Feeding Stray Cats

Once you begin feeding orphan or feral cats, you are taking responsibility for making sure they are taken care of. This guide is about feeding stray cats.

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Stray cat in a doorway.
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I usually have chicken pieces/parts and other items to feed to stray cats. Now that it is winter, how do I keep the food from freezing? My schedule is hectic so I cannot feed at the same time everyday and the cats do not come by on a regular schedule.

By Beth

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I love cats dearly as well. But after learning of the damage that free-ranging cats do to wildlife, especially low and ground-nesting song birds, I have to admit they belong inside loving homes with their people. Their instinct to hunt is so strong in them, they can't help it. So people must be responsible cat owners and keep them indoors and make the effort to provide them with stimulation to keep them happy.

It's so sad that so many cats have been abandoned outdoors that there is now an increasingly large feral cat problem. Kind people like you feel for these poor things and leave food for them, but it continues lives for them for which they are not bred (they were bred for domestication) and dooms their offspring for the same.

I live in a rural wooded environment and in the 13 years I've been here, I have witnessed at least 2 populations of birds that have disappeared as more free-ranging house cats have moved in and as more feral cats have arrived. I no longer hear the Chuck-Wills-Widow call at night that use to be so common during summer nights, nor the sweet chippering of the Chipping Sparrow.

The first is a relative of the Whip-poor-will and nests on the ground. The babies are easy catching for curious cats. The second I would find nesting on my property every year about 3 feet off the ground in cedar trees, another easy catch. Yes, other critters could have preyed upon them, snakes for example, but native predators alone wouldn't explain their eradication from the area when they've lived here together for millennia.

You can read a recent article about new research regarding the toll cats take on the biodiversity around us here: http://www.businessinsider.com/cats ... f-birds-and-mammals-each-year-2013-1

Find some ideas for keeping indoor cats happy here: http://www.abcbirds.org/abcprograms/policy/cats/faqs.html

I know this issue is painful to admit and it's painful and difficult to take responsible action but instead of feeding the wild cats, it would be more responsible to notify your animal control department and allow them to trap them and humanely deal with them.

Remember, it's the people who abandoned these beautiful creatures that are to blame, not you. But you have the position to help the wildlife around you to be there for the next generation.

You can also help by letting others know of this problem. They can commit to bring their cats indoors or at least commit to keep all future cats indoors. Teach our next generation of cat owners so they will know why it's important to keep their cats indoors. Do so in a compassionate and constructive way, and you can pass on your kindness and concern to others.

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Does anyone have any advice on feeding outdoor feral, neutered and spayed cats a nutritional diet? Any advice and recipes would be greatly appreciated.

By Rachel from WI

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God bless people like you for taking the time to care for these cats. Decent cat food, name brand if you can afford it is the best. Clean water too. When chicken is on sale buy one, cook it, cut it up and add a little to the dry food. I freeze the rest in small amounts to use for later. Even if you just boil the carcass of a turkey or chicken, there is still meat and broth. Don't add too much water though. I have a stray cat and this is what i do. Good luck.

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Pets AdviceJune 2, 2013
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