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Cats and Snow? HELP!!!!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I don't know if this is a behavior question or a feral question, because it's about the three outside feral kittens.

We're worried about Tuxedo, who we haven't seen since Sunday when the snow storm started.

Thanksgiving was in the "condo" we created for the kitties, and we dug out the opening to the area where the condos are (under the picnic table). Gary was worried because snow had blown in the little opening almost to the opening of the little condos themselves. Fortunately in a way, because it was blizzard conditions, most of the snow back there had been blown forward, so Julius and Thanskgiving, who were in there, could have gotten out even without our digging out the rest of the snow (if they'd wanted to). But after eating last night, we haven't seen Juli around again yet, today, which is a unusual. There are kitty footprints going to the trailers on either side of us. On one side the guy who sometimes is around for contractor jobs is there, and he completely enclosed the underneath of his trailer. There's one little spot the cats can go in and out, and it is protected from the wind and probably somewhat warm from the heat in his home.

The trailer on the other side is empty.

There are no kitty tracks coming down from up in the woods, where Tuxedo goes sometimes. We're worried that if he hunkered down in the old burrow that he's trapped in there. Gary's heading up there now with a long stick to locate the entrance to the burrow so he can dig it open just in case.

But we haven't seen Tuxedo since the snowstorm really started... so... since Sunday night. And we're getting really worried. Booger used to stay away for several days when it snowed - but she used to trek all the way over to the barn, and once things were plowed she'd come over for food. But these kids never enlarged their territory to that size.

Will cats dig their way out of snow if they're hungry enough? If he's in the burrow - is he going to the bathroom in there and sleeping in there?

Apart from digging out the burrow-hole opening, any other suggestions as to what we can do to find him? They don't know the sound of a can popping open. We have been putting out Eukanuba recently, which is the smelliest dry food we can find.

Gary just got back and dug open the hole. No kitty footprints around the burrow, and he can't tell if someone's in there or not. But it's open now, and he shoveled a trail down here.

What should we do? We both love Tuxedo, but Gary's got a special bond with him, and he's really in anguish over this.

If there's anything else to do, he wants to do it!
post #2 of 5
I wish I had words of wisdom for you. We've been hit by really nasty weather here as well. Right after Christmas, we had weeks of ice and snow, and our little Buddy disappeared for about 3 weeks!!! But when the weather became nice for a couple of days, he was back like always. Since this is my first year of big ice and snow storms since I began caring for ferals, I just don't know what is normal and what is not. I do know however, that these cats are amazingly resilient and they know exactly where to go to make sure they are safe. So, my guess is that Tuxedo and Juli are just fine.

I'll send my "stay warm and healthy" thoughts to all of your little ferals.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks Renae! We feel so helpless! AAAAGGGHHHH!!!!!!
post #4 of 5
Hi Laurie-

When I had the feral colonies in Alaska during the worst of the blizzards they always managed to vanish. I worried about them always, but once the thaw began they would suddenly appear, a little bit more thin than I would of liked them to be, but nonetheless alive and hungry.

I would do two things. I would put out some kitty litter on the snow if it has finally stopped snowing. And I would also keep putting out food and placing food in other places you don't normally put the food. If indeed Tux is hiding, the closer you can get food sources to him, the easier this severe weather will be for him.

We had a picnic table condo for our ferals as well, except Mike built an elevated platform off the ground so the cats had to jump to get inside. It kept it from making contact with the frozen earth, kept them warmer and helped stop the piling snow from coming in.

Ferals are quite ingenious and it is their instinct and drive that keeps them safe from nature, what they sometimes cannot keep safe from is the abuse of man.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Mary Anne, thanks for sharing. I do feel better. I don't know how I can make Gary feel better, but that's a different problem.

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