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Community cats are resilient creatures—able to live in all varieties of locations, weather conditions, and climates—from Arizona to Alaska. But there are still things you can do to help make life outdoors more comfortable for them this winter.

That’s why we compiled our Winter Weather Tips to educate concerned cat lovers like you on how best to keep community cat colonies warm this winter! When you check out this tip sheet you’ll learn things like:

  • Cats need extra food during the winter and fresh water twice a day. Wet food freezes, so put out dry food as well (or just feed dry food).
  • Use bowls that are deep rather than wide and place them in sunny areas to keep water from freezing.
  • Cats tend to congregate together—which is why you always see “cat colonies”—but bigger shelters aren’t always better because heat disperses quickly. Two to three cats per shelter is OK. Clear snow away from house entrances and exits so the cats don’t get snowed in.
  • If cats still aren’t using the outdoor shelters, try to find where they are sleeping and then do what you can there to “upgrade” the spot, such as adding straw. Also, try providing a shield to protect cats from harsh winds.
  • Before starting your car, give a firm tap on the hood and check between the tires—sometimes cats crawl into the engine or hide under the car for warmth.
  • Don’t use salts or chemicals to melt snow. Some are toxic and can hurt cats’ paws. And don’t forget to cleanup any antifreeze you see spilled on the ground! Cats are attracted to the taste, but antifreeze can kill them.

But most importantly, you can help cats this winter with Trap‑Neuter‑Return (TNR). Not only is TNR humane and effective, but cats that are spayed or neutered and vaccinated live healthier, better lives.

These tips are just the beginning. Check out our Winter Weather Tips to learn more about how to help cats this winter.

Becky Robinson For the cats,
Becky Robinson
Becky Robinson
President & Founder
Alley Cat Allies

P.S. Need help building a shelter for community cats? Click here to check out Alley Cat Allies’ D.I.Y. Cat Shelter video.


…is an all volunteer non-profit rescue organization dedicated to ending the suffering of stray and abandoned cats through rescue, sterilization, education, and adoption.   Please spread the word about our rescue organization, and consider fostering

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