Food & Shelter

Food, Water, and Shelter

For Community Cats

Food and Water:

Are you feeding community cats?

Cats need a quality food that is designed specifically for their needs. Most cats need approximately 1 cup of food per day. Dry food is preferred by most colony managers because it does not spoil as quickly. Wet food should be offered as well because it provides more moisture and nutrition, and is a good choice for older cats with dental issues. Cats living outdoors need extra calories to compensate for the energy they expend to survive in an outdoor environment.

Key Considerations for Feeding Stations:

  • Placement–Low profile, discreet, and out of sight from public view.
  • Protection–Keeping food sheltered and dry.
  • Dishes–Should blend in with the environment. Heavy plastic or metal are the best. Clean frequently to avoid bacteria.
  • Observe–Is all food eaten or are there leftovers? Do all the cats look healthy? Are there any newcomers?
  • Water–Always provide fresh, clean water!


Feed only enough food for cats to consume within an hour and try to feed during daylight hours. Excess food and night time feeding will attract more wildlife. It is not in the best interest of wild animals to become dependent on food provided by humans, and cat food does not provide the proper nutrients for other species.

Keep feeding areas free from excess food and debris. Poor colony management can draw concern from neighbors and city officials, jeopardizing the welfare of the cats.

Winter Water Challenges:

  • Water freezing–Click here to learn how to prevent water from freezing during the winter time.