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Tonight freeze warning...how to keep cats warm?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Lately the KY weather has been nuts. 80's in November. Now tonight it is back to normal and the first freeze of the year is here. It's a freeze warning and temps are expected to be in lower 30 and some places upper 20's before morning. I have cats in an inclosure and outside. What things can I do tonight and all winter to keep them warm? So far I put thick cardboard around every side of the enclosure on the deck(cat and 4 kittens) with a thick tarp and an insulated doghouse inside with newspaper. It will probably help it stay warm being on the deck off the ground. The enclosure behind the barn with a sick quarentined kitten has 3 layers of garbage bags and thick plastic wrapped around it so no cold air can enter. She has 2 houses to choose from one smaller one larger and both full of newspaper. Theres a tarp over top. My outside cats have several options...on the deck I have a thick tarp over the chair and only a tunnel for them to enter. To lay on there is an old seat cover that came with my truck. They also have the barn. These 4 I have outside made it last winter, but I'm still worried. I'm maily worried about the 2 enclosures. I'd rather let the sick one out so she could find a place, but I cant. Vet said it was best to keep her quarentined until she gets over whats wrong with her(medicine). The other one has to stay with her kittens because some stray toms were comming around and attacking her. Ok well u guys that have inclosures...do you think I've done enough???
post #2 of 23
Sounds like you did a pretty good job. The only other thing I might suggest is using hay to line the bottom (newspaper may be just as effective, I don't know) of the enclosure; it's supposed to be very good at keeping them warm. As long as you prevent them from getting wet and out of drafts, they should be fine.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
I dont know where to get hay from around here. I live in country though...there must be a farmer around here somewhere that uses it. Thanks for the idea. There shouldnt be any wet or draft risk so hopefully you and grandma are right. Grandma says I shouldnt worry as much since they made it through last winter, but I'm still gonna worry and last winter I didnt have kittens. Thanks for replying.
post #4 of 23
Don't know how big your enclosure is, but if you can, line the floor and walls with the square hay bails. Your best bet is to get it from a farmer (it will be cheaper), but if that fails, a lot of grocery stores (at least around here) sell it for decoration for Thanksgiving. I look thru the ads in local papers for farmers that sell it. Plastic is a good start and will help keep the drafts out, but doesn't really provide any insulation.

Good luck!
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have about 3 layers of plastic and I have cardboard on the ground and newspapers too...I'm gonna look into the hay/straw idea though. Tonight is the coldest it's susposed to be untill next week. If they make it tonight then I will have a few days to figure out something better.
post #6 of 23
Check out this web site which Katie (TNR1) told us about on the Ferals Forum. It gives a free and easy way to keep ferals warm in even the coldest climates.
post #7 of 23
How did they do last night? Saying kitties-keep-warm prayers! SOunds like you've got quite a setup there, kudos to you!
post #8 of 23
I was going to suggest hay as well...maybe you could advertise for some, alot of farmers sell it. I am not so worried about the older cats, they will get in to the warm places you have set up, but I hope the little kitties will be okay and the sick one. How young are the kitties? I would keep a close eye on them, but at least they do have their mom for warmth.
post #9 of 23
Is there any way you can let the cats inside during the winter? My cat stays inside most of the day when it's cold. He's trained to go to the door and meow when he needs to go to the bathroom, and when he wants back in, he comes to the door again and meows.
post #10 of 23
How about some old blankets for them to lay on? Im not sure newspaper would be very warm, though it will keep them off the ground at least a little. But newspaper would get wet faster..
Hmmm. I hope they did ok last night. You can get cheap blankets at the Good Will or thrift stores.
post #11 of 23
Newspaper is actually very insulating. My dad worked in the newspaper business all his life, and insisted I carry some old nespapers in my trunk in case I broke down in the wintertime. He told me to put some under my feet, it would keep me warm, and I could also slip some under tires if they were stuck on snow, it would give me traction. (That combined with some kitty litter will get you out of bad wintertime situations!)
post #12 of 23
I didnt know that Thanks for the info. You learn something new everyday
post #13 of 23
In addition to the hay, if you can get any sort of styrofoam box, you can easily make cozy cat cubbies: www.all-creatures.org/ak/feral-shelter.html

Your cats will then have a variety of insulating materials to choose from.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally posted by brocken
In addition to the hay, if you can get any sort of styrofoam box, you can easily make cozy cat cubbies: www.all-creatures.org/ak/feral-shelter.html

Your cats will then have a variety of insulating materials to choose from.
Uh - redundant...same site that lotsocats already mentioned...
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by lotsocats
Check out this web site which Katie (TNR1) told us about on the Ferals Forum. It gives a free and easy way to keep ferals warm in even the coldest climates.
That sounds like a great idea! Thanks for the site. You sure styrofoam is safe though?
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mom of 10 Cats
How did they do last night? Saying kitties-keep-warm prayers! SOunds like you've got quite a setup there, kudos to you!
So far so good. They are al ok, but their fur feels cold to me and I dont like it. Thanks! I've done what I could, but I need more. That's why I'm trying to get somebrain storming going. I'm sure I'm not the only other outdoor cat owner with this problem.
post #17 of 23
styrofoam is fine
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Debby
I was going to suggest hay as well...maybe you could advertise for some, alot of farmers sell it. I am not so worried about the older cats, they will get in to the warm places you have set up, but I hope the little kitties will be okay and the sick one. How young are the kitties? I would keep a close eye on them, but at least they do have their mom for warmth.
The older ones made it last winter that's y I'm not as scared for them(although I still want a warmer place since they wont use the barn and want to stay on the deck). I'm mainly worried about the sick one and the mother/kittens. The kittens are 2 weeks as of today(sunday).
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Magickal Kittie
Is there any way you can let the cats inside during the winter? My cat stays inside most of the day when it's cold. He's trained to go to the door and meow when he needs to go to the bathroom, and when he wants back in, he comes to the door again and meows.
I live with my grandma and there is no way she will let me. I have one 5 1/2 female inside and thats all she'll allow. Cool! How'd you train him to do that? It's a cat!
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by MamaKat
How about some old blankets for them to lay on? Im not sure newspaper would be very warm, though it will keep them off the ground at least a little. But newspaper would get wet faster..
Hmmm. I hope they did ok last night. You can get cheap blankets at the Good Will or thrift stores.
I found a bunch of old towels and washcloths I'm gonna wash today and put in there. That plus shredded paper will hopefully be enough.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Mom of 10 Cats
Newspaper is actually very insulating. My dad worked in the newspaper business all his life, and insisted I carry some old nespapers in my trunk in case I broke down in the wintertime. He told me to put some under my feet, it would keep me warm, and I could also slip some under tires if they were stuck on snow, it would give me traction. (That combined with some kitty litter will get you out of bad wintertime situations!)
Also people used it to insulate walls and under wallpaper. Olllld houses have it if you do remodling and look. It's cool to be able to read the old papers.
As for the newspaper in their houses, I place several layers in the bottom of the house and then shredd up alot for bedding for burrowing into.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by brocken
Uh - redundant...same site that lotsocats already mentioned...
awww lol it's Ok. You had a good site/idea even if it was already used
post #23 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by hissy
styrofoam is fine
What I've heard about styrofoam I guess just applies to eating out of then?
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