Without doubt, the most important actions to take during a cold spell are ones that protect vulnerable people. Still, different groups might focus on different needs, and of feral cats, CBS Chicago writes ‘It Takes Just Five Minutes To Save A Cat’s Life’: How To Protect Feral Cats During The Dangerous Cold Spell:
-Leave out dry food. Wet food freezes.
-Bring the cat into a warm room in your home, like a bathroom or the basement. You can release it on Friday when the weather warms up.
-Make a well-insulated, waterproof shelter with minimal air space to maximize warmth. A do-it-yourself shelter can be made with a plastic bin or a box. If you’re using a cardboard box, cut a 5-6 inch wide hole in the box to create an entrance and line the bottom with materials like styrofoam, garbage bags, or plentiful amounts of straw. You can also buy microwaveable surfaces for pets called Snuggle Safe Discs at PetSmart. Cover the exterior of the box with plastic garbage bags to protect it from the elements. Don’t use blankets or sheets because they retain moisture and freeze in the cold. “Cats don’t need a lot of space,” [Erica] Roewade [a colony caretaker who runs the feral cat rescue network group ‘Chicago Community Cats.’]
said. “They just need to squeeze their little body in there.”
-Buy a pre-fabricated insulated shelter from Tree House, a cat rescue in Chicago. Shelters are priced between $25 and $35 and proceeds support homeless cats.
-Bring the cat to a shelter, but only if it’s a stray, Roewade says. You can tell the difference because strays will usually rub against humans and display friendly behavior.