Time to Winterize Your Space for Wildlife!

Cool weather and Saturdays mean humans sleeping in late under warm, toasty blankets and comforters.

It means catnip plants comes inside to spend the weekend on the sun porch.

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Since it will be warm again in a few days, I wanted the catnip plant to last awhile longer.

Cooler weather also means that animals living outdoors are looking for warm places to stay.

So what can you do to help those who will spend the winter outdoors?

Leave the leaves, dead flowers, and branches where they are. They provide food and protection to birds and small animals. If you simply MUST rake the yard, leave a brush pile in an out-of-the-way part of the yard to provide shelter.

Check your car for sleeping animals inside. Pound on the hood and check around the tires. The warmth of your car will attract feral cats and small animals. Even if your car is in a garage, there could be mice or other small animals inside.

This is a feral cat that used to hang out at our home in Murfreesboro, TN

Watch that antifreeze! Antifreeze is poisonous if ingested. Sadly, many antifreeze products still have an attractive taste to animals. The good news is there are now some antifreeze products that have a bitter taste, so check the label and buy animal-safe products!

Stock up on animal-safe ice melt products. Animals that walk through ice melt will later lick themselves clean, and that’s not good. So buy the safe stuff. Be creative too. When we lived in Tennessee, Jen saw animal-safe ice melt at a pet goods store for more than four times the price the same product was sold at a local discount store. Start shopping around now to get a good deal.

If you care for feral cats, Alley Cat Allies has some great tips for helping you help ferals.

What do YOU do to help animals during the cold weather months?

25 thoughts on “Time to Winterize Your Space for Wildlife!

  1. Displaying what I’m sure is a reprehensible discriminatory attitude towards rodents, this is the time of year when mice will infiltrate … unless: your house is full of hunting cats and diligent terriers — and you have traps all over the house. We tried being nice about it. They ate all the plastic containers, the wiring in the cars, destroyed anything stored (even in so-called mouse-proof containers) in the attic and basement, got into the kitchen cupboards. Thousands of dollars worth of damage, not to mention that mousy smell is really hard to get rid of. Being nice to mice does NOT pay. Have-a-heart traps means they will come right back. Generosity isn’t your friend where the mice are concerned.

  2. I NEVER clear my flower beds of debris, many people are shocked at this but I even throw rotting firewood, tumbled into heaps into the garden, the toads and snakes hibernate in amongst the leaves and fallen branches. And the birds eat from the plants for ages into the winter. I always leave apples and berries on unpruned branches, and prune late late in the winter. I am sure i would be shocked if i could see what was hiding out in my barn in the winters! Very good post! c

      1. Sensible woman. When i first came here i was turning the compost and unearthed a huge bull snake (they are not poisonous) I got such a fright I dropped the fork and fell shrieking over a fence to get away. (stop laughing) anyway I called John at work and breathlessly told him how I had fallen over a fence in fright/flight from an enormous snake. He said “You didn’t hurt it did you!” All he cared about was the snake!.. c

  3. This is VERY TIMELY advice. We just brought our Snow shovels and PET SAFE.. Melting Stuffs outta hiding.

      1. We have a small box with some blankets in which used to be for our kitties who were all feral but now all of them are inside cats. We still keep it for the other feral kitties to keep them warm during winter. 🙂

  4. I’ve created an award for you and who feel unrewarded and in need of a fresh pressing. I’m not giving it to a lot of people, just you and a few others, because there are so many worthy candidates: I don’t have the strength of character to do quite that much work. I leave it in your capable hands to roll the ball onward. There are no requirements you give it to any specific number of people — or anybody at all. You don’t have to reveal your hidden secrets or give me a public thank you. It’s just a badge that says “YOU ARE A WINNER” because I think you are.

    Come visit me at Serendipity (http://teepee12.com/). I’ll have the post up in about half an hour and I’ll make it sticky so you can will find it at the top of the site. Hugs. (P.S. I really like your new template!)

  5. I now know why I live in an apartment building in a big city and my car is parked in a concrete garage. I hate snakes. I’m no too fond of mice. All in all i’m okay. And, if I do park in the suburbs, I promise to bang on the hood and look under the car for any cats or other small animals.

  6. We have a small box with some blankets in which used to be for our kitties who were all feral but now all of them are inside cats. We still keep it for the other feral kitties to keep them warm during winter. 🙂

      1. Thanks for the comment, Rumpy! We don’t have any straw here, so we will keep chacking those blankets more often !

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