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Published: Oct 25, 2019

Cats and winter

Cats and winter

Winter continues its relentless attack - snow and cold its weapons of choice. This time of the year is a difficult period for stray cats, which have to live independently year-round, but also ensure that we are not swarmed by disease-carrying rodents. That is why we should not turn a blind eye to them.

Listen to your conscience and remember that not every kitty is as lucky as yours – not every cat has a soft pillow to nap on and a loving owner to care for them. Many of our allies in the war against rodents have to face the deadly cold of winter on their own, and many them are simply unable to survive.

Here are some simple tips on how to make it easier to survive this difficult time for the cats you see in your neighbourhood every day, stealing warmth from underneath your car or sneaking into basements or other buildings:


A great way of giving shelter to free-living cats is to give them access to such parts of buildings as garages, cellars, etc. To do so, you can install a pet door, which cats can use to enter freely and which protects the room from the elements. However, you will need to remember to clean and disinfect the room regularly, as well as removing any waste. It is also very important to check for any animals which may have become "trapped" inside by a closed window, for example.



If offering a room in a building is not an option, a great substitute is a simple kennel or crate, or even a cardboard box covered with plastic wrap. Make sure that it is not too big, or else the animal's own body heat will not be enough to keep it warm. It is also important to ensure that the container does not get wet or let the wind in – put it in a place that is both sheltered from the wind and where cats will be able to find it.


It is important to choose a bed with a fabric that does not absorb moisture easily – polar fleece and sheep wool are the best options here. Check the bed regularly to see if it is not damp, which may cause it to freeze.


If you decide to feed homeless cats, make sure to do it regularly and consistently as cats quickly become accustomed to receiving food from humans, and forgetting to do so may even lead to starvation. Dry cat food is good as it does not freeze in very low temperatures, but if warm food is available, then that is the optimal option. Make sure that the food is served in a way which protects it from snow and rain, freezing and excessive moisture. If the food is placed outside, make sure to provide a roof above the bowl, and always remove all leftovers to prevent them from going bad.

Remember to also provide the animals with access to fresh water, which often freezes when the temperature goes down and without which the animals can become dehydrated.

Helping every single animal is impossible, but doing at least one of these things is sure to prevent those which live in your neighbourhood from becoming another sad statistic, dying of hypothermia.


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Marking animals with a microchip is the most durable, effective and completely safe method of quick and reliable identification. Every transponder (chip) has a unique number which enables instant identification of the animal and its owner, helping them reunite faster. However, it is important to remember that a chip is just a transponder with an encoded number. It is not a tracking device and contains no data about the animal or the owner! Therefore, in order to identify a chipped dog or cat, it is necessary that a microchip be registered in a national marked animal database...

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