How stray cats survive the winter

Stray cats help out in winter

Around two million stray cats live in Germany - and the number is rising. Many descend from farm cats, abandoned house cats and uncastrated outdoor cats. The foraging for food demands a lot from the animals, they suffer from parasite infestations and other diseases that spread quickly among cats. Since strays are usually very shy and sneak through the backyards and gardens at night and at dusk, their suffering usually goes unnoticed.

Stray or free-roaming? Recognize the difference

In order to determine whether the cat that is roaming the garden is really a stray, you should pay attention to the following criteria:

  • If the cat is well fed and looks healthy, it is probably one Outdoor
  • If the cat looks sickly and emaciated, but is otherwise very trusting, it could also be a Found animal act. A veterinarian can check to see if the cat has a chip or a tattoo.
  • Most Stray cats are very shy and avoid contact with people as best they can.

Here's how you can help stray cats

Helping stray cats is neither particularly expensive nor particularly laborious. With these three points you ensure the basic supply of a stray dog:

1. Offer water points

Strays have great difficulty finding water, especially in winter. The ground is frozen, public wells are turned off and even smaller lakes and ponds are freezing over. If stray cats live in your area, you can give one to the animals fresh water point to offer.

Tip: The water cannot freeze on a hot plate. Warming plates for baby food are also ideal for providing strays with a drink, especially at night.

2. Feed regularly

To make it easier for the strays to search for food, you can use one Feeding place set up. Because wet food freezes quickly, dry food is best. Here, however, it is important that the cats are offered water at the same time.

Hold on if possible fixed feeding times a. The strays will soon be eagerly awaiting you.

3. Set up a Steunerhütte

Even if cats are well armed against the worst of the cold with their winter fur, they need a dry and protected one Shelterwhere they can hide, rest and warm up. A stray hut is easily built by yourself from styrofoam boxes that are covered with plastic film. Straw is very suitable for softly cushioning the inside of the hut. Blankets get damp and dry poorly.

Tip: In pet shops there are also special warming cushions for cats, which can also be placed in the boxes on particularly cold nights.

Help the strays in the long term

Unfortunately, we can only get through the cat suffering for a long time area-wide castrations alleviate. If you have started feeding a stray dog, please contact one Animal welfare organization in your area. This will catch the animals, castrate them, vaccinate them and then release them back into the wild.

For a stray who is used to life on the street, it would be torture to suddenly end up in the animal shelter - and our animal shelters are already bursting at the seams. If possible, network with other animal lovers in your neighborhood and set up one Long-term feeding station a.