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Q: How warm should cats be if they live outside? what kind of home?

June 28, 2009 | By Joyce M. | 6 answers | Expired: 1878 days ago

I found cats outside.. there is a barn but they now are living in a box I put there...when winter arrives, I'm hoping they go to the barn. If not, what else can I put instead of the box.

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Kelly
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Jul 12, 2009

Anything below freezing & cats need protection. The pads on their feet can freeze & they have difficulty maintaining their body temperature if they're exposed for long periods of time. The cats will probably go to the barn on their own unless something has made them scared of it for any reason. PUtting boxes in the barn would be ideal. I have a pet door into my garage. I put boxes, food, & water in there & when the temps dropped below freezing I would put a heat lamp out there. Most of my ferals came in & stayed in the boxes. For the ones who wouldn't come in, we made insulated boxes for them. I'm enclosing a link with directions to several kinds. We have used the rubbermaid ones & the Alley Cat Allies design.We usually throw in extra insulation. For the Rubbermaid design, we add a thin layer of insulation around the inner box & then add the straw. Make sure the bottom is insulated enough that kitties don't get chilled. Don't use blankets because they hold cold & moisture. Straw or hay works great & is easy to change out when needed.
www.spayandstay.org/wintershelter.htm

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Bonnie  M.
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Jun 28, 2009

The barn would be the best place and I bet that is where they will go. I have a friend that has ferals or strays that ended up in her barn with her horse. She set up blankets and little houses for them in the straw. They love it. She closes the barn at night when they are all in to keep them safe and warm. If you have access to outlets and want to do it, there are heated pet beds that are for outdoor use, also. Good Luck

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

Jun 28, 2009

The tent is a great idea. I made a tent with a huge box and ran an outdoor extention card and hooked up a heating pad on a timer. Winters can be hard. In the box (like I said a huge box) or the tent I gathered old blankets and bedspreads and threw them in, than in a few areas I put heating pads. I go to garage sales all the time and get blankets, bedspreads, and sheets for all the resuced animals I have. Feeding them in the barn may help to get them to go in that direction. Than you can set up a warm, safe spot for them there. Good Luck!!!!

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Michele Z.
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Jun 28, 2009

Unless you (or someone else) scare the cats, I think they will be smart enough to WANT to go into the barn. Even if they don't, they probably already have several warm, dry, safe sleeping places near/around your home. Just in case they don't, I also think it would be a good idea to cover the box with something like heavy-duty tarp to keep wind and rain out of it.

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patty
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Jun 28, 2009

If they are going to use a box/conatiner of soe sort i've also heard that it's better to use straw and not blankets in the colder weather. The blankets will "hold the cold". Keeping the wind from blowing on them is a major factor. I've had dog houses for the strays to go to to get out of the cold. I've also covered them with a waterproof covering so that the wind was blocked form the entrance.

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Lisa B.
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Jun 28, 2009

I used to set up a tent for ferals. They were fine with it. I got an inexpesive one from Sears. Anything that will keep the wind off of them. Put the food and a cushion in the tent. But the box in the tent. It's up to you. They might go to the barn without a problem. Feed them in the barn, cats love to be fed.

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