how well do feral cats tolerate winter weather? We are in upstate NY and experience temps. down as low as 0.

We have been feeding a feral for over a year. I have constructed an insulated shelter for him - but worry since it's not heated.

Asked by Member 896145 on Jan 6th 2011 in Other Health & Wellness
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They seem to tolerate the cold weather very well. We also have a feral that we take care of. He has a Dogloo dog house on our porch (facing the house so the wind can not blow into it) that we pack with a thick crate liner and fleece throws. We also put a heated disc inside his house when he comes out to eat. You can find them here -

We also keep the snow away from where he eats and put down and old rug or towel for him to stand on so his feet stay dry.

If the kitties are dry and out of the wind, they are pretty safe.

Kitty answered on Jan 7th.

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Izadore (Izzie)

Feral cats are, after all, wild animals. They develop a thicker coat than an indoor or domesticated animal does. They know where to forage for food and become experts at hiding from the cold as best they can. If the cat has been on his own for a while, he's obviously good at being feral. If you've constructed an insulated, elevated shelter for him, that's about all you can do. God bless you for caring.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 1/6/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I'm from upstate New York originally and yup, it can get purrty cold. I've heard that feral children (human children) tend to be impervious to cold. Perhaps feral cats are not as sensitive to cold as cats who live mostly indoors. My childhood kitty would go out every day in the snow, although not for long. If you can't make him an indoor cat or give him a place in your garage or basement, I'm sure that an insulated structure (perhaps with bedding?) will make him very grateful.

Spike answered on 1/6/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I manage a feral cat colony of 7 cats outside of Philadelphia where it also gets pretty cold. Fortunately, all 7 cats made it through last winter which was really harsh with blizzard conditions at times. I have a covered front porch where I place several thermal cat blankets on my love seat. There is also a feral cat villa I purchased on the Internet which they don't even use. They like to snuggle on the love seat and stay warm. Some of them are smart enough to go under the blankets. I also keep dry cat food out 24/7 in the winter and have an electric water bowl I plug in on my porch. Try to keep the cat on the same time schedule for feeding, offer fresh water when you do feed him. If you leave water out (which you should), put a few dashes of sugar in the water to help prevent the water from freezing quickly. The sugar also provides extra energy the cat needs in the winter. Also, use plastic bowls in the winter to delay the food and water from freezing. God bless you!

Member 185886 answered on 1/7/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


YoYo Puffs is semi feral and he grows a huge puffy winter coat, he nearly doubles in size due to extra puffyness. We keep a Dogloo lined with old pillows for him and his friend O.C. (which stands for Outside Cat) that they share as well as sleeping in the window-well under the porch. We give them high calorie canned food mixed with dry once a day (only enough for one meal, so it doesn't freeze) and keep dry food out regualrly. When we give them their water I make sure to give them warm water so that it doesn't freeze as quickly and to help warm their tummies.

Yoru "YoYo" Puffs answered on 1/7/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


If you can find hay, the halloween stacks work quite well, line the house with this. They love it and if it gets wet it dries quickly unlike blankets and towels.

Member 1018488 answered on 1/8/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer