While not everyone can afford to feed the outdoor cats, I encourage you to offer shelter to these felines this winter. Your furry feline friends are able to still catch birds (chickadees and other winter birds), raid garbage cans, etc. but if no shelter is available, they run the risk of freezing to death.
IndyFeral has this to say about Outdoor Cat Shelters:
"Unless you operate a managed colony, don't underestimate the number of cats in your area...you may only see one or two, but there are probably more. Try to provide more shelter space than you imagine needing."
"Bedding material typically consists of straw, or wood chips & similar materials. Cedar bedding materials may be added in small amounts to provide flea resistance. Alternately, we recommend a sprinkling of a high quality, veterinarian recommended, cat-safe flea powder in the bedding. Do NOT use blankets, towels, etc. inside the shelter! The inside will be exposed to moisture from outdoors and the cats themselves and fabric tend to mold and mildew. "
Later this week I will write about feeding your outdoor cats, food choices and best practices.