Did you know you can care for stray and feral cats and help them not only survive but flourish during the cold, wet, winter weather?

While cats do grow a thicker coat in the winter, they still need our help. There are several things we can do to protect cats during the harsh winter months. Alley Cat Allies, the only non-profit devoted to the protection and safe-keeping of cats, has suggestions for the care and protection of stray cats in your neighborhood.

Supplying cats with shelter along with food and water will keep the cats healthy and well-fed during inclement weather. The cat shelter should be off the ground and free from foot-traffic. The shelter should be small with the door no more than eight inches wide to keep out other wildlife. A flap on the door keeps out the elements and offers more protection. The shelter should be one-half full of hay which is used for bedding and insulation.

Don’t forget to feed the cats and check water frequently. A deep dish with warm water and canned cat food are recommended to avoid freezing.

Becky Robinson, co-founder of Alley Cat Allies, states, “Providing specially-built shelters guarantee the cats a warm spot to escape the harsh winter weather and deter them from places where they may not be wanted, like your neighbor’s shed.”

For more tips, please visit: www.alleycat.org/WinterWeather.