Stray cats: how to help them during the winter?

The winter cold is slowly setting in, and you wonder how help stray cats so that they can spend this unpleasant period in the best possible conditions.

Although it is true that cats suffer less from the cold than humans thanks to the density of their coats, the winter season can degrade their health when exposed to the elements day and night. Let’s see how to help them by adopting the right reflexes.

Adopt a stray cat

If the cat is docile and seems to quickly get attached to you, it may be that he is more inclined to join your household to have happy days. And we must admit that this kind of meeting gives birth to beautiful friendships between a cat and its master, when they have mutually chosen each other.

So, don’t hesitate to open your door to him and let him slowly take his marks. If he does not show aggression, quickly go to the vet to check if this kitty is identified electronically, in which case he could well find his original humans.

On the other hand, if the cat is not identified, you are completely free to adopt it. Be a responsible owner to avoid the overpopulation of stray cats on your scale, have him identified and sterilized if he has already reached the age of 6 months.

Adopting a stray cat is the surest way to help him sustainably. However, not everyone has the opportunity, either because they already own enough animals or because their pace of life is not compatible with adopting a cat. But we reassure you, you can help them in other ways.

Ask for help from an association

You have noticed in your neighborhood, or in a place where you walk regularly, one or more stray or wild cats. They are not adoptable because they are afraid of the man, in particular if it is about feral cats, or you don’t have the option to adopt them.

Never mind, there are probably local associations for the protection and adoption of cats near you. They are very active in a given territory, and will not hesitate to travel to help you and meet your protégé.

Associations can take stray cats under their wing. To do this, they provide them with the necessary care so that they regain good health and have them sterilized. Depending on the character of the cat, they can either release it into the wild, but with the possibility of feeding it, or place it with a foster family while awaiting adoption.

Good to know : feeding a stray animal, even if it is a domestic animal like the feline, is strictly prohibited, only so-called “free” cats, that is to say and sterilized and released where they were found can be fed by humans, without breaking the law.

Become a host family

Can’t adopt a cat, but are keen to help them? Do not hesitate to contact animal associations. In winter, they are in great need of support and are looking for host families.

Becoming a foster family means committing to receiving a cat in your home for a term defined by contract, in order to offer it the warmth of a home while waiting for its adoption. The cat will be delivered to you treated, vaccinated, identified and sterilized if it is an adult feline.

Thanks to the transitional home that you offer him, he will gradually regain confidence in the man and you will know his character. A good way to overcome the cold of winter and find him the ideal family to spend the rest of his life there!

Offer a cat shelter

For stray cats, it is more difficult to hunt in the winter because food is scarce. They therefore tend to save their energy as much as possible, but the cold causes them to spend more than is necessary to maintain an adequate level of body temperature.

For example, in harsh winters, stray cats can quickly lose weight and get sick. If you cannot feed them, you can offer them shelter with an airtight box, cushion or blanket. Thus protected from the cold, they spend months of calories and regain their strength to find their food in nature.

But beware, some municipalities prohibit this type of practice to prevent the proliferation of stray cats. Contact feline associations, the SPA and your town hall before deciding alone on such initiatives.

Invite the stray cat into your home

Have you come across a cat near you, or has it spontaneously shown up in front of your window or kept watch in your garden? You are about to melt for him and we understand you!

So you can open your door for him to warm up, and feed him to get his strength back. But there is of course an obvious risk, the cat may well appreciate this opportunity, and no longer want to leave your home.

So, if you do not want to adopt it, you can alternatively open your garage door or install a shelter in your yard or garden. Even if it is not very hot in the middle of winter, it will no longer suffer from the wind and humidity, comfortably installed in a blanket, with a bowl of water and a bowl of croquettes available. Suffice to say that for a stray cat, it is at least a 4-star hotel!

Become a volunteer within an association

You will no doubt understand, the best chance a stray cat can benefit from is you! But you can’t house all the distressed cats in your neighborhood, town, or village while still providing them with decent living conditions every winter.

A stray cat often brings another, and your good heart could lose you. To help a cat in the long term, it is necessary to provide it with regular care, sterilize it, vaccinate it, feed it and shelter it; cuddle him. And for this to be possible, financial and human resources are needed.

So, you can get involved in an association and become a volunteer to pool your strengths and efforts. You can give a few hours or more depending on your availability to the cats during the winter, to make them adopt, or simply help them to live serenely for the wildest of them.

You don’t have a feline protection association near you? Do you disagree with their management? What if you set up your own association, to help felines in distress, winter and summer?