Outside cat's and "others") water protection on freezing nights. We know raccoons use it as well.
If you have any last minute preparation for cold protection, NOW is a good time to get it done. Even if you have done everything you can, better let your water trickle and get ready for a mid-week shock.
We've seen twenty degree weather this year but mid-week is predicting SINGLE DIGIT and with any breeze that could give your pipes or hoses a BIG problem.
Thankfully (so far), it does not look like a long streak but it is cold enough to take extra precautions with your pets as well. We have found that drop lights under our cats water dishes will keep their water open even in single digit weather but we also protect the dish from wind. Wind would blow away any heat quickly.
The garage water will be fine but the outside water dish needed more so I cut a plastic garbage can in a way that when it lays down it creates a Quonset hut (QH) effect with an open end.
The open end is faced away from the prevailing wind. In our case it faces East so weather from the Northwest or Southwest does not blow into it.
The drop-light is in a low plastic cage and the water dish sits on top of it. (a dish draining basket might do well) That means the garbage can had to be cut only a third of the way or the "roof" would have been too low to allow for the light, dish and something drinking.
I put two stakes in the ground to keep the water dish from being pushed out the end. It seems some of the cats find the back end of this setup just right to sleep in. When they stretch out the dish gets pushed out the end.
I also wrapped the plug connection in a plastic bag and pushed it under the QH setup. Last year I put this setup inside the dog house but it kept getting spilled by their coming and going so the QH will be new.
If it does not keep the water thawed, I will put a blanket over it (protected by plastic) and leave just enough room for them to squeeze in. They know the water is in there but curiosity will help them to discover it either way.
Could it be more elaborate? Sure, but I used what I had on hand.
They have mini caves to go in which are probably warmer than this set-up and they have a dog house with a blanket in front to keep the wind from blowing in, but most outside cats have built up their winter coat and seem to do fine as long as they can be dry and get water/food.
The dogs by the way, have a large greenhouse that never drops below 50 degrees so they don't need, or use the other house. Five or six cats have learned to "get along" with the dogs and enjoy that space as well.