If you are caring for a feral cat colony, there are multiple avenues to find support to help you obtain affordable or free food and shelter for the cats.
RESOURCES FOR OBTAINING CAT FOOD:
Check for surplus food at your local humane society, or human food bank, or local food pantries. Feeding America has an online food bank locator at www.feedingamerica.org .
Ask your local market or pet supply store to donate broken packages or dented cans. Some retailers will also donate out-of-date products, which are still good for a few months longer than the sell-by date.
Ask local vet clinics if they have surplus or just-out-of-date premium pet foods that they are willing to donate.
Hold a cat food drive. Announce the drive in the local paper to collect donations from the public. Your workplace, local religious institutions, and civic or youth groups may be willing to help as well. Sometimes youth groups, clubs, and high schools require community projects that benefit both people and animals. Work with your local scout troop or volunteer organization on the drive for feral cat caregivers. Ask local markets and pet supply shops if you may put out an attractive bin requesting cat food donations.
Resources for Obtaining Shelters/Cat Houses for Feral Cats
Ask for scrap lumber from building supply stores or contractors, often available at little or no cost.
Place an ad asking for used dog houses. This could net several free shelters that, with minor improvements, can be made suitable for cats (usually insulation needs to be added and the door made smaller).
Host a shelter building party. Get together with other caregivers and/or your local feral cat organization’s supporters to build the houses together. Contact a local Boy or Girl Scout or other youth organization and ask interested youth to complete a service project to help build shelters.
Alley Cat Allies’ website shows several inexpensive shelters you can make yourself, available at www.alleycat.org/BuildAShelter (click on the second bullet).
Alley Cat Allies’ Feral Friends Network is a group of organizations or individuals with feral cat expertise and veterinary practices and clinics that provide neuter surgeries for feral cats located in communities nationwide. Go to www.alleycat.org/response to locate a Feral Friend near you who may offer low-cost or subsidized spay/neuter surgery for feral cats.