Hello all! The winter weather has officially been upon us for some time now, and since it’s currently snowing in Oregon, Baseball and Zooey thought it was important to re-share these Winter Pet Safety reminders from last year, with a couple of new additions!
Cold winter weather can provide many hazards for your pet, especially outdoor friends and strays. Be a responsible pet owner this year and follow these tips from Alley Cat Allies to keep your furry friend happy and healthy through the winter season.
Some additional tips that Zooey and Baseball wanted to add:
- Make sure outdoor pets have access to fresh water and don’t allow it to ice over.
- Feed them a little extra – staying warm when it’s cold out burns more calories.
- Make some roughneck homes.
- Keep pets indoors on particularly stormy, wet, rainy, or snowy days.
- Make sure all indoor/outdoor pets are brought inside over night.
Click Here to check out even more tips on winter safety from Alley Cat Allies, and make sure your friends stay safe and warm this winter!
It’s getting pretty cold here in our area these days, and not only that, it’s been windy and rainy too! Baseball and Zooey enjoy watching the stormy weather from inside their warm and cozy house, but unfortunately, not all cats are as lucky as they are. In fact, some cats will be forced to fend for themselves for the entire winter.
However, there is something you can do to help. Simply combining a styrofoam cooler, a rubbermaid container, and some straw can create something called a “roughneck home” and will provide a warm shelter that will keep strays and ferals out of the elements.
We made a couple ourselves, just the other day, in fact! When the neighbors across the street moved, they abandoned their four outdoor cats. Baseball and Zooey would often sit in the front window to check out the view, and eventually they attracted the attention of the strays. Sadly, the cats have all suffered from abuse at one time or another, and after several years of diligent cooing and feeding on Mom’s part, they’re still too skittish to even be pet for the most part. So until Mom can safely catch them and take them to the vet to make sure they’re not sick, and are safe to be around B and Z, they have to stay outside.
Here are their new houses for the winter:
Mom likes them because they’re blue and come close to matching the outside paint of the house. The kitties like them because they’re dry and warm! (Although Mom did have to set a heavy rock on top of one because the wind kept blowing it over!)
How to build your own roughneck homes:
*Note – This project requires adult supervision. Be sure to ask your parent or guardian for help before beginning.
What You Need
- Rubbermaid Container
- Styrofoam Cooler with Lid
- Duct tape
- X-acto Knife
Trace a 6″ circle near the bottom on both end sides of the rubbermaid container. If you want to make the plastic easier to cut through, use a blow dryer to lightly heat the side of the tub to make it more pliable. Cut out a circle on both ends of the tub. Insert the styrofoam cooler, and cut holes to line up with the holes in the plastic bin. These are going to be the entrance and exit holes. Many stray or feral cats won’t enter a small, enclosed space unless there is more than one way out, in case of predators. Now stuff the space between the walls of the cooler and walls of the plastic container with straw for insulation. Add a light layer of straw to the bottom of the inside of the cooler to act as bedding for the animals. When you’re done, it should look something like this:
Then, place the lid on the cooler and tape it down to ensure a good seal. Add a layer of straw, and snap on the top of the plastic bin. Voila! You’ve made you’re very own roughneck home! Now go stick it outside near where you notice the cats hanging out, and see what happens.
(Note – Don’t place the homes exactly where you see the cats sleeping, but do place them nearby. It may take a few days, or even a week, before they feel comfortable entering the shelters and you don’t want to displace them from their current location until that happens – they probably picked it because it was the warmest and driest place they could find!)
To get more information about the roughneck homes program, check out Rubbermaid’s website here – and find out about their special pricing deals for those interested in building shelters!
Although colonies of stray cats and those who take care of them can be a controversial topic, we at The Adventures of Baseball and Zooey applaud the efforts of those who are working to take care of this huge problem. However, we also believe that all caretakers should be responsible. Please check your local city/state ordinances to make sure that you are following the laws in your area – they are there to keep both animals and people safe. Also, check out sites such as Alley Cat Allies for information on the best way to support a stray cat colony (read their Colony Care Guide here). Be a help, not a hindrance!
Like many of you around the world, Baseball, Zooey, and Mom were glued to the tv yesterday, watching Hurricane Sandy as it caused extreme devastation to the East Coast of the United States.
It’s going to take the effort of thousands to return these cities and towns into safe places to live for both people and animals.
Thanks to the efforts of the ASPCA, many animals are safe and getting help. But there are still many more in need out there – and they can’t do it alone.
Animals across the coast thank you!
We also want to take a moment to thank the folks at Alley Cat Allies, who have worked diligently to prepare the Boardwalk Cats in Atlantic City for the storm.
Thanks to their efforts, on a preliminary walk of Boardwalk today cats were discovered to be returning to their colonies safe and unharmed. However, recovery has only just begun, and several areas of the Boardwalk are still flooded, or have been torn away.
If you’re interested in helping the folks at Alley Cat Allies with the Atlantic City situation, please e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: If you are on the east coast, please check out this site, and help make sure that all lost pets find their way home. For those outside the path of Sandy, shelters are filling up quickly and foster parents are needed! If you’re able to, visit Petfinder.com’s list of shelters by state to contact them for regarding fostering or donating much needed items.
“U meen some catties has to lives in boxes insted of howses?”
By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about National Talk Like a Pirate Day (Y’aaaar Mateys!). In fact, now there’s even an option on Facebook that allows you to change your language to Pirate. What does that have to do with cats, you ask?
Well, honestly, not a whole lot. But, it does go to show that if you dedicate a specific day to something, you can really get people talking – no pun intended!
And getting people talking can really create some long lasting changes. Just ask the folks at Alley Cat Allies. Over a decade ago, Alley Cat Allies got together to create the first national feral cat day in order to get people talking and promote the welfare of feral, stray, and abandoned animals
Today is the 11th annual National Feral Cat Day!
Most importantly, always be sure to spay and neuter your pets!!
“Wel, if Baseball has a shu box then I gets the milk crates!”