My parents have managed to trap and sterilize a mother cat and her four kittens (all female!) and they have stuck around.
They have a heated water bowl and almost free choice food, we now need to help them set up housing for them.
I was thinking of something like a heated outdoor pet mat and a Dogloo?
Any suggestions? Does anyone have something that really works for them? The cats are not completely feral, they will eat out of the bowl with people nearby and my mom can occasionally stroke their heads so I think the housing can be set up close to their house.
Do they have a barn/garage/outbuilding/etc.? If so they will be fine as long as they have water and food. I have never been able to convince cats to sleep where I think they would like it -- they find their own spot. You could spend a lot of money on an igloo and still only see kitties at feeding time.
I used a Dogloo for 2 feral cats for a couple years. I added an outside lounge cushion as extra insulation/warmth and a heated pad. I kept it on the back deck and turned the entrance of it towards the house to block as much wind as possible. They seemed to like it. 2 males, who usually ignored each other but would share it on really cold nights. The deck has an outlet too, so was convenient for the cord of the heating pad.
Although we did have one winter where the snow was so deep for so long that I caught both cats and put them in my finished basement. Both LOVED sleeping on the couches down there, but the tabby would only last 6-8 hours and then *yowl* to go back outside. So we dug trenches in the snow, the snow was easily three times as deep as the height of the cats. So Boy Kitty would go back out often but the shyer one, Spare Kitty, happily moved into the basement and despite not liking too much contact if I tried to put him back out he clung to me like a barnacle, LOL!
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
This is great! Thanks!
I was just thinking about this this morning. We have a kitten who refuses to be litter box trained and we don't have any out buildings for her to go into. I think I have a new project for this weekend.