How to make a feral cat shelter

Winter is a dangerous time for feral cats. Cold, wet snow and the freezing temperatures that accompany it can be deadly for a cat that lives outside. Unfortunately many feral cats are past the point of being able to be rescued and socialized but that doesn't mean they need to suffer during winter. Many rescuers and feral colony caretakers make and place shelters to help the cats through winter.

Little grey cat looking out from a winter cat shelter

An insulated, dry place to sleep can really make all the difference. A shelter will provide a dry, comfortable place for the cat to get out of the elements. Since many feral cats live in colonies, they will often use the shelters together and the combination of body heat and protection from the elements keeps them much warmer than if they were sleeping on the ground.

Bad breath in cats

Recently I've noticed that my cats breath stinks! I mean, it's not just normal cat breath, it's really horrible. Granted, cat's can't brush their teeth and they like foods like fish, so their breath is bound to get funky. This was worse than expected though. Upon looking at Trixie's teeth and mouth closely, I noticed some yellow and greyish buildup on the teeth.

Cat with mouth open showing teeth that need cleaning.

We had a veterinarian visit coming up soon and my worst fear was confirmed. She needed a dental treatment! Unfortunately when cats need their teeth worked on they must be put to sleep...it's basically surgery without an incision but with all the expense. Not what I wanted to hear!

It's not like I expected her teeth to be sparkling clean! Cat owners know for a fact that bad cat breath can be downright awful but that's par for the course. Or is it? Upon realizing we had a problem I got started looking for a solution and found so many ways I could care for her teeth better!

Where should a cat sleep?

When you get your first kitten you probably have a pretty good idea of where you'd like him to sleep. Unfortunately kittens aren't like human babies. You can't lay them in bed at night an expect them to stay there till morning. Cats are nocturnal so they'll spend a good part of the night being active. You don't want to give up on the idea of a kitty bed completely though!

Orange and white cat sleeping on his back in his owners bed

In fact, you may end up with several kitty sleeping spots. Some will be cat beds that you bought or made up for them, and some sleeping spots the cat just decides they like! Unfortunately it's kind of difficult to predict just where the cat will like to sleep. You can certainly try though!

Best cat litter for picky cats

I've always used regular store-bought cat litter. When I got Trixie, my Bengal cat, all that changed. I was told by the breeder to only use natural cat litter pellets. That started us on a several year journey to find a cat litter that absolutely any cat will love to use. Even a picky Bengal!

Bengal cat using litter box

When I heard that original advice from the breeder I thought it was ridiculous. I had been in cat rescue for a dozen years at this point and had raised probably hundreds of kittens and adult cats and they had all done perfectly fine on Tidy Cat, Arm & Hammer or pretty much anything that was at the store or donated to us.

Well, sometimes a cat would refuse to use the litter box if it got too dirty for their liking, but I tried to keep that from happening. Of course picky cats can happen in any breed. I mean they are cats, they're pretty much known for being ornery!

I've never had a cat refuse to use a clean litter box so I assumed that all litter was pretty much the same to all cats. I thought the only difference was how I felt about it and if I preferred clumping or scented etc.