Is it bad to accept stray cats? I can assure you something, It's a life-changing event!
Street cats. Strays. Community cats. Whatever you choose to call them, you’ve likely seen them—cats roaming the streets in need of a home. The Humane Society estimates that there are approximately 30 to 40 million community cats (both feral and previously owned) in the United States. Thankfully, there are now many rescue organizations that take in these cats and adopt them out to loving families—and adoption rates are increasing.
Cats naturally tug at heartstrings with their big eyes, comforting purrs, and high-pitched meows.
Furthermore, cats and kittens always seem to be desperate for homes.
Because cat litters can come from multiple sires, it’s common for thousands of strays to be found in and around the same neighborhood.
When you decide to adopt a stray cat, you are getting yourself a life companion that will show you and give you all the love you need! In addition, you are saving a life, changing that little being world and making it happier!
Strays live their entire lives in a very difficult, lonely and dangerous environment.
Most of them don't know love and affection coming from humans, so when you bring them home and show them what love is all about, they will be extremely grateful, especially if you are taking in an adult feline, believe me, they are the most nurturing and loving ones.
“I will tell you, some of the friendliest and most lovable and affectionate cats I’ve had have been strays,”
“They are so thankful.”
Since you have already made this incredible decision, here are some tips of what you should do to start your new feline adventure!
The first thing is to approach it with caution.
You can use food to lure the cat indoors, particularly in cat-accessible places like a porch.
Place any strong-smelling food nearby, kneel on the ground and speak calmly.
If the animal runs away, but you saw it near your home, try to return to the same spot at the same time another day, and see if the pet comes back for more food, the ASCPA says.
Encourage the animal to eat.
Create some kind of barrier using a leash, piece of clothing or rope to corner the animal, suggests the Humane Society.
If you try to catch the animal, you will likely scare it away or get attacked.
By slowly securing the perimeter, the animal may not notice it's being trapped.
However, don’t start petting immediately. Watch out for the signs.
Strays may not trust humans, they are usually afraid of humans due to bad experiences on the streets, so they might scratch or bite you.
But don't be mad at them, they are simply defending themselves.
To build trust, make eye contact with the cat and blink slowly. This is cat-speak for “I am not a threat; I am friendly.” If you bring the cat indoors, let them explore without invading space.
The cat will learn that you aren’t going to smother or frighten it.
Once you’ve coaxed the cat close, let them do the “petting” first.
Cats often bump humans or rub against them with their heads to mark territory and show trust.
Make Sure He or She is a Stray
This can be extremely tricky. Many outdoor cats get mistaken for strays, as do feral cats.
Look for collars, ID tags, or evidence of microchips, and make a good effort to find the owner if you suspect there is one.
According to the Humane Society, well-groomed, friendly cats are more likely to be lost or abandoned pets, not ferals.
But the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says the opposite: lost or abandoned cats are more likely to be badly groomed and frightened because they are stressed and not used to surviving alone.
A feral cat will show fear of humans and may be aggressive, according to the Animal Care Center of Forest Park.
It’s best to leave a feral alone in most circumstances.
The most reliable test is to capture the animal indoors or in a cage, according to the ASPCA. Though this test is not always accurate, a feral cat will typically resist being inside any kind of enclosure, while a stray cat is more likely to cooperate.
Feral cats are also more likely not be spayed or neutered. If you’re not sure, or if the cat is ill or has kittens, ask a local vet.
Notify everyone about the animal
After the vet tends to any injuries the animal may have and checks to see if it has all the necessary vaccinations, ask the vet to scan the animal for a microchip. A microchip should be able to reveal the owner's contact information.
If the pet doesn't have a microchip, call any local police department, animal shelter or animal control agency, and leave them a description of the pet in case its owner calls searching for their pet, the ASPCA recommends.
Post a "found" ad online or in your local newspaper, suggests the Humane Society. You might want to try your neighborhood blog or list-serve as well.
Decide whether you might be willing to accept the cost and possible life care of the animal.
This is the most important question to answer.
It’s important, then, to be aware of the challenges that arise when adopting such a kitty.
The stray may be suffering from injuries, or its owner may have abandoned it, leaving you in charge of paying its medical bills or taking ownership of the pet. You must also be willing to give the pet back to its owner, even if you form an attachment.
If you're not willing to accept these plausible outcomes, call a nearby shelter or animal control agency instead, and tell them where you found the animal.
However, shelters and agencies are often overrun with stray animals and because of limited space, they may be likely to euthanize an animal.
So, taking in a stray could be your chance to save a life.
Think of how wonderful that is!
Call the Vet!
Strays don't usually get taken care in the streets, so you need to get it checked out for diseases.
Most people think of fleas and ticks, but cats can also carry other diseases and parasites, like Erythemia, Anemia, Rhinotracheitis, Toxoplasmosis.
Have the cat thoroughly examined and spayed or neutered if this hasn’t already been done. Apprise the vet of your lifestyle and potential hazards in your home such as plants that could be poisonous to felines.
Your veterinarian can help you adjust your lifestyle for your new friend.
If it is healthy, now is time to take it home!
Stray cats are used to prowling. They may also be used to stealing food and fight. Purchase vet-recommended food, a litter box, and other essentials like cat toys, and cat trees and integrate your cat slowly. These things are going to make it feel at home.
Do not punish a cat for accidents, and encourage him or her to eat often, particularly if malnourished.
If you already have pets, make sure to find a room for the stray animal to stay in separate from your resident pet to avoid confrontation suggests The Humane Society. Cats are extremely territorial, the beginning can be tough.
It seems like we get 101 different reasons why a person’s having trouble with a cat, Behavioral issues are not uncommon for a cat adjusting to a new home. Luckily, most of these issues have easy remedies. For example, make sure they have a scratching post to get out their scratching, so they don’t take to ruining furniture.
Litter box issues can also crop up during the initial adjustment period. You may have to try different kinds of cat litter.
Keep your litter box clean at all times, and it might mean scooping twice a day.
A cat urinating outside of the litter box may indicate a medical issue, so consult your veterinarian. If there was another cat ever in the house or if there is currently a cat in the house, then male cats may spray indoors.
This is usually only an issue with cats who are not or were recently neutered.
If the cat has been neutered and the problem persists, look for your vet.
Behavioral issues in new cats can run the gamut. But no matter how frustrating these can be, remind yourself to be patient.
If you rescue a kitty, you have to deal with what you’ve got.
Some people say that it’s like adopting a child.
But we say when bringing a cat into your home, you need to treat it like a child.
I mean, with lots of love and caution.