With the cold weather, please check out our guidelines for caring for the colony. Click HERE for a detailed guide to creating a safe, warm place for your colony cats to wait out the winter cold! Also, check out our instructions for creating an insulated watering hole during these frigid temperatures!
Supplies: 3 gallon bucket, 3 empty 16+oz water/soda bottles, rock salt, sugar, insulated box (styrofoam cooler or cardboard box filled with insulation), black plastic garbage bag.
1. Cut a hole in the lid of your insulated box just big enough to put the 3 gallon bucket through. Wrap the box with a black plastic garbage bag. Place the bucket inside.
2. Fill the 3 16+oz bottles 3/4 full with rock salt and then add water; filling to the top. Cap the bottles; be sure to seal the bottles well so the salt doesn’t get into the drinking water. Place the bottles inside the 3 gallon bucket.
3. Add sugar to the water using a 1/2 C sugar to 1 gallon of water ratio. The extra calories from the sugar are helpful for the cats as well as lowering the freezing temperature of the water. Fill the bucket with the sugar water.
Extra steps, if possible: place the box in the sun and/or use an old window to place in front of the bucket to both block wind and magnify the sun’s heat.
Our caretakers have found it lasts for about 5 hours in temperatures of 3-5 degrees, and with the bucket not being in direct sunlight.
What is a colony of cats?
A colony of cats is a group of feral or free-roaming cats that share a territory. This territory is usually focused on a source of food and water. If you are feeding a group or colony of cats then you are considered the colony manager.
Despite the “stand-offish” nature of many feral cats, once food, water and/or shelter has been provided for the colony, they will begin to depend on you for long-term care. Colonies that are cared for can thrive for many years and the responsibility should not be taken lightly. If you do not have the time, space or monetary resources to handle this long-term commitment, then do not begin to feed the cats. Contact your local rescue organization or humane society to alert them to the situation.
However, if your heart goes out to a group of abandoned animals and you want to commit to caring for them, contact us! We perform TNR (Trap/neuter/return) of feral/free-roaming cats within the colony. By performing safe and effective spaying and neutering of the cats we trap, we strive to one day eliminate the overpopulation of feral cats and kittens on the streets.
Don’t know of a cat colony but have the love, land, and resources to re-home one? Excellent! Our staff of dedicated volunteers will work with you from the initial trapping, vetting, and neutering of the cats to coordination and assistance during the relocation process. Examples of excellent colony locations are farms, ranches, riding stables, golf courses, wineries or any other location that has space for the cats to roam as well as shelter for protection.