Spreading Warmth to Stray Cats in the Cold Winter

Have you ever imagined how stray cats feel in such cold weather? Living in the streets sans shelter, the plight of stray cats may be worse than you think. To save those vulnerable street cats, Ada, a volunteer for cats in Sai Wan, has made some cold shelters for them.

On 31st January, Ada raised the issue about the stray cats in a post on a Facebook group for cat-lovers. “I have made some cold shelters for stray cats. I hope they will go inside,” she wrote. She called fellow netizens to do the same for the cats during this period of cold weather. Her acts of kindness was praised by many netizens.

“Actually, I have always made cold shelters for street cats. This is not the first time. And I usually use cardboard box as the materials,” Ada said. “I seldom see government or public organizations like SPCA(Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) do something to help stray cats under cold weather, so I did that,” she added.

She also knew that this is one of the coldest winters in Hong Kong and the cold weather will last over a week. “Even the domestic cats will feel very cold too, not to mention stray cats,” she said.

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A street cat living in the cold shelter. (Photo provided by Ada)

However, not everyone supports Ada’s act. Ada admitted she had encountered difficulties when putting the cold shelters in the streets. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department viewed those boxes as rubbish and proceeded to throw them away. “Hence, you need to pay special attention when making the cold shelters,” she said.

Ada told us that the size of the cold shelters should not be too big, preferably around A4 size. “A big cold shelter is too obvious. It may attract some bad guys to steal the stray cats,” she claimed. In addition, a big cold shelter may block the road and cause troubles to pedestrians. More importantly, cats usually prefer a smaller box, which has a better warming effect. “It would be better if there is a bubble wrap covering the inner surface of the shelter. It can make the cats warmer,” she explained.

Ada also used rubbish bag to cover the surface of the shelter, so that the box can be waterproof and windproof.

Yet, she did not suggest putting hand warmers inside the cold shelter. “The street cats may bite the hand warmers. The broken hand warmers may then heat the cats. It is so dangerous,” she said.

Ada hoped that her act could inspire people and more people would be concerned about the stray cats. But she did not want people to do bad things to the stray cats with good intention. “There are a lot of details you should be aware of when making the cold shelters. Otherwise, it does more harm than good to the cats. If you really want to help stray cats, you can contact the cat volunteers first,” she added.

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