up! These are great tips, and some of us further south can use them for more than just summer. The humans we know who do TNR down here have to remember this much of the year.

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  3. Super important things for peeps to know! We have that black kitty visitin' us and Peep #1 has been puttin' out lots of extra water. purrs

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  4. We sure wish we had a few more shady spots for our ferals.

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  5. Great tips, I feel so bad for all the ferals in this world.

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  6. L & L...theeze R grate tipz....manee thanx for sharin; wee babee powder will werk like de bakin soda all sew... coz antz will climb thru it ore over it :) ♥!

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  7. Pawsum posty. Fanks fur sharin'.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Raena

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  8. Those are great tips and very important for those helping ferals out! Some peeps might not realize that methods may need to be changed depending on the weather so thanks for getting the word out!

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  9. Great tips, Lexy. Chip and Slim get some wet food but they eat it so fast, it doesn't have time to spoil. ;)

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  10. Great tips, Lexy! Thanks for sharing. People who care for colonies and do TNR are just plain awesome.

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  11. Awesome tips, Lexy! A little planning and thinking sure go a long way toward making sure outdoor kitties are okay.

    P.S. - just a quick note to let you know we got the awesome swag you sent us (AND the swag package from Three Chatty Cats, too). We will take everything to PAWS this weekend, and get pictures of the cats checking out the cornucopia of stuff. Thank you SO much! :)

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  12. Great reminders for providing for ferals! It's unfortunate and heartbreaking that not all cats have loving homes and full bellies. I got lucky that my boy that I started feeding came around and turned into a huge love bug after the first time I fed him. After just a few hours inside, you couldn't tell he'd never had a home. Best decision I ever made. I know not all stories turn out that way (there were other cats in the area that ate but that didn't give me a chance) ... but it would be nice if we could save them all one day :)

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  13. Those are great tips to help ferals!

    Thank you so much for celebrating my 10th Birthday with me! Purrs, Dragonheart

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  14. These are wonderful tips! The heat has been relentless this year :(

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  15. Thank you for this very important post. Summer has a way to go, yet. Hugs.

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  16. It's would be horrible to get trapped in this heat!! We have to keep our fur babies safe during summer! Thank you for these wonderful tips!!

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  17. Those are some really great tips! I have friends in Maine who rescue feral cats.

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  18. These are great tips for feral cats...also for owned cats that spend any time outdoors. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. We haven't any stray or feral cats in our area, but saying that, a bit of kindness certainly does go a long way for these cats. Thanks for the tips.

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  20. Excellent advice on keeping cats cool in the soaring simmer temperatures.

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  21. The New Zealanders approach to feral cats is barbaric and ugly. There is not enough TNR and managed colony knowledge here and people have guns they try to use. Peope like Gareth Morgan spread fear and hate about cats and plenty will jump on the ugly Morgan bandwagon.

    Thank you for an informative and knwledgable post that I hope will allow people to work bettr with their local ferals.

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  22. We are surviving the New York heat with the same rules about the air conditioning and extra water! I still leave a camera on Henry during the day to keep an eye on him. I worry! He's from Arkansas originally so I probably don't have to worry so much :)

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    1. It says unknown - but this is Rochelle BaRoss :)

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  23. Thanks for the great tips. I don't have any feral cats in my immediate area, but know there are so many out there and not too far away. It gets really hot here in Georgia and the stray animals need so much help.

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  24. These truly are some awesome tips! We have a lot of feral cats where I'm from and summer can be so hard on them! The local rescue organizations are pretty busy with them; especially with the baby kittens! Hopefully the heat waves don't last to long!

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  25. Our summers are so mild here, I never gave a second thought to how it might be difficult for feral cats. Luckily we have lots of shade available if they need a cooler place to hang out. I don't think we have any feral cats in our neighborhood right now, but years ago we had a lot. Our own cat was a stray, but he was very tame and friendly.

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  26. Unfortunately we have a lot of feral cats in our neighborhood so I will use these tips!

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  27. Great tips!

    We are in Texas, and it has been in the high 90s lately! Too hot for pets.

    The lab who is staying with me now gets hot very fast, so we are taking water and a water bowl with us, when we go on walks or outings. It is so important to stay hydrated!

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  28. What a great article! I always worry about the feral and strays in extreme weather. I don't currently care for any ferals, but I did for years when we lived right in Chicago. I love the idea of using kids furniture or playhouses for ferals! Such a great idea!

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  29. We help the kitties as much as we can. Your tips are very valuable and I will share them.

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  30. We didn't realize people in other parts of the country didn't use their AC all the time. our AC was turned on in March and basically stays on until about November.

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  31. Putting out frozen bowls of water is a really great tip. I do have a few strays in the neighborhood that we try and leave water bowls out for and this is a no brainer tip. Cooling pads are super smart too --- thank you!

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  32. We don't have anywhere to leave bowls out but some of our neighbors do.

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  33. We always put out lots of water in the summer, as well as kitty food. Under our deck, we have several of those foam coolers with cat openings in them. The foam creates shade and keeps out the heat.

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  34. Great tips- we can't put any food out at our place as we have lots of very aggressive raccoons, plus Kilo the Pug, squirrels and mice would eat anything they could reach. Luckily lots of shade and water in the ravine and our old pond a few doors away- I have not actually seen any feral cats nearby. Good trick about baking soda.

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  35. What great tips on caring for feral cats in the heat! I'm in NY as well so I know just what you mean by that hot, humid weather out here, UGH. I never thought about using a timer on my A/C unit for the pets, what a great idea. Definitely Sharing this.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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  36. I'm glad you made this post. We have a lot of feral cats in our area, and I always try to help in whatever way I can. I hadn't thought of a slimmer bowl reducing evaporation, and I think I'll invest in a bowl that can be kept cool.

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