5 Tips For Helping Strays Survive The Winter

As winter winds up, we often find ourselves thinking about the stray dogs and cats that don’t have a home to call their own. Many people wonder how they can help these animals during the rough winter months without bringing them into their homes. We’ve compiled a list of easy and quick ways you can help stray and feral animals when the weather gets rough.


If you see a feral cat or a stray dog, the first thing you should do is call your local rescue organization so they can take proper action and provide safe and secure shelter for them. They may already be aware of a feral cat population in the area, but they may want to step in to trap, neuter, and release the animals. On the other hand, the stray dog or cat may actually be a lost pet, so reporting them to a shelter might help reunite a family!

Bang On Your Hood

Before you start your car, bang on the hood. Why? Because many feral cats seek the warmth and shelter of your car when the weather turns nasty. Banging on the hood of your car before starting it will allow them to move to a safe location and could save their lives!

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Provide Shelter

Most rescue organizations will come pick up stray dogs that need shelter, but it may take a few days. If you are willing, able, and (most importantly) if the animal wants to, invite them inside your home or garage while the weather is bad. Be sure to take them to a vet first to check for a microchip and to make sure their health and temperament are stable enough to be around your family.

Build Shelter

Not all cats want to be indoor cats. If you see a stray that does not want to come inside, you can still help them! Making a shelter for feral cats takes about ten minutes and provides warmth, safety, and protection from the cold weather months. Watch the video for straightforward instructions, or get fancier with this detailed list of directions and tips.

Food And Water

It’s a kind-hearted gesture to provide a supply of fresh water and food outside if you notice a stray in your area. Strays spend a lot of their time and energy searching for food and water sources, so having those readily available will allow them to conserve their precious energy. If you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing, be sure to check the water supply daily to make sure it hasn’t frozen into a giant ice cube. Remember, anything you do will help these animals, no matter how small it seems. Sometimes something as simple as leaving food out will be the difference between life and death.

Want to do more to help? Help provide medical care and shelter to homeless cats in New York City by donating to our GTGM. Every donation will provide veterinary care to sick and homeless cats living in the NYC area.

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!