Saying “ cold doesn’t stop feral cats “ and “they adapt “ is like saying I know at what temperature YOU would be ‘stopped’ or would be unable to adapt Shameless 2011 2021 11 season 122 episodes thank you for the memories shirt. Ferals ability to feel discomfort and suffering is higher than an indoor cat because their immune system is more taxed from fear, hunger, getting injured while fighting with another cat while defending territory( hopefully they become friends instead of fight), fleas and ticks, possible viruses like colds, Feline HIV, or feline leukemia, and other stresses like being run off of people’s property, constantly having to be on the lookout for predators like coyotes, and possible injuries/death by raccoons, possums, snakes, etc. depending on location. Cars kill more cats than anything. Their bodies are stressed and that’s why they die young because they can’t fight it all. The more help you give them the better and the more lives you’ll save. Cold lowers the immune system and can push them over the edge into death.
Of course, freezing water starts at 32 degrees Fahrenheit but hypothermia and death can occur at warmer temps. It must depend on humidity too. The homemade shelters work great and you can also use covered plastic bins or plastic dog houses with holes cut. Some cats won’t use them if predators could trap them in there. But if they’re too cold they’ll make exceptions. In England, there was a toxic mold that grew in the hay that killed all the tigers in a zoo because vets couldn’t figure out in time what was killing them. So, I wouldn’t use hay. If you change and wash the cloth and clean the inside thoroughly and often, that would work. If it’s on your porch you can plug in an electric heating pad made of hard plastic that you can buy online and put a towel on top. Some crafted shelters have a second opening so the cat can escape in case of a predator threat. Thank you for caring.