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I'm playing Kittens Game. I was doing ok, and then winter came. I have 50 catnip fields (the cost for another is current >50% of my max catnip [5000]).

However, this appears to be too little food to even feed a single cat through winter.

How do I make my cats survive winter? I noticed there were achievements for losing 10 and 100 cats. Is this just an expected part of the game or is there something I can do to save my cats?

I just unlocked farmers. Those weren't available to me during the first winter.

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    Note that if you don't spend the food, 50 catnip fields produces enough to support 7 kittens with a bit extra leftover. – Mooing Duck Sep 19 '14 at 23:37
  • @MooingDuck Yes, I meant in terms of income. Stored food aside. – John the Green Sep 20 '14 at 16:27
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What I did was ensure I had a really large stockpile of catnip. I saw Winter was coming, and so I stopped spending catnip. That allowed me to have enough catnip to survive, even without farming.

But as you noted, you now have farmers. Once you get past four kittens, just living off of the stockpile of 5,000 isn't really enough. Most kittens should become farmers during winter, so that the rest of your population doesn't die off.

Another option is to build a barn or two, and make your stockpile even larger. The more barns you have, the more kittens you can support through a winter without farmers. Some later technologies allow you to build things that allow your kittens to require less catnip, and you can stretch it just a little bit further.

Generally, though, farmers are your best go-to for ensuring your population survives.

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  • Yep. Farmers. I was lucky: I went for science early on and unlocked farmers before the first winter came; each kitty is capable of feeding themselves as a farmer, with lower happiness you'll be bleeding food, but not so fast that they'll starve to death – Raestloz Sep 18 '14 at 12:38
  • This would be a good answer, but I had to -1 due to "Most kittens should become farmers during winter": this is an idle game, you shouldn't have to go back and fix stuff every few minutes. So the real solution should not involve user interaction besides first setup. – o0'. Sep 19 '14 at 7:50
  • @Lohoris I'm not so sure. Given the way farm output drastically fluctuates every few minutes when seasons change, it's almost like you're supposed to come back and change everything every few minutes. Annoying, yes, but intended? Hard to say... – John the Green Sep 19 '14 at 17:26
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    @MooingDuck Actually, farms can handle the brunt of the food load in non-winter months, thereby neccessitating less farmers to support your village. It seems like a waste of productivity to keep them as farmers when they could be doing something else. – Frank Sep 19 '14 at 21:46
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    @Frank: No, I mean, you can have one farmer all year round, or four farmers only during the winter, and the math comes out exactly the same except that with workers only during the winter, their top skills are lower. It also requires more micromanagement. – Mooing Duck Sep 19 '14 at 22:13
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After year 20, you can unlock trading with the sharks. They will exchange catnip in return for 100 iron. I don't know the exact amount of catnip, but I think it is in the order of the maximum of catnip (I got 42.1k and 49.6k while my maximum amount was 55k).

If you are in year 20 and still are struggling every winter, you are probably doing something wrong, but I think quickly trading 100 iron is better then switching kittens and accidentally misuse their skills. Keep in mind that is also costs 10 gold.

Plus, you'll also have a change to obtain some:

Blueprints and/or spice! (and maybe more things I don't know about yet)

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    When I unlocked trading they were offering 35-45k, and my maximum at the time was only 20k, so it's not a percentage of the maximum. I think it's ~35-45k base, plus a bonus for the number of trading posts. – Mooing Duck Sep 22 '14 at 16:25

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