How to recycle spare coolers to help shelter, ‘fix’ feral cats in your community

If you know there are feral cats in your neighborhood, you can use your cooler to help house those animals.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 8:44 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - If you have a spare cooler tucked away in your home, it can be recycled and reused to help house outdoor feral cats. Through a transformation, these coolers can provide warmth and shelter on cold and rainy nights.

Wilmington Animal Centrix and Fix a Friend Spay and Neuter Clinic teamed up to not only collect coolers but to also spay and neuter cats.

TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) volunteers in Brunswick County locate as many cats as possible to have them fixed and try to get them adopted. Adoption centers are overflowing with cats, and when there’s no room left, organizations can take the fixed feral cats and release them back outside. However, after being fixed, they can’t add to the feral cat population.

Organizations are encouraging people at home to help get the cats in their neighborhood fixed. Fix a Friend, located in Winnabow, has a special package to treat feral cats that are brought in a trap to them. For more information, please visit their website.

“Cats have been reproducing because people won’t get their cat spayed and neutered, then they have nowhere to go. We know that there’s a need for homes and for somewhere they can get out of the environment. Get out of the elements, the cold weather, the snow and the rain,” said Jim Baumgarten, a volunteer who helps with TNR.

If you know there are feral cats in your neighborhood, you can use your cooler to help house those animals. It only takes a cooler, straw and a cut-out hole.

A few tips to keep in mind if you want to make your cooler a home:

  • Only use straw inside the cooler because an old blanket or rug will absorb moisture, which can lead to moldy and cold conditions;
  • Cut a large enough hole on the side for a cat to get inside, but also cut a few holes on the bottom so water can drain out;
  • Lastly, put something heavy on top of it because if it’s wobbly, the cats most likely won’t go in.

If you would like to donate your cooler instead, you can bring it to the P.A.W.S. Resale Shoppe at 5941 Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington or Gio Fund at 117G Village Road NE in Leland through January 31st.