The Rogue Valley is home to a great many feral and community cats (click here to learn more about the issue in Jackson County and beyond), and in the midst of an icy winter, a lot of caring people have questions about how to keep cats warm and safe with spring (and warmer temperatures) still months away.

The very first step in caring for a feral kitty is to get the cat spayed or neutered. According to the ASPCA, just one unspayed female cat can be responsible for as many as 420,000 kittens over a period of seven years. If unowned cats are not fixed, there is no chance of ever ending the suffering they will endure from generations living outside and on the streets. Click here to learn about SNYP’s program and pricing for feral cats.

If you’re a caregiver for cats who live outside, there are indeed ways to keep them warm — and providing shelter is important. Outdoor cats are susceptible to hypothermia and can get frostbite on their ears and paws if they have no respite from the cold.

To create a simple yet effective cat shelter, all you need is styrofoam and a 30-gallon plastic tote with a lid. You can buy large pieces of styrofoam insulation and cut them to size, or use a simple styrofoam cooler. To help cats stay warm, add straw, newspaper, or fleece blankets inside the insulated shelter.

Click here to see more details, and click here to download a PDF with specific instructions, including how to create a feeding station to keep food from getting wet and/or spoiled.

Thanks to all in our community who care for our less fortunate felines … your compassion makes a big difference in their lives.