Yes, I realize it is still July, but cooler weather will be upon us before we know it. I always seem to find myself scrambling to get all of the feral cat gear together when the cold weather starts. Each year I hope to be better organized and prepare ahead of time. During the summer months, we often have more time available. I thought I would put together a few ideas to help out with winter preparation.
I discovered last year in late spring, that Amazon has open box heated cat mats for just over $20. These do require electricity, but normally they are $30-40 or more. Here is a link to one of the heat pads. If you scroll down the page you will see a section that says “Save Big on Open Box and Used Products”. There you will see the heat pad for $22.82. If you have Amazon Prime, the shipping is free!! I have found that the larger heated mats that are harder to the touch are not discounted as much. This is a great price. I have ordered numerous items from Amazon from their open box selection. I have only had one problem and it was quickly resolved.
I also found that Walmart has heated water bowls. Last year I found the quart size for $10, but this year they have the gallon heated water bowl for $14.97. You can find it here. These are a must if you have an electrical outlet.
It is also Back to School sale time. There will be lots of rubbermaid and sterlite containers going on sale. You can prepare now to build your winter shelter. Here is a link to my section on shelters. If you prepare the shelters now you will not have to rush when the colder weather arrives.
The dilemma I have now is how to house 3 ferals in my winter shelter. Shadow and Stellar fit very nicely in the heated house. Yet there is no room for 3 cats. I have no idea if Hampton will use a winter shelter or not. When he was here during part of the winter of 2014, he would not use any of the shelters I had placed around and under the deck. I imagine the small enclosed space frightens him. I do remember him going into the tent and putting his paws up to look inside. He did go into the heated house, but never stayed to sleep and never went in while Shadow or Stellar were there. If he does decide to use the heated shelter, my husband will need to either build a larger one to fit 3 cats or make another one just for Hampton. Right now I cannot imagine all 3 sleeping that closely together. Fortunately I have a few months. I just do not want Shadow and Stellar to be separated. Here are two pictures of the two of them snuggled in the heated house last winter.
Enjoy the warm weather while it is here! Yet start to prepare now to lessen the stress when the cold weather arrives.