How to make a temporary shelter for a stray cat.
Stray and feral cats can often find it difficult to find warm and safe places to sleep, especially during the winter months.
If you've encountered a cat on the street and you're unsure of whether it has an owner, keep in mind that it might be a feral cat. Feral cats are less likely to appeal to human contact and might even display aggression if they feel anxious – try not to approach unless you need to.
Find out how to identify if a cat is stray or feral by clicking on the post in the 'Related articles' section below.
If the cat appears friendly, you should first try to find out whether it has a microchip. If the cat is uninjured and you can take it to a vet, they will be able to find out if it has a microchip and get in touch with the owners. (If the cat is injured, you'll need to contact the RSPCA, SSPCA or USPCA, depending on the location).
If the cat appears well but you're unable to take it to the vet for scanning, get in contact with your local CP – you'll find contact details at www.cats.org.uk/find-us. While we will always help as soon as we are able, branches are run by volunteers in their spare time so we are unable to offer an emergency service.
As they may not be able to come to collect the cat straight away, there are a few things you can do to help. Aside from providing the cat with fresh and clean drinking water, building a cat shelter will give them a space away from the elements.
Check out the video below for a handy how-to on making your own shelter.
It is essential to note that while the Styrofoam and straw in the shelter will offer a warm space for the cat, it is important that these be changed regularly to keep it hygienic. Food should also not be left in the shelter as the smell is likely to attract other animals.