Feral cats are wild and have never been socialized with humans, so they must rely on their instincts to survive. They find their own food and shelter and live in communities of felines that often form colonies. Having access to safe and comfortable sleep spaces is key to their health and well-being.
The location of a sleeping spot is important for feral cats as it provides protection from elements and potential predators. They are also drawn to areas that are secluded, out of sight, and away from human disturbances. They are very good at sensing the presence of other animals, including humans, so they will avoid areas that are known to be populated by people or other pets such as dogs and domestic cats.
As with other wild animals, they tend to huddle together for warmth and to guard younger family members that might be vulnerable. They will ideally choose a place that is close to a reliable source of food and water, so they can nourish themselves without using too much energy.
If you would like to help improve the lives of feral and stray cats, you may be able to offer them natural or man-made sleep shelters in your outdoor area. These shelters should be large enough to provide a comfortable space for a cat to rest and stay warm, with easy access to food and water so they can eat and drink whenever necessary. As an extra layer of insulation, it is a good idea to put hay or straw in the shelter to ensure the cat stays cosy.