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Feeding Stray Cats

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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.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
February 1, 2013

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


February 7, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.busi  each-year-2013-1


Find some ideas for keeping indoor cats happy here: http://www.abcb  y/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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By 0 found this helpful
February 7, 2011

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


February 8, 20110 found this helpful

Go to the website for Alley Cat Allies. They feed and neuter feral cats. Excellent people!
I would say put out kitten food, almost any will accept that and like it.
Hope this helps you.

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February 9, 20110 found this helpful

I would put out excellent quality canned food when you are nearby and can be sure the right cats are eating it. Go to the store, read the labels, and look for meat as the first several ingredients--no by-products which is like junk food for us. If you can find excellent quality dry, this can be used for variety, but I believe canned is superior. The higher price is an investment in their health and will help prevent health problems. As a treat, you could also give them hamburger or baked chicken. I've seen recipes in bookstores, but ingredients may be hard to find and cats need specific supplements. Hope this helps!

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February 16, 20110 found this helpful

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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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 24, 20090 found this helpful

I am feeding over 30 kittens and cats. I can not afford to keep feeding them. People get them then move. I would like to find a place for them. We do not have no kill shelters here. Does anyone know what I can do? We live in Fontana, CA.

I also need help with having them fixed. I have 1 acre, they have a good home outside with shelter. Is there a grant or something I could get to care for them. I am on a fixed income now, I have been doing this for 10 years at $40.00 a week and I can no longer afford to. Please help with information or anything.


Thank you,
D.D. from Fontana, CA


Starting a No Kill Shelter

You might try finding a no-kill shelter in your area and ask if they could steer you in the right direction. Also, you might try asking friends and family for donations and get the word out that you need help. After 10 years they are dependent on you to provide food and water. I hope that you will find the help you need. Good luck. (09/05/2008)

By Jennifer

Starting a No Kill Shelter

You could contact the SPCA in your area and see what they would suggest. They are a great organization and put threw a lot of pet adoptions each year. (09/05/2008)

By Cathy

Starting a No Kill Shelter

In the San Diego area we have an organization called Feral Cat Coalition. They might help with spay/neuter issues. If these animals are breeding, you are continuing to perpetuate the problem. (09/05/2008)

By Linda

Starting a No Kill Shelter

Ask your local veterinarian about it. I found an abandoned kitty, went to get her spayed and she was pregnant. So I asked my vet about cheap neuter/spaying for the kittens and she explained there is a state fund to spay/neuter them for $10.00. If your cats are not fixed this would be smart to do. The shelter thing, ask your vet they will most likely know. Best wishes. (09/06/2008)

By Heather

Caring for Stray Cats

I belong to an all volunteer group in Destin, FL called "Feline Friends". We belong to a national group, Alley Cat Allies. We promote TNR for feral cats. What that means is we trap, neuter or spay and then return the cat to its environment. We set up a feeding station and have care givers who provide food, etc. You can go to and find lots of helpful information. They will also help you in locating a group in your area. Good luck and God bless. (09/06/2008)

By Linda Hodges

Caring for Stray Cats

I know exactly what you mean about financially caring for strays. I have adopted 8 throw away cats in the last 8 years and am living on a very limited income. Maybe ask the local Humane Society for help with donations. Or research how to start a "no kill" foundation. Good luck to you and your kitties. Jann (09/06/2008)

By Jann W.

Caring for Stray Cats

Try posting a notice of what you are doing and what you need to continue doing at your vet's office, local pet stores, laundromat, grocery, animal shelter, etc.; hopefully there are more good people like you who would be willing to help out. Some vets will spay/neuter at no charge or little charge for stray animals. Good luck and god bless you for being an angel to these homeless, helpless animals. (04/28/2009)

By Lorraine

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