Here I will list my favorite products for working with ferals. I will provide links that provide general information about the product. I have found most products to be readily available and reasonably priced on Amazon. Other sites such as Entirely Pets, Wayfair, Ebay, Walmart, and Drs Foster and Smith also carry many of these products.
1. Heated water bowls. These are a must during the winter. I started with a large bowl that holds almost a gallon of water, but found last year that Walmart carried a smaller sized one for only $10. Here is a link to a large bowl. The one I purchased was the Farm Innovators Heated Pet Bowl, 1 Quart.
2. Heated food bowls. This is a new product for me in 2015. It is perfect for serving wet food when the temperatures are below freezing. I am now able to leave wet food outside all day when the outside temperatures are below freezing and the food does not freeze. There are 2 compartments so you can use them both for food or one for food and one for water. Check out the Thermo Kitty Cafe!
3. Microwave heat discs. If you do not have an electric source outside and you want to add some warmth to your shelter, the microwave heat discs help. They are heated in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Depending on the outside temperature they help a shelter to stay warm for 4-10 hours. I have also used these heat disc to place wet food on to keep the food from freezing. You can find the heat discs here.
4. Thermal Cat Mat. I have used these in both shelters during the winter as well as in the fall before my shelters are put up. This mat features a lightweight core that actually reflects the animals own body heat back to the animal. You can add this to a shelter stuffed with straw or use it when the weather is cool without a shelter. Here is the one I use.
5. Outdoor Heated Cat Pads. If you have an outdoor electrical outlet, these are so worth the money. I have used the Extreme Weather Heated Kitty Pad which has a hard shell and fleece cover. I have also used the Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Kitty Bed. This bed is thermostatically controlled to warm to your pet’s normal body temperature. The soft sided bed is a bit smaller and squishy feeling. My ferals like them both. The beds fit perfectly in the Magic Boxes I use as shelters in the winter.
6. Foscam Outdoor Wireless IP Cameras. A few years ago I received two Foscam 8905w cameras to use outside on the deck. They do require an electrical outlet. They are the best and the worst! I love that I can see the surroundings any time of day from any computer, smart phone or tablet. Each night I set the camera to snap a series of 6 images each time movement is detected. These images are then emailed to me. This allows me know what is going on at night and if there are any unwanted intruders. At times there are some things that I wish I didn’t see! I have had a few skunks on the deck as well as seeing coyotes and fox in the yard. If you would like more information on the cameras feel free to contact me. Here is a link to the 8905w camera. I also have an 8904w.
7. Trail camera. If you do not have an electrical outlet but would still like to see what is going on outside at night, you can purchase a fairly inexpensive trail camera. They run on batteries and take a series of pictures upon motion detection or they also take video. They require an SD card that you can remove and then bring inside to view through your computer or media card reader. They take excellent night time pictures. Here is one that used for a few weeks.