Community cats–unowned stray and/or feral cats that live outdoors–are common in all types of neighborhoods.  Many kindhearted people who live in these communities provide food and shelter for the homeless cats in their area. 

The hot summer months can be as hard on these kitties as cold winters.  Alley Cat Allies has prepared a helpful list of hot weather tips for community cat caregivers.  Here’s a summary but be sure to check their website for tons of useful information on helping the homeless cats in your area.


  • Uneaten food can begin to spoil and attract insects in a short time during hot weather.  If you bring food to a cat colony, be sure to pick it up before you go and don’t leave uneaten food behind.
  • Dry food is a better option than wet food in hot weather, but all food should be picked up after feeding no matter what kind it is.
  • You can surround food bowls with a cat-safe ant repellant like baking soda or diatomaceous earth.


  • Provide community cats with lots of extra water during the hot summer months.
  • Place water bowls in shaded areas out of the direct sunlight.
  • Deep bowls are better at reducing evaporation than shallow bowls.
  • A few ice cubes can help water say cool longer.



  • Encourage community cats to find shady places to rest by placing food and water bowls in the shade.
  • Consider building a simple outdoor shelter to keep the cats cool in the shade.  Here’s a link with some easy shelter ideas.

Trap Neuter Return

  • Take extra precautions if you are trapping community cats for spay/neuter.  Don’t leave trapped cats in the sun.  Take them to a cool shaded place or bring them indoors.
  • Cats can overheat in hot cars just like dogs, so never leave a trapped cat in your car.
  • Place traps on cool surfaces like grass and not on hot surfaces like asphalt.  The floor of a metal trap placed on a hot surface can burn paws.

Click HERE to learn more about trap-neuter-return for community cats.



3 thoughts on “Summer Safety Tips for Community Cat Caregivers

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