Hello from SOLAS, and welcome to the next chapter of cats, cats, kittens!
Welcome to the start of the fall season… hope you enjoy all the pumpkin spice, bonfires, and apples that go along with it!
Speaking of pumpkin, did you know pumpkin is good for animals? It is great for settling upset stomachs in cats and dogs. It’s high in fiber, so it can treat both constipation and diarrhea. Many wildlife, like deer, foxes, rabbits and mice enjoy pumpkins, too. When they snack on our carved jack-o-lanterns, it might be not particularly appreciated, but it’s good for them! Some people treat their pumpkins to keep animals away, but instead, we suggest keeping them in a garage or safe space until you want to display them. After you are done, break them open and let the animals go to town. As fosters, we almost always keep canned pumpkin on hand to help with any stomach issues that come up. And quite honestly, most animals like it as a healthy snack anyway, so getting them to eat it is easy.
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Since we are discussing colder weather things, let’s discuss how to create a shelter for feral (or outdoor) cats. As a rescue, we would love it if every cat in the world had a cozy warm indoor house to call its own. Unfortunately, at least in our lifetimes, this will probably never happen. There are far too many cats in the world to be able to properly spay, neuter and place all of them in homes. And after a life outside, many are not suited to indoor life at all. They are wild, or feral, cats. This is where TNR (Trap, Neuter, and Return) groups come into play. Their mission is to trap and vet wild cats to prevent them from procreating in the future. There are many wonderful TNR groups in Iowa and Nebraska. But even after cats are TNR-d, they need a safe warm place to spend the cold months.
So, this leads us to how to create a safe winter home. There are a few key components. There should be protection from the wind, insulation from the cold ground and a bed of straw — not hay or blankets — to keep them dry and cozy. There are a lot of pre-made homes out on the market, but a Rubbermaid tub, …….