Welcome to Dogs For All Shop!

What Is the Best Way to Care for a Feral Cat in the Summer Months?


Last Updated on: June 26, 2023 by Crystal Uys

Caring for feral cats in the summer can be tricky. You don’t see these cats often since they run from the slightest human interaction, so it’s hard to tell if they’re thirsty, hungry, or hurt unless you trap them. That said, there are some simple acts of kindness you can do to keep the feral cats in your community healthy during the scorching summer.

Top 12 Ways to Care for a Feral Cat in the Summer:

1. Provide Water

The most important thing you can do for feral cats in the summer is to provide water. Offering a few watering stations will help these kitties stay cool without needing to go far for hydration.

Cat looking at water
Image Credit: Rihaij, Pixabay

2. Leave Water Bowls in the Shade

Sunshine warms and evaporates water. The feral kitties won’t have as much water, and you’ll have to refill the water bowl often. A quick fix is to leave the water in the shade.

3. Use Narrow, Deep Bowls

Shallow water warms faster because the light reaches the surface of the container. For this reason, use narrow, deep water bowls to help the water stay cool and last longer.

4. Provide Shade

If you don’t have a large tree to share, you can provide some shade with an umbrella, an awning, or a table. You can even plant some foliage or trees to provide natural shade. Ultimately, a plant or structure that provides consistent shade is best because it will offer deep shade during the hottest time of day.

feral calico cat
Image Credit: Twinschoice, Shutterstock

5. Leave Garage Windows Open

During the summer, people like to work on outdoor projects that often require equipment from the garage. There’s always that one cat that likes to wander inside and become stuck. To avoid being stuck in a hot garage, leave the doors or windows cracked with some water.

6. Water the Lawn

Don’t let your grass turn brown and dry if you have a lawn. A watered lawn is refreshing and cool during the hottest time of day, even for cats.

7. Feed a Small Amount at One Time

Cat food spoils quickly in the blistering heat. Leave enough food out to last for 30 minutes and that’s it. You can always place more food outside later.

feeding a feral cat outside
Image Credit: Laura Bartlett, Shutterstock

8. Offer Dry Food Instead

Although wet food helps kitties stay hydrated, it attracts nasty flies and dries to the bowl. Offer dry food instead to avoid insect infestations.

9. Offer Cool Treats

If a feral cat is warming up to your interactions, try offering cool treats like berries or cold chicken. Remember, you don’t want to leave fresh food out for too long, so offer these treats at dawn or dusk when it’s coolest.

10. Don’t Leave Traps Out in the Sun

Don’t leave traps out in the sun if you’re part of the TNR (trap-neuter-release) program. It may be best to avoid trapping altogether during the year’s hottest days. Otherwise, the cat will suffer heat stroke.

vocal feral cat hissing
Image Credit: museumsmaus, Pixabay

11. Don’t Leave Trapped Cats in the Car

Trapped cats should never be left in a car during the summer. Take trapped cats indoors where they can be cool.

12. Don’t Leave Traps on Hot Surfaces

Even in shade, the warm summer days will heat hard surfaces because of thermal mass. If you must trap, do so in the shade in grassy areas.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion in Cats

Keep an eye on your feral cat community by learning the signs of heat exhaustion:

  • Restless behavior
  • Panting
  • Drooling
  • Sweaty feet
  • Excessive grooming
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Stumbling


Feral cats are wild and know how to care for themselves, but a little help doesn’t hurt, especially when the bare necessities may be scarce. Providing water, shade, and fresh food goes a long way for the colony.

Featured Image Credit: ivabalk, Pixabay

About the author

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Compare items
  • Total (0)