Husker Cats assist feral felines through heat

· 2 min read

Husker Cats assist feral felines through heat

Husker cats
File photo | University Communications
Feral felines eat cat food on the sidewalk near the College of Business Administration in 2008. The Husker Cats volunteer group now provides food and water in seven specialized feeding stations on City Campus.

As temperatures rise into triple digits, UNL’s feral cats are finding relief from Husker Cats volunteers and in the cool air of Lincoln’s sewers.

Husker Cats is a volunteer organization that works to feed, water, spay, neuter, vaccinate and take care of feral cats found on campus. The volunteer group has worked with Landscape Services to establish seven feeding and water stations on City Campus. Marilyn Fenton, a business systems analyst with UNL and feeding/care coordinator for Husker Cats, said about 15 volunteers help feed and water the nearly 70 feral cats on campus.

Each morning, the volunteers fill the feeding stations with Science Diet cat food and water. Fenton said the cats are kept on a consistent diet because it helps regulate the animals’ digestive systems. The regular feeding also eliminates the need for “rogue feeders” who previously left items out for the cats to eat.

On extreme weather days, like this week’s run toward triple digits, Fenton said the felines seek cover.

“We provide fresh water to the cats every morning,” Fenton said. “If they are too hot, they go under a bush or go underground in the sewers.”

Fenton said the only change people will see in the heat is that the cats will not be out as often, or even at all. Instead, they will try to remain cool and rest during the day, then emerge as temperatures cool at night.

The Husker Cats group was formed in 2008 after receiving approval from UNL administrators to care for campus feral cats. The group’s trap, neuter/spay and release program has proven effective at helping regulate the feral cat population. And, the few kittens found are recovered by the Husker Cat volunteers and put up for adoption through Lincoln’s Cat House (if possible), or spayed/neutered and released back to campus.

For more information about UNL’s Husker Cats group, go to

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