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post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Sorry- I put the message in the wrong forum.

Your best bet for warmth for the kitties is straw. Pile it it thick and leave a lot packed around the inside of the walls as well inside the houses. The blankets are a good idea, but they are foreign to the wild cats and will scare some of them away. The straw resembles the long grasses they are used to and they can burrow down for warmth.

Boil up a few whole chickens and when the broth is cooled, pour it into baggies and freeze. Prior to feeding, place a bag in the mircowave and zap it till it is unthawed and warm. Add the warm broth to the cats dry food- that will help them ward off the chill as well and over time, provide more fat for them too.
post #2 of 5
Thanks, Hissy. Gary's idea on the blankets as opposed to the straw that we originally had in there earlier this fall was that he wanted to avoid other animals moving in there. But they're close to the R.V., and the cats are already in there. We should probably put up a few more for those we don't see much of... and we'll use straw in those. If the cats aren't smart enough to move in there before a skunk or raccoon or something, well.... at least we tried.

And thanks for the chicken broth idea, too. RIght now, we're using warm water. But I really like the idea of a bit more fat. We've managed to really plump them all up - except for Magic. Tuxedo is a little ball, and Spooky is looking very weeblish! I'm mostly worried about Magic - and I think we need to take Juli to the Vet. We haven't seen him eating much, and although it's hard to tell under all that fur, he feels a little thin under all that hair. He just really breaks my heart. He always seems to want pets before food, and when we leave, he chases after us, trying to catch our legs, and diving at our feet, rolling over in that PET ME I NEED LOVE roll. He's so darn sweet. Just such a big goof!

It can't hurt to say it again. I SO wish we could win the lottery so we could buy a place around here and just take them all in!
post #3 of 5
Laurie - is there not government funding available for setting up animal rescues? Is there not a national body that will co-ordinate the setting up of such places?

I guess you've looked into it, but surely SOMEBODY must want to help?
post #4 of 5
Yola - thanks for suggesting it! You know, you would think we would have already looked into it. I know New Jersey has a state-wide spay/neuter program and is relatively animal-friendly. There might be something, and it IS worth looking into.

I've contacted all the reasonably "local" shelters and non-profit agencies. So far, no foster homes are available and the no-kill shelters are full. I got back lots of "helpful suggestions," but The Cat Site beat them to it! Just this morning one of them sent some links to where I can post their pictures on line for adoption, so I'll do that too.

The problem around here specifically is that there are many small farms, and many of the farmers are apparently irresponsible about spaying/neutering the barn cats. The people who own this property (which is a small farm and abutts four others) believe there are "100s of cats living out there" (in the woods around here). Which means Gary and I have just hit the tip of the iceberg. We've had two litters of kittens spayed and neutered and I think about 17 adults since that first litter of kittens turned up in our yard in June.

Christy (okeefecl) and I are slowly working on research for a non-profit org Gary and I (and Christy?) plan on managing. The website end is going to simply be info and pre-made, easily customizable (PowerPoint) presentations people can use to lobby their local communities for low-cost spay/neuter programs (cats and dogs), as well as similar stuff to lobby for a change in animal control policies (to promote Trap-Neuter-Release programs). Gary and I were thinking of running the now fairly large amount of money we're spending on our TNR activities and cat colony maintenance through that org... but to date, we'd just been so focused on the research for the presentations (which we need to do anyway for the woman who helped trap Samoa), completing the presentations, trapping and caring for the outdoor gang (and the indoor gang which now appears to be sick from something Munchie brought in with her - I sure hope it doesn't turn out to be Giardia...), and now trying to get them adopted - that I guess it just never occured to us to look into it! Thanks so much for the nudge!!!!

post #5 of 5
Thanks. We insulated the outside of the boxes with actual insulation, pulled and shaped a plastic sheet over the whole thing, tucked a bit of hard insulation over the top to create and overhang, and left some plastic "falling down" to creat a kind of flap - but it isn't right up against the door. It's just enough to ensure that no rain or wet gets in there. We ended up velcroing that fake sheepskin to the floor and stuffing straw in. It doesn't appear anyone's using it yet - "our" outside guys all pile into the one with the self-warming blanket. But at least there's shelter for more if they need it...

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