NIXA, Mo. — Local cat rescues Forgotten Felines of Springfield and Watching Over Whiskers are building shelters to protect stray cats during the winter season.
Shelters are built out of Styrofoam coolers, then lined with straw to control fleas. The boxes are insulated and covered with waterproof bags– and require a stone or paver to be placed on top to keep them from blowing away.
Catnip placed inside the shelter coaxes strays to enter, and the hope is they will return to the safety of the box throughout the winter.
“These aren’t cats that can be inside or domesticated,” said Watching Over Whiskers volunteer Stacy Williams. “[Concerned neighbors] want to provide a warm place for them, so you can put the shelters around your house, by some bushes or wherever you might be feeding them.”
Those interested in purchasing a winter shelter can contact Forgotten Felines of Springfield on Facebook. The shelters are $10 each, and proceeds support vaccination and spay and neuter services for feral cats.
A single female cat can give birth to 100 kittens in her lifetime, so programs like this are vital in combating overpopulation.