The Forgotten Felines: Providing Shelter and Care for Abandoned Cats

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Forgotten felines or abandoned cats, through no fault of their own, become victims of circumstances that are beyond their control. Whether they were lost or abandoned by their owners, it is a harsh reality that abandoned felines have to struggle to keep up with the harsh living situations. Once these felines were cherished and loved pets and now they find themselves fending for food and shelter in an unforgiving world. So, as a community, it is no doubt our responsibility to extend a helping hand to help make their lives better and a bit more comfortable. So, how can you, as an individual or community, aid in providing shelter and care for abandoned cats? Let us learn all about it!

Create Makeshift Shelters For Abandoned Cats

The first thing you need to do is to ensure that the abandoned cat in your locality gets access to a good place to sleep, especially if the winters get too cold in your area or it pours like crazy. To create a good-quality makeshift shelter, you need to keep in mind things such as insulation and strong structure. Although the shelter isn’t a permanent one, it should easily last a few years without replacement.

Although you might see one or maybe two cats in your area, there might be more, so create a shelter keeping this in mind. Additionally, smaller shelters can easily be maintained and just a cat or two can heat the interior. However, with a large shelter, maintaining heat inside can be difficult. So, two small shelters tend to be better than a bigger one.

What Material Should You Use For Makeshift Shelters For Abandoned Cats?

If you have Styrofoam bins lying around in your house, you can use them for creating these shelters. These bins are used for shipping perishable items such as medical supplies or food items. Alternatively, you can use storage bins made of plastic that come with removable lids. However, with the plastic alternative, you will have to add more layers for insulation.

To create a cozy floor for the cats in these Styrofoam or plastic bins, you need to place dry straws to ensure the heat is evenly distributed. Do not place the food or water inside the shelter. Rather, place it right outside to ensure that the cats do not accidentally spill the same on the straws which in turn can get mushy due to the moisture content.

Where Should You Place The Makeshift Shelter For Abandoned Cats?

Start by looking for a space away from places in your locality that are frequented by kids or other humans in the area. A populated area might deter the cat from using the shelter. You can pick places like abandoned buildings or a garage that you no longer use. If you don’t mind the company of a few cats, you can also create this makeshift shelter in your backyard.

If your locality has stray dogs too, place the shelter in an area behind a high fence to ensure the cats do not have any possible threat from the dogs. Shift the entrance of the shelter towards a wall ensuring that only the cats can make their way into it and no bigger animal can. The entrance should be no bigger than 5 to 6 inches which is enough for a big cat to easily enter. A small door acts as a barrier for larger animals like raccoons that might enter the shelter. It also ensures that the heat stays inside.

Do not place this shelter straight on the ground. Rather, create an elevated space with some cardboard or rugs to ensure the insulation works properly. If the shelter you created is very light in weight, place something heavy on the base to secure it against heavy winds.

Keep An Emergency First Aid Kit Handy

While food and shelter will go a long way in helping an abandoned cat survive the harsh weather conditions in your area, you should also be prepared to handle any possible injuries it might be exposed to. If an abandoned cat in your area is injured, it is better not to approach them directly without an experience with cats, especially if they aren’t vaccinated.

Get help from your local animal shelter and call for an experienced person who can help with the injury. While they will bring their own first-aid kit, having one at your home also comes in handy. In case you don’t have the time to visit your local pet shop, you can order a kit online like the ARCA Pet First Aid Kit that comes with 108 pieces. It also features a high-visibility zipper that makes it easier to use in low visibility.

If the cat is docile and has gotten acquainted with you, approach them gently and let them come to you for help. Try to wear gloves when approaching the cat to avoid getting bitten or scratched.

Get The Abandoned Cats In Your Area Vaccinated And Neutered

The most important thing you need to do for abandoned cats is to get them neutered and vaccinated at the earliest. The history of an abandoned cat is not known. Even if they were vaccinated by their previous owner, it is safer to get them vaccinated. Get in touch with the veterinarian and get them vaccinated with the help of an animal catcher who can help you catch them without injuring the cat in any way.

Also, providing food and shelter to one or two cat is easier than providing the same for 10 or more. So, neutering is very important for an abandoned cat to keep the population in check.


When creating a makeshift shelter for abandoned cats, make sure you discuss this with your neighbors and other residents in the community. This ensures that no one is troubled by the presence of these cats and they too can chip in and help with taking care of the cats. If an abandoned cat is injured and showing signs of stress or aggression, it is important to seek help from any animal control service in your area.

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