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Below Freezing Temps (after WindChill)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
[edit] Sorry title should say Below Zero Temps (after WindChill), but I can't edit the title.

It's going down to about -20 tonight and tomorrow night (there's warnings on The Weather Channel talking about staying out in the cold long will cause frostbite and maybe death). While I have 1 Small plastic storage container home (fits one Adult), 1 Large plastic storage container home (fits at least four 6+ month old cats), and 1 Large doubled up cardboard box (in a storage room underneith the backporch), all of which are lined with a low grade insulating styrofoam (I can't remember if it's doubled up or not) and I have torn up newspaper lining the insides, I'm not sure if that's enough to keep them warm in these kinds of temperatures.

There's basically 3 groups I take care of. 1 is group of 4 kittens (2 born Early May, 2 born early June), 1 Pregnant Female (the mother of the May batch) who doesn't particularly get along well with the others, and the last group is a mother cat and her 4 kittens born Approx Mid-Sept.

From what I've seen, the Mother with the 4 kittens and maybe the pregnant Female are tolerating each other down in the storage room with the cardboard box home (which we moved from out back porch down to the storage room so they'd be less exposed to the high winds we are having.)

I'm not quite sure where the group of 4 is, because of "faction problems" (The mother with the newest batch of kittens often tends to scare them out of the yard if she sees them.) , they don't often hang around too long unless I'm there since they love getting petted.

So far I've thrown a boiled egg wrapped in aluminum foil into the homes for warmth (my eye doctor said to use boiled eggs on your eyes if they are swollen since they keep very warm for a long period of time and can be reheated again and again. So, I figured, "Why not, it might be like a mini heater."). It's after 8PM on a Sunday so not many places are open, and I can't find anyone to drive me out to the mall in this cold. Does anyone else have any ideas on how to keep them warm with things I might have around the house, or would the shelters I have do the trick?
post #2 of 12
Do you have any hot/cold packs? They are filled with either flax seed and/or rice. You can put them in the microwave and heat them up for about 90 seconds and they stay warm for a half hour or so.

You can also insulate the boxes the kitties are staying in by wrapping the box with duvets/quilts, or thick foam cushions. The ideal would be a small box cardboard box wrapped with something to insulate and then a box around all that. All of these will help hold in heat.
post #3 of 12
Also if you have any shipping "peanuts" you can put them in a pillow case and hopefully the cats, once they get on it, will realize that it is warm.
post #4 of 12
These work great if you can find some. They stay warm for 24 hours.

http://www.heatfactory.com/What_is_a...a_warmer_.html

I got some at a sporting goods store for $1.19 each.
I just put them in between their blankets.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Sicycat - Would shoving a Thermacare Heating Wrap under the newspaper work just as well? (Would a Termacare be a firehazard?)

KittenKiya - I maight have some, I'll have to check.

Sprocket - Well, I have a nukable Sinus heating pack, but is there any way to protect it since I still kinda need it? I don't know if I have any free blankets (the people house is pretty poorly insulated, so it's cold and we need alot of blankets.) What exactly do you mean by thick foam cushions?

Question to All - If I don't have enough of these warming materials to go around, what should be the order of priority shelter-wise?
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlysBrangwin View Post
Sicycat - Would shoving a Thermacare Heating Wrap under the newspaper work just as well? (Would a Termacare be a firehazard?)

KittenKiya - I maight have some, I'll have to check.

Sprocket - Well, I have a nukable Sinus heating pack, but is there any way to protect it since I still kinda need it? I don't know if I have any free blankets (the people house is pretty poorly insulated, so it's cold and we need alot of blankets.) What exactly do you mean by thick foam cushions?

Question to All - If I don't have enough of these warming materials to go around, what should be the order of priority shelter-wise?
Do you have any rocks that you can "warm" in a pot of water and place in the shelters??

Do you have any chicken broth that you could heat up and provide to them??

Here is an inexpensive shelter you could build later on:

http://www.all-creatures.org/ak/feral-shelter.html

More advice:

http://www.petfinder.com/journalinde...cats/1.5.1.txt

Katie
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
Do you have any rocks that you can "warm" in a pot of water and place in the shelters??

Do you have any chicken broth that you could heat up and provide to them??

Here is an inexpensive shelter you could build later on:

http://www.all-creatures.org/ak/feral-shelter.html

More advice:

http://www.petfinder.com/journalinde...cats/1.5.1.txt

Katie
They're under a few inches of snow and ice...

I think I have a can, but it has onions and things like that in it, and I heard you shouldn't get onions to cats. Should I put it out anyhow?

The plastic homes I have are modeled after the one found at http://www.neighborhoodcats.org/info/wintershelter.htm
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlysBrangwin View Post
They're under a few inches of snow and ice...

I think I have a can, but it has onions and things like that in it, and I heard you shouldn't get onions to cats. Should I put it out anyhow?

The plastic homes I have are modeled after the one found at http://www.neighborhoodcats.org/info/wintershelter.htm
Nope...not if it has onions. It should be straight broth.

Katie
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlysBrangwin View Post
Sicycat - Would shoving a Thermacare Heating Wrap under the newspaper work just as well? (Would a Termacare be a firehazard?)
I believe they would work pretty much the same way however the thermacare wraps are more expensive and I dont think last as long. I highly doubt that they can get hot enough to be a fire hazard.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicycat View Post
I believe they would work pretty much the same way however the thermacare wraps are more expensive and I dont think last as long. I highly doubt that they can get hot enough to be a fire hazard.
I think they last 8 hours+, and I don't yet have a ride out to the mall and it's still below zero. Well, they get hot enough to have caused minor burns or blisters on my skin, that's why I was concerned.

(I didn't end up putting the Thermacare in since it says keep away from pets. Was that the right thing to do?)

So far I've seen 8 of the 10 up and about (5 of them don't constantly hang around in the yard.), so I can only hope the other 2 are okay as well... It's supposed to get even colder tonight.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlysBrangwin View Post
I think they last 8 hours+, and I don't yet have a ride out to the mall and it's still below zero. Well, they get hot enough to have caused minor burns or blisters on my skin, that's why I was concerned.

(I didn't end up putting the Thermacare in since it says keep away from pets. Was that the right thing to do?)
Ah, how wierd. I've never used the thermacare, but the heat warmers I posted about are specifically made to be safe against your skin or clothes without burning and the ferals seem to love them under their blankets when its super cold.
post #12 of 12
another good tip: wrap the boxes w/bubble wrap, that holds in the heat very well. Best thing we found when we had a feral colony was the rubbermaid-type storage containers and straw.. Ask if you need instructions on how to make. We also kept our patio table/chairs on the deck, covered all completely w/really heavy plastic, weighted down w/rocks, etc. - two openings... stayed fair toasty under there, had some of those fleecy beds, they'd all pile in together - but also at least kept the food dry.
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