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March 2024

Feeding Feral or Stray Cats in Winter

Sunday, January 16, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

We put food out for several feral cats each morning. It’s usually a bowl of dry food and some water. We have about three cats who come to our porch throughout the day. It seems that two of them are truly feral, as there is no eye contact with any of us or no meowing at all. One cat is probably a stray. She makes eye contact and will meow when she sees humans. Actually she was waiting for me at the door of our porch this morning waiting for her meal. True feral cats will wait until there are no humans around to eat. They will also run when then see a human. This information was provided by

Here are some tips in feeding feral cats.

During cold weather, feral cats require extra calories to stay warm. Many will have a hard time finding enough food to survive until spring. Make sure to either feed more or feed more often. Remember:

  • Water bowls can be spilled, so don’t put them inside the shelter. Instead, place food and water as close as possible to the shelter itself. The Humane Society recommends placing two shelters several feet apart, facing their doors together. A canopy can be created by securing the ends of a long board onto both roofs. Then both food and water can be placed beneath it.
  • You can also build a separate feeding station. Similar to your shelter, it should have a roof and be kept off the ground.
  • Dry food is less likely to freeze, but wet food is easier to digest which helps cats conserve their energy for staying warm.
  • To prevent water from freezing, use solar-heated bowls or ones that are dark colored, made of thick plastic, and are deep with a small opening.

Remember, pets are family!

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